He’s Back!

Lissi with snail stuck to her face

Brain the snail is back less than a week after going back to school! The cold weather that shut most of the schools in the country last week meant he was stranded there for a couple of days so he has come back to us to look after in the warm until the deep freeze is over!

He’s just been sitting on my hand while I’ve been typing this and I’ve been stroking him! Lissi is over the moon about his return but we knew that!


Welcome to Brian the Giant African land snail that has come to spend Christmas at our house. Brian is the class pet in Ben’s class at school and as Lissi likes snails we asked if we could look after him.


He is living in Lissi’s room and she is taking care of him. He thinks he’s gorgeous and told us the other night that she thought he was settling in as he was really coming out of his shell!

brian and lisi

Whoops-a-Daisy Angel

Monday afternoon I headed down to Ben’s school for his nativity play – I knew he was a Shepherd because he had come home and announced that in his play he had to wear a kitchen towel on his head!

Ben Shepherd

The play was based on a story about a disorganised angel who is always late and her halo is never on straight who is chosen to show the way to Bethlehem on the first Christmas night. The angel was played by Ben’s little friend Paige who seem to relish the part!

Ben seemed to enjoy it too, much more than some of the other shepherds but he couldn’t resist giving us a wave as he set off on the road to Bethlehem! After last year’s performance as a sheep in the FS1 nativity at the other school he didn’t seem to be as lost this time!

Presentation evening

Last night was Beth’s presentation evening at her old school and she came back from Coventry especially for it. She wasn’t going to come but she found out that she was getting an award as well as her certificates so she came back – I met her there.

She was awarded the Headteacher’s award for service to the school in recognition of the fact that she was Deputy Head Girl during her final year. She joked that she didn’t want an award for that she wanted one for being clever!

When the time came to go up and get her award the teacher who was reading out the names mispronounced hers and she mumbled “You’d think after 7 years here they’d know how to say it”

Her name was in the program 4 times – once for the award, then for her A-Levels. She was also listed for getting the Community Sports Leadership award and finally to say she had gone on to University.

She pointed out that out of all of her cohorts she had gone to the university furthest away from home. In fact there were few who had gone much further than the local universities and colleges.

Stay and Play

Today was stay and play day at Ben’s school. I’d been in last week when they were making Christmas decorations but that didn’t stop Ben giving me the grand tour once again. Last week he proudly showed me a picture on the board which he had drawn and written his name on, but then he had looked slightly crest fallen as he added “But I forgot to draw the arms”

Today he didn’t know what he wanted to do and he ended up showing me exactly the same things as he had last week – here’s where we put our book bags, here’s my peg etc etc. Eventually his teacher suggested he do this board thing where you make patterns with thread by pushing it into holes on the board. His first attempt was a Pelicans beak! I made a car, a train, a bus and a birthday cake (although doing the candles was a bit tricky!

Then he decided he wanted to draw a picture so he got a piece of paper and a pencil and started to draw. “What are you going to draw Ben?” “I’m going to draw myself but this time I will remember the arms. When he had finished he showed one of the staff and he was rewarded with a sticker. We decided to take it home so we could stick it up on the wall.

ben drawing

When we went back to pick him up tonight he showed me where the book bags were kept.

“I know” Said I “You showed me this morning”

“I know I did” he replied ” But I thought I’d show you again in case you forgot!”

R.I.P. Woody

tag and woody 2

No sooner than I had blogged about the cats then the most awful thing happened – Woody was knocked down and killed right outside our front door yesterday morning in front of Sarah.

We were just leaving for work and Ben and I were already in the car and I saw Sarah come out of the house. I saw her turn and then she gestured to me. Woody had been sitting under the car and as she came out he stepped out and was hit by a taxi that was steaming down our road.

He was lying on the side of the road when I got there and when I picked him up I feared the worst. We dashed him to the vets but he was dead when we got there – poor little thing.

The taxi stopped briefly, presumably to see what he had hit but drove off without even coming back to see if Sarah was ok – heartless bastard! He could at least have got out and maybe apologised.

tag and woody

We are worried about Tag now in case she starts to pine for him. She seems a bit lost and has taken to sitting on the stairs which she has never done before. I must say that I will miss the double act that was Tag and Woody and feeding time will never be the same.

Further education

As I said yesterday Beth is back from University and while she was back she popped round to look after Ben while we took Bex to an open day at the local college. Bex wants to study engineering at University so we wanted to look into courses that might be better for her than simply taking A Levels. Also we are so totally unhappy with her school that we really don’t think staying on there into 6th form is such a good idea.

When we finally tracked down the right person to talk to he asked bex what she thought she would get in her GCSE’s. She told him that she had already taken her Science GSCE’s and had got A’s and A*’s for the four units she had taken. When she then told him that her predicted grades for Maths and English were all A*/A/B’s his little eyes lit up!

He called her a genius and told her the best course for her would be the advanced diploma in engineering which is a two year course and counts as between 3.5 and 4.5 A levels. He outlined what they would cover in the course and as he did it was the turn of Becky’s eyes to light up!

She was so keen in fact that we went down to the refectory and took advantage of our free drinks vouchers and sat and filled in the application form there and then. I fully expect that her school will try and talk her out of it when they get the reference request – probably while extoling the virtues of the International Baccalaureate that they are trying to force all of year 11 into.

Apparently the Course tutor is a woman and she is very keen to get girls like Bex onto the course and has been running a recruitment drive to do so – Hopefully that will mean a touch of positive discrimination will go on!