Dec. 11th, 2011 12:13 am
caz963: (HH dancing romans)
Just picked up an email from Cazlet #2's flute teacher to say that she got 130 marks in her exam, which is a distinction :)

She'll be dead chuffed when we tell her in the morning.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

caz963: (belle)
Cazlet #2 did her flute exam today. She said it went "perfectly" and wanted to go back in and do it all over again, which I suppose is a good thing!

Results in 10-14 days, but I know she's passed. I'll be surprised if she doesn't get a merit (120/150) at the very least, and I'm expecting a distinction! (130/150)
caz963: (beach)
Things have been a bit busy this week, which is why I'm somewhat behind on reading and commenting on stuff.

On Tuesday, Mr Caz's step-mum and his sister and other half came down for a couple of days. Sister and OH stayed at the Premier Inn just up the road (we could have put them up, but I think that OH likes to be able to get away from the kids!) and step-mum stayed with us, so Sunday and Monday were occupied in "Operation Tidy-Up" (*starts whistling The Great Escape!*)

It's nice to have the house a bit tidier than usual, but the downside is that Mr Caz puts things where nobody can ever find them again. As a result, we spent hours on Tuesday evening looking for the Sky remote, which was eventually discovered at the bottom of a basket full of ironing. I. Don't. Even...

randomness within )
caz963: (Piggy)
Cazlet #1's school finished for the summer holidays yesterday so we had a day out. We did shopping, lunch and went to see Deathly Hallows Pt 2, which I thought was really good.

No real spoilers about HP, and some stuff that's coming soon... )
caz963: (hotlips omg)
You know how that is, right? You go into Tesco's for a pint of milk and a loaf and come out with £80 worth of shopping.

Well, I didn't do that today. I came out with a new phone.

And a pint of milk and a loaf.

Cazlet #1 has been on for a while about getting a new mobile. Hers is only about 18 months old, but of course, all her mates have got posher ones... I hadn't said I'd buy her a new one - in fact, I said I wasn't going to and that she'd have to save up for one herself, but we were looking around anyway so she could see how much money she'd need when I came across one of those deals that looks like it's too good to be true - which the cynic in me tends to avoid. But I read the small print and as far as I could see, there were no hidden extras, so I've just got myself a nice new smartphone with 100 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB of data for a tenner a month!. (I don't make a lot of calls on my mobile, so that's plenty of minutes for normal purposes.)

Well, it would have been daft not to, wouldn't it? Which means that Cazlet #1 can have my old phone which fits her criteria (it's a) a touchscreen and b) pink!).

The only snag is that in order to transfer her number over I've had to change mine, which I must have had for about 20 years.

I suppose I'll manage to remember it eventually.
caz963: (leia grounded)
Mr Caz has a cold and it's sent his voice right down into his boots. I reckon he needs to get in quick and do some voiceovers for a few crappy movie trailers.

For the past few hours, the kids have been amusing themselves by getting him to say things like - "there'll be no escape for the princess this time" and - "come over to the dark side."


ETA - Are anyone else's LJ emails travelling by Carrier Pigeon via Outer Mongolia and the Faroe Islands?

Snow day!

Dec. 2nd, 2010 09:45 am
caz963: (winter trees)
I tried to get to work today, but the weather's beaten me. Even the main roads around here aren't gritted, and given that what snow we've had over the last few days has been melting and then icing over, the driving conditions are nasty. It took me 25 minutes to do about 3 miles - mostly in second or third gear, and after a couple of slips I turned around and came home.

My school is open, but the ones around here are closed, so the kids are off too and can't wait to get outside and play in the snow!
caz963: (DW Ten reminiscing)
I think that the peeps at the BBC must be doing this on purpose to see if we're paying attention.

1. The air-date for the first episode of Single Father is 10.10.10 :-)

2. This promo for forthcoming BBC drama has a short sequence of clips towards the end - Matt, followed by Chris, followed by David.

Clearly, everything is about Doctor Who! *g*

Thanks for the birthday wishes. Today was pretty manic at work - I barely had time to draw breath and only just managed to grab a bit of the cake I'd arranged for the staff-room at break! I've got a "to-do" list that is probably twice the length of my arm, which isn't helped by the fact that I haven't been able to have a late-ish night at school so far this week becuase I've had appointments to keep and/or kids to pick up. I really must try to find some time tomorrow to unscramble my brain, because that's how it feels right now.

But tonight, we stuffed ourselves with Chinese food and cake - I had some lovely cards and the kids got me a remote-controlled Mini - which they played with for most of the evening! It's their favourite car and every journey now entails a game of "spot the Mini" - one point for each one, but three if it's yellow!
caz963: (don't diss the sonic)

My kids are going to be pestering me for some of these!
caz963: (stupid hurts)
I have been practicing the art of serial procrastination for the last few days - I'm very good at it :-) I really need to look at a bit of work before Wednesday, but I've been putting it off. Tonight, though - is the night.


Today's procrastination took the form of going shopping for a school coat for Cazlet #1. She probably won't need it for a couple of months, but given the fact that Christmas decorations have been in the shops since before the beginning of the summer holidays, when she actually needs a coat in a couple of months time, they'll be full of shorts and t-shirts, so it's a case of buying it while we can.

Who on earth is responsible for "sizing" children's clothes these days? Okay, so we all know that buying clothes is a bit of a lottery in that sizes and shapes often vary hugely from shop to shop. But it's even worse with kids' clothes. Cazlet #1 turned 11 at the end of last week, but I've been buying clothes for ages 13 and upwards for quite some time now. She's reasonably tall for her age, but she's certainly not fat; in fact, according to the letter we got the other week, she's the right weight for her height and build. Cazlet #2 is a skinny streak of nothing and clothes in her "age" are often too small as well. We're constantly being told that children are getting fatter and that childhood obesity is becoing a serious problem - so why on earth are clothes made several sizes too small?!

Cazlet #1's school blazer is "age 14". Okay, so it's a bit long in the arms (not much though) but once she gets a jumper or cardi under it, it won't be big in the body. And trying to find a coat that will fit over the top of the blazer proved to be an incredibly difficult task. Most of the coats she tried on were for "age 15" and "age 16" - and they were STILL too small! So we got her to try on coats in womens' sizes. You'd think maybe a size 8 or 10 would do given she's only 11 years old and she's not "filled out" yet. But no - she's in a size 12 and even then there wasn't much room for something underneath. And of course, the proportions are wrong - if there's a belt, it's round her hips rather than her waist and the sleeves are too long.

We did eventually find something in BHS that was a girls' coat with a bit of room in it - not very much, but it's the one she liked best.

It is also nigh-on impossible to find knee-length white socks in shoe size 4-5 - I've been looking since the start of the holidays.

It's bloody ridiculous.
caz963: (donna cuppa)
[livejournal.com profile] nostalgia_lj will like this one :-)

We've just rewatched The Eleventh Hour. On seeing the interior of the new TARDIS, I remarked that it's very orange. My youngest (aged all of 7) then piped up:

She's GINGER, mum! That's why he likes her!

Why didn't I think of that? *g*
caz963: (ten!specs)
We took the kids to McD's tonight. We don't go often and we haven't been for a while, so we figured it was time for some junk food.

Anyway. Elinor was wrapping her chops around a huge chocolate muffin while Abigail opted for ice cream, when I noticed that Elinor had stopped eating and looked to be completely captivated by what Abigail had. Honestly, her face was a picture. So I nudged Mr Caz and we both sat there watching her, until she noticed and immediately straightened herself up.

Elinor: What?

Mr Caz & Me: Your face, looking at the ice-cream!

Elinor: I wasn't!

Me: Yes you were -

Elinor: No, I was looking at that (points to Happy Meal box). Anyway, Mum, you can talk!

Mr Caz: Your mum doesn't look at food like that - she just eats it!

Elinor: I didn't mean food. I meant when she looks at David Tennant!

caz963: (R2D2)
According to The Independent Overseas Students are Better at English than we Brits.

Yep. That's because they're actually TAUGHT English, rather than what seems to pass for it now.

Case in point. My eldest, who is now in year 6, has had a couple of bits of English homework over the last couple of weeks or so which have involved her having to write a reasonably formal letter on each occasion. Okay, she's ten, so we're not talking serious business letters here, but she doesn't seem to have actually been taught what to do and what not to do. Like not starting the body of the letter with "hello".

She's good at English - or what is nowadays known as "literacy" - but she still makes mistakes with "there, their and they're". One of the comments I seem to write over and over when I'm marking is "CHECK your work."

I'm seriously considering writing a note to her teacher asking her just why she's been set these particular pieces of homework if she's not actually covered in class what she needs to do in order to be able to do it. Homework is supposed to be about re-inforcement, not giving a kid a task they have no idea how to do. It's either that, or I'll write the bloody thing and see if the teacher notices.
caz963: (crikey!)
My kids are absolutely hooked on Horrible Histories, a sketch show on CBBC that's based on the best-selling series of books by Terry Deary.

It's really clever - telling kids about history in different periods by using things they're familiar with. One segment is "Historical Wife Swap" - and there are parodies of chat shows ("So, Chronos. Tell us - why did you eat your children?") and game shows etc. and there's usually a "song of the week", too.

So the kids watch it and record it and then watch it several times during the week - and I have to say, I quite enjoy it too, when I'm around.

This sketch had me rolling around in stitches -

(Anyone who has subjected themselves to daytime TV will recognise that one!)

- and last week's episode featured a fantastic sketch about Helen of Troy. I haven't been able to find it on YT yet, but I'll post a link when I do because it was hilarious.

If you've not seen the show, check it out on iPlayer - it's fun!

ETA - Caz minor just pointed me to this one :-)

And this one!


May. 14th, 2009 04:55 pm
caz963: (doc & donna laughing)
I found this in the kitchen this morning. I'd started writing a shopping list yesterday - but clearly somebody wanted to make sure the instructions were thoroughly understood!


caz963: (stems)
Talk about a contrast. Compared with a couple of weeks ago, today was sunny and fairly warm - I could almost have been fooled into thinking that Spring had arrived!

But yes, I made it out of the house! I'd anticipated having to trek around for a bit because I had a number of different things to get for Abigail's room, including a new duvet, curtains, lampshade, rug and other bits and pieces. Fortunately, though, I decided to make our first stop at the local Range and I managed to get everything I wanted (and other stuff, too!) there. Which was just as well, because I really hadn't been looking forward to lots of too-ing and fro-ing.

So the room is done and Abigail couldn't wait to go to bed tonight! I'll try to post a couple of pics tomorrow.

We spent the afternoon sorting and putting away - God, how exhausting. It's good because it gives you the opportunity for the clear-out you've been putting off, but on the other hand, it takes bloody ages! And invariably leads to other sort-outs and clear-outs when you realise that certain items of clothing are tatty and need throwing out, so it's time to get out the stuff you've put aside and go through that... it's self perpetuating. So there will be more tidying up tomorrow.

I'm still not feeling 100%, but then that's to be expected. What I hadn't counted on though was the fact that my backside is still bloody sore and that I still can't sit for long periods. I've been sitting here updating my CV and writing my letter of resignation, and doing a bit of general "pottering" - and I'm going to have to lie down after I've finished this because I'm so uncomfortable. I've not been taking painkillers because they tend to have a certain side-effect which could make me even more uncomfortable (!), but it looks like I might have to take some when I go back to work next week.

I still have to write my job application, but that will have to wait until tomorrow when I can think about more than how much my a**e hurts!
caz963: (gromit rolling pin)
A few years back, when Elinor was quite young, there was a big ruckus about the MMR triple vaccine. For anyone who's not familar, it's used to immunise children against Measles, Mumps and Rubella, given in two doses, one when they're around three and the other before they start school.

In 1998, Doctor Andrew Wakefield published research which suggested that there might be a link between the vaccine and autism, thus creating widespread panic among parents, with the practical upshot that thousands upon thousands decided not to have their children vaccinated which is now leading to an upsurge in measles cases - which had been all but eradicated - in the UK.

From the Times, 9th Feb 2009 -

Last week official figures showed that 1,348 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales were reported last year, compared with 56 in 1998. Two children have died of the disease.


When the debate was at its height, I remember that it was almost impossible to hear a dissenting voice in the media - whenever anyone tried to challenge Wakefield's research, they were shouted down, and yet his research was, as far as I remember, not backed up by any other studies. I'm not an expert, but I do believe that, in any form of scientific research, it's normal practice for experiments and theories to be substantiated by further research and corroborated by other studies, as is pointed out by David Aaranovich, also in the Times, today- http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/david_aaronovitch/article5696902.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=2270657

Wakefield's conclusions have since been more or less discredited, and I think that there has been an increase in the take up of the vaccinations, but we're still not at the 95% level we need to be at in order to guarantee "herd immunity".

But even given this, and the fact that children are now dying of measles, there are still people in the media who are persisting in disseminating this mis-information about the jab, one of whom is a well-known broadcaster on LBC radio - Jeni Burnett.

Doctor Ben Goldacre, on his Bad Science blog has challenged Burnett's views and has landed himself in rather hot water as a result. Read the post I've linked to, and you'll see what I mean.

Thing is, this isn't the only time something like this - a concern which has been blown out of all proportion by the media - has happened. I'm sure we can all think of examples, and I guess that the reason I'm posting this is because I'm sick of being presented with "news" which is based on hypothesis, speculation and some talking-head-so-called-expert nattering on in the absence of real information.

And I guess being a mum - and incidentally, both my girls had the MMR with no ill effects - scaremongering on this sort of scale, which is now affecting the lives of our children, it makes me even more angry.
caz963: (ye hande)
Yesterday, I meant to post something about my trip to London on Saturday, but I didn't get round to it.

So better late than never... and sadly minus photos, because somebody who shall remain nameless, but who is the only man in the household, forgot to tell me that the memory card on the camera was full up.

I can hear the bells... )
caz963: (snowman)
It was so nice not to have to get up before dawn this morning...

The girls and I sent Mr Caz packing this morning and we had a girly morning getting manicures and pedicures (or, as Abigial termed it, a "pedicle" :-)).

I've managed to finish marking one set of books - so two more to go. Hopefully, the rest won't take me quite as long - I just want to get them out of the way so they're not hanging over my head for the rest of the holiday.

I finished the Christmas cake yesterday - now I think it's time to make some mince pies.


Oct. 23rd, 2008 11:27 pm
caz963: (manahmanah)
We both ended up taking the kids to High School Musical 3 tonight. I decided to go because I haven't seen them for a couple of days - I leave for work before they get up and I was out at a school open evening last night and didn't get home until after ten, so I haven't seen them since Tuesday night.

The film was - well, what you'd expect and actually, the audience reaction was more entertaining at times. For example, the movie opens with a huge close-up of Zac Efron, all tousled and sweaty in the middle of a basketball game... needless to say, the large contingent of teenage girls in the audience all shrieked with delight! There was much sniggering at the snogging and cries of "Oi - that's my boyfriend!". Heh.

But the kids loved it; yes, the plot is non-existent, the dialogue is crap and the singing is very "samey" - but the songs themselves are (irritatingly!) catchy, the dancing is fabulous and the the energy-level is off the charts.

Not my kind of movie of course, but I can see why they've been so popular.

On the other hand, we took them to see City of Ember last week, which I thoroughly enjoyed - the story hooked me from the start, and the sets and design were fabulous. Definitely worth a look if you're at a loose end.


caz963: (Default)

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