Saturday, 26 October 2013

Northern Ireland

 I've been in Derry this week visiting one of our partner schools in our Comenius project. It was the usual round of going into classrooms, planning activities and of course, cultural experiences. This is me with Connor, one of the Irish teachers, at The Giant's Causeway. It was a very windy day, and cold too. I was surprised at how small the stones were. They are quite tall in places, and shortly after this photo was taken a National Trust guy came and told us we ought to get down to lower ground in case we got blown into the sea; but the width of each individual hexagonal stone is about the size of a human foot, I thought they'd be bigger.
Other activities included a tour of the Bushmills Whiskey factory, a tour of the city walls in Derry, and a tour of the gable-end wall murals in the Bogside. This latter was conducted by a very anti-English ex-IRA convict. I took what he had to say about British Army occupancy with a pinch of salt. I don't want to get political here, but I, at least, can concede that there are two sides to every story.

The picture above is our company on the last day, about to cross Derry's Bridge, and before we went to see the Turner Prize exhibition. I liked that. The statue of the naked man was interesting, but my favourite was the paintings by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Ellie's Birthdays

Like the Queen, this year Ellie had two birthdays. One last weekend on her actual birthday and one this weekend. She decided she didn't want friends round on her actual birthday as she had just got back from a week in Germany with the school and would be too tired. So yesterday we had four noisy giggly teenagers in the house from about 3 o'clock. Fortunately at around 7.30 they all went to the cinema so we were able to watch half of Strictly in peace.

Can you spot the difference in the birthday cakes? No? I'll give you a clue... on one weekend we had no proper candles and I had to resort to using a tea-light candle. My children are so neglected and deprived.