Sunday, 27 February 2011

Disaster Averted...

After a lovely week of visiting and coffeeing and chatting, I came home today to do all the work I hadn't done over half term.

It was all going ok, (well, I wasn't doing any work, but everything was working fine) but then all of a sudden I think I clicked something, or selected something, or did SOMETHING and my computer was completely taken over by a hideous debilitating virus.


Like, at all.

(actually, that's a fib - somehow Facebook was still mostly working. I think the security on that site must be immense)

But none of my files opened, none of the other websites (ie antivirus ones) were working, the disk drive was defunct and the desktop picture destroyed.

Slight (major) panic...

Superdad came round with a selection of ancient antivirus disks, but to no avail. Superscott came up with all sorts of antivirus website addresses, but I could use none of them.

I felt a little bit silly doing it, but I prayed lots. I mean, lots. And I don't really associate God with technology. But I suppose he equipped the people who designed it with the brain power to do so, so no reason why I shouldn't... but anyway. So I also felt a bit fickle. Er, frivolous. Well, petty, I suppose. Slightly ill computers aren't really much compared to very ill people and all that.

Anyway, at one point, a message came up saying something about pressing F8 as the computer restarted (it kept shutting down of its own accord), in order to start in Safe Mode. I tried that, and then there was an option for basically going back in time, and resetting the whole system to how it was at 17:56 on Thursday. Now, I'd done a bit of thesis on Friday, but I didn't think I'd done enough to merit not trying it.

Then it reset it. Restarted. AND WORKS!! Yeah, man!

Plus, my scraps of thesis were unscathed. Hurrah! Thanks, God.
(especially for F8 and Windows Safe Mode)

He cares about the little things.
(not to mention the big things)
And for that, I am eternally grateful.

(I haven't really done much work, though, hence being computer-bound at 22:43 on a school night)

Right, I'm off to prepare a revision lesson on Duke Ellington. Er... right. Yes.

Off I go, then...


Tuesday, 22 February 2011


So, I was driving up to Doncaster on Sunday afternoon. I knew exactly which way I'd planned to go, and I was pretty sure it was a relatively straight forward journey, really. A508, A14, M1, M18. Bam.

Halfway along the A508, however, I realised I needed to fill up my tank, and I also realised that the sat nav I'd put on, just for the last little bit of finding the house I was aiming for once I was off the M18, had taken me straight past the exit for the A14.

Never mind, I thought, I'll carry on into Harborough, fill up, then find the M1 after that.

The first half of this plan went perfectly - I filled up in Sainsbury's, then headed out of Harborough again.

I soon realised the sat nav was taking me straight through Leicester city, and not towards the M1 at all. Hmm... not ideal.

I went with it for a while, thinking it probably knows the roads better that I do.

That was before I went through a load of back streets, on and off the ring road in Leicester, then round a number of apparently non-existant roundabouts. I decided to bite the bullet and go my own way - I'd seen a sign for the M1, and I thought "screw you, sat nav (I was getting pretty angry), I'm going that way".

Turns out the M1 was shut.

After quite a few "Make a U-turn"s, I finally saw a sign to Doncaster. WOO HOO! I followed it, and followed it, despite my sat nav's angry objections, and then finally FINALLY was on the M18, with the next exit to Doncaster.

Sat nav coolly told me "You have arrived at your destination", which I had, and I switched it off with a massive sigh of relief, and melted into my best friend's house, for a couple of days of tea, chat, slippers and Little Miss Sunshine.

This morning, I sat on a street by their house, thinking, "right, sat nav, let's try this again". I had already got directions to the M18 from my friend, so followed what she had said until there were road signs peppered with (M18 M1).


I really don't know if the M1 actually exists, you know, because I sure as anything couldn't find it.

I followed the A1 and the signs and everything, and it never turned up!!

So by this point, my sat nav was taking me to Stamford and Peterborough, and all the other Easterly places. Now, I like Stamford. It's pretty. But Peterborough?! No thanks.

I actually shouted at this point "God - I don't know where I am! I just want to go home!"

Halfway (well, quite a lot more than halfway) down the A1 (the "Great North Road"), I pulled over, and got my map out. Quite clearly in front of me, was the route A1, A43, which took me straight home. Hm, turns out I was going in exactly the right direction.

I wrote "A1, A43" on my hand and resolutely decided to follow it.

Then Sat Nav told me to go a different way.

A little reckless rebellious person in me said "try it".

So I did.

I went through the narrowest country lanes, round the tightest corners, nearly collided with a lorry and through some of the tiniest villages. But then, suddenly right in front of me was the beautiful sign "A43 Kettering".


So I was on the home straight, and after that I turned the sat nav off.

But it made me think.

If I follow my own directions, apparently I often get it wrong, am easily persuaded off-track and it can be pretty frustrating.

If I rely entirely on the voice of the sat nav, I will probably get there eventually, but will most likely be taken round an entirely unnecessarily difficult and frustratingly complex route.

When I asked God, the route seemed really quite straight forward.

I didn't follow it exactly, (which perhaps I should have) and I know God's way is most definitely not always the easiest way, but it was the way that felt the safest, and certainly the most secure.

I know, I know that isn't always how it feels. Sometimes God's way feels terrifying and uncertain and unpredictable - and often that's when the best things happen.

But it was a lesson to me. I really should listen to God more. He knows what He's doing.

Yes indeed.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Welcome to Indonesia

The gamelan actually went really well - we learnt by ear, played by numbers, acted off the cuff, and then captured the whole thing on video. Well done, year 7.

Also, I love using that line "welcome to..." - it seems to get the kids interested straight away. Only pressure then is to follow it up with something sufficiently attention grabbing.

I'm poring over a score of Haydn right now - trying to get tomorrow's workshop interesting, concise and informative. Getting the sugar paper and flags at the ready...

I'm excited about this year - lots of learning, lots of new people, lots of character development.

"a new thing"

Yes, boi. (welcome to year 8...)

Monday, 14 February 2011


I'd love to have something really profound and interesting to say on here.

I'm sure if I thought hard enough, I would.

As it stands, I'm afraid all my head is currently full of is pending gamelan experimentation (work), 'refrain' flags (work), how beautiful the song 'Poor Man's Son' by Kris Drever is, and how beautiful my happy friend Vic looked on her wedding day on Saturday.

[Which, by the way, was an amazing day. I've honestly never seen such a radiant bride (except maybe Rach last summer). She was the epitome of 'glowing', the whole day; smiling and completely relaxed next to her grinning, uber-proud husband. There was music (of course - it was Vic's wedding after all), dancing (lots of it), food, Irish people, beautiful dresses, curls, flowers, ribbons and love.]

Maybe I could talk about St. Valentine and the day it is today. But I am not very good at that - I spend the day either completely unaware of the 'holiday', a bit sad about the whole thing, or a bit bitter about the whole thing. And then I realise how much nicer it would be if I could just feel happy about the whole thing. You know, happy for those who have been made happy today by someone who loves them.

(I realised something today - I am quite a selfish person.
I tell you what, it's not very nice to realise that about yourself.
Maybe blogging makes it worse. I have an entire aether of ego to fill.)

Maybe it's about time I shared my living space with someone else - make me become more considerate of other people, and less inward-looking...

On another mundane boring note of disinterest - I'm going to go to bed now. Sometimes I get melancholy and tiredness confused, so I'm going to get some sleep, and hope for the best.


"the elusion of hope"...

isn't there a book with that title?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

10th February 1781

Today I bought grapes in three guises: fresh, dried (raisins) and fermented (vino)

Today I ate brie, grapes and Carr's melts for my tea. Lunch for tea.

Today I introduced my year 12s to the 18th Century. We spent the morning there. (and tomorrow, the year 13s and I are off to Ireland. They don't know that yet...)

Today I reported on two classes worth of year 9s. I quite like writing nice things about children that their parents are going to read.

Today my form listened to me. That was nice.

I wish, however, I could hear out of my left ear, and that it hurt less. That would be possibly even nicer... although I don't remember the last time I had earache, so it's quite an interesting sensation.

That is all.

"there may be pain in the night, but joy comes with the morning"
Chris McClarney

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Battery Human

I think I might set myself a challenge...

Not to go on a computer of any sort for an entire day/weekend/week.

I kind of have to at school, I suppose, but I wonder if I can do it as little as possible. And not at all at home...

Except for online MEd stuff... which means I'll get my lessons planned... either before the day/week/weekend begins, or I'll plan them on paper.

Hm, I wonder if it's possible.

"But we were born to be free range.
Free range!"
- Stornoway