Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Self-pity is over now, which is a relief for all concerned.

Feeling better, which is just as well as the snow is back.

It snowed on Sunday too. J and I went to B&Q for a new shower hose (does life get any more exciting than this?) and a guy walking across the car park ahead of us had a T shirt on. Northern and hard!
There was a couple of inches on the car and road this morning - traction control came on several times just driving down the road and I was very thankful for ABS at one roundabout. Made it in one piece, early enough to check that we weren't going to close the school. Some people panic and close at the slightest sign of the white stuff. Two weeks in schools in Alberta, however, have changed my perspective. We are really nesh, don't know we're born compared to some areas.

Good job we're Northern and hard at school too. Lots of our kids aren't well wrapped up and there are often little blue arms and legs around. The Boss doesn't really want to know how many school sweatshirts I've given away this year... Not quite the worst winter since 1963, as we were promised, but cold enough on the coast.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

FMS flare up blues

Wanted to include some pictures of work finished recently on here, but haven't had the energy to do the photos. That sounds reaaly pathetic, I know, but I'm suffering from a post-Poland flare up of my fibromyalgia. Symptoms include the usual deep aching and stiffness, but it's in a whole new area this time - shoulders, neck, back and upper arms as well as the usual. I'm cold all the time, weepy and not coping with work very well. At home, I'm too tired to do anything - 3 take-away meals this week! Asleep by 8:30pm and awake early as usual.

I feel as though I'm coming out the other side now, though, which is a relief (and to all those around me, no doubt :) ). Roll on the temperate weather.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Krakow, February 2006



Rooms and rooms of shoes

J and j

Baby clothes at Auschwitz

Arbeit Macht Frei

The view from our window at the Monopol

Good intentions

Well, I've failed to blog on a regular basis - so much for the good intentions. Started to delete the entries from this blog in order to start another, but wondered what the point of that was. So, a couple of entries remain.
What has happened since the last entry?

- J, j and I made a family trip to Krakow at half term

- we survived OFSTED!!! and were even good, now all we have to do is get over the anger about the shallow process and hoop jumping so that we can get on with the real business of running a good school that works for our children, their parents and the staff.

- We've all been plagued by illness (fortunately not the actual plague, however)

- other stuff

Krakow is an interesting city. We were hit by the smell of coal in the air, from coal fires, the moment we got off the plane and it lingered all through our visit. Committed first cultural faux pas on the scary taxi ride in from the airport (Poland has one of the highest fatality rates on the roads of Europe) - looking at some tiny, wooden structures with gardens and saying "What super little allotment sheds!".... I'll never complain about the size of my kitchen again.

Everything in Krakow seemed to be medieval and covered with a layer of soot - even the snow, lots of it. The city escaped bombing in WW2, so most of the buildings remain intact. Pity the same can't be said about the Polish people.

Visited Auschwitz - can't really say anything about the experience that hasn't already been said, but I would say that, although I thought I understood what happened there, before the visit, I was totally unprepared for the scale of the camps and the solidness of the infrastructure. It brought home the industrial nature and scale of the operation.

Shoes, mountains of shoes. All faded to a homogenous grey except the red ones - mostly women's and children's. Where was the owner of the high heeled red wedges going the day she was taken by the Nazis?

Who was destined to wear all those hand-sewn and knitted clothes from dead babies and children?

What were they thinking?