in the corridors


The school middle leadership structure is undergoing reorganisation, with some roles disappearing or merging into bigger positions, along with the creation of new roles. The consultation process is being shortened due to some changing circumstances, but it all comes down to the final decision of the Head Honcho.

The tension and emotional climate of the school is growing by the day, as every tries to second guess what will happen. Of course what will happen is what Head Honcho has already decided, as it always does in restructuring processes.

In the meantime, lots of Chinese Whispers, and people trying to fit snippets of information and overhead conversations together. I have witnessed more than one person declaring what they will and won’t do in the last few days. What we will or won’t do boils down to how much you want your job, and whether you want to work here. Really, these types of things are always a take it or leave it situation.

If the employee is well liked by the Hierarchy, they will be looked after, if not, thrown to the wolves. I have no expectations in the process because my role kind of sits to the side, but they did separate elements of the role prior to my employment due to the inadequacies of the previous incumbent, so I have been rather open in that I think the role should be “combined” again, but I don’t really think that will happen.

Lots of people have become used to extra money and have said that they want to keep on that level if they are not successful is the reorganisation. I don’t understand how they expect that is going to happen, but then again, I cynically anticipate that it is where you are on the Like O’Meter as to what you will or won’t receive.

My mantra is that I have done as much as I can, and so I am not going to sacrifice sleep or thoughts on things I can’t control. It is like a theatre sport though, watching the huddled conversations, the whisperings that stop when other people walk near. Strangely, the ones who are most indignant about all that is transpiring are the ones who probably should be ousted.

Interesting days to come…


teacher 1

It seems that no matter how much sleep I get, I just can’t keep up with my life. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, is all too true in my case.

Tuesday afternoon we gutted the library, moved all the furniture out, pushed the stacks into side rooms and so cleared the floor space to set up for a one day display by various industries and post high school education providers. The army and police also had a booth. Then the entire senior school, years 10-12 walked through on Wednesday.

As usual the life size cut out of the Pope was popular, and the guys manning the God Booth played very loud music ALL DAY, which led to a dance off with one group of students until the nasty Teacher Librarian put an end to it by declaring that they were creating a bottle neck and stopping students from exiting. Please Lord, let them exit…

The fair ended just after lunch and then it was time to pack up and rebuild our library. Easy peasy, NOT. Bone breaking work, and all those people who promise faithfully in the planning process to be there to help, are nowhere to be seen.

After school, I held our usual creative writers group, and they welcomed the leftover rolls and cookies from subway that had been part of the presenters’ luncheon to satisfy their after school hungries, but I was so exhausted I couldn’t put two words together and wasn’t particularly creative, but they didn’t seem to mind. We had our usual discussion on name choice for characters. Every time they come up with a name I reply, I had an aunt or an uncle with that name, and that more or less changes their mind on that one! Hey, I had 25 aunts and uncles plus their various spouses so that covers a fair chunk of the name list!

I drove the 40 minutes home to hear that Mr FD had been to the dentist, but was still in pain. This was followed by the information that he had taken one of my black label pain medications and may have gone to the dentist just a little on the high side. He had a preoccupation with lining up everything along the top of the reception desk as he waited, he shared with me. I suspect they are going to remember Mr FD for some time to come, and not just because he managed to bite the dentist’s finger (she apologised which made Mr FD giggle more). Not to self: hide the good medication from MR FD.

By 7pm I was in bed, and slept fairly solidly most of the night, except for when Mr FD tugged his CPAP face mask out from underneath me. He will leave it lying anywhere in the bed. The alarm on my bedside table blasted off at 5am to announce Thursday much too soon and the day was off and racing again.


“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
― John Green, Looking for Alaska

M is for muffin and margarine

muffin spread

If I am allowed only an “average daily serving” of margarine, or butter, whatever your persuasion, and I choose to have that on my muffin… the muffin is a savoury vegetable muffin and usually I use avocado or salsa as the condiment but having run out of both, my choice is a little margarine… so I split the muffin in half; vertically, not horizontally, because vertically is easier and there was no one to be posh for, and spread my “average daily serving” onto the two halves, BUT before I can eat it, must do something else for a few minutes, then return to find that my”average daily serving” has melted, some into the muffin and most it would seem into the paper towelling it had been microwaved upon, and so I am pretty sure I am not getting my “average daily serving” but can’t be sure of how much I am in fact going to eat – am I allowed to add more margarine?

Or do I have to suck it up and eat it as is and hope to remember next time to shove the muffin into my mouth before walking away?

I suppose I could always lick the paper towelling…



“average daily serving” =1 tablespoon (20g) butter, margarine, oil.

The Queen was in the throne room

Call us spontaneous, as with my sister riding in the back seat, we went in search of my mother’s family home. Mr FD and I had tried a few months back to pinpoint the seat of my maternal home, but as I was about 8 the last time I was in that area, and that is the odd decade or two (three or four, then) since, I was not sure of the way and we missed the turn off. My older sister was about 17 the last time she was there and so was able to locate it with more ease. Our great grandparents had settled the farm as new immigrants from Germany/Poland.

We pulled up and the present owner of the former dairy farm was working in the yard and so we asked permission to take a photo, though I would have even if he had said no!


Grandparents  House   The house originally had iron lace all around the veranda which was removed and the veranda closed in during my mother’s childhood – with nine children, the two boys slept on the closed in veranda. Being a Polish/German family the farm was always pristine, with not a thing out of place in my childhood, with a very large Victorian style garden with neat rectangular beds edged in rocks removed from the fields as borders. There was also a large orchard, but all this is now gone and turned over to lawn. Still, the old home looked wonderful, and brought back so many happy memories for my sister and I.

Afterwards we drove to Spicer’s at Hidden Vale, which is about 20 minutes from our house,  for a late lunch. My sister had already lunched at the Home with Mum, so sister and I shared a ploughman’s platter and then scones with jam and cream. We sat on the veranda of the original homestead and took in the views of the valley plains below while a jazz duo played in the background. I am told it is how the other half live. Spicers   spicer at hidden vale While there was much to photograph I had to share this photo with you – the toilet roll holder in the ladies toilet. It is the Australian coat of arms. How apt for the throne room! toilet roll spicers 1   toilet roll spicers 2



To read the history of the HIDDEN VALE area go HERE


elevator woman

I have never been stuck in an elevator. That isn’t a finite statement, as there is still plenty of time for me to experience being trapped in a lift. I have come close a few times when I worked in an old University Library and the original lift groaned and moaned  while thinking about whether it would open and was out of order more than not, but somehow I was never incarcerated.

elevator blue

Mr FD once worked in an old building that had one of those old elevators with the wrought iron doors and it had a penchant for stopping about a foot above or below the floor level. The doors would open but the occupants either had to step up or down. Life was an adventure every day!

Two work colleagues were trapped for a couple of hours in a shopping mall elevator at night. They used the phone to call for help, and thought help was coming, but it turns out the guy on the other end changed shift and their situation was not followed up. In the end they were rescued by phoning one of their Dads who rang the emergency line and help was finally summoned.

Daughter2 was trapped for about 45 minutes. Ever resourceful in most situations, she sat on the floor, and took out her knitting. She knitted and chatted to the guy back at the elevator office, who said she was the calmest person in an elevator he had ever witnessed. Knitting while trapped was a first as well.

My problem is that as soon as I know I can’t go to the bathroom if I need to, I instantly feel as though I urgently need to pee. Like when you just think about going on a diet and then become twice as hungry as ever before! I am sure that once aware of not being able to exit an elevator I would need to, well, you know.

Maybe I should carry a pairs of disposable incontinence panties that oldies use. Would I have to wear them all the time, just in case I have need of an elevator and so was ready for all eventualities; or do I  carry them in my handbag and don them should the need arise? It would mean asking everyone to turn their backs while I change into my pee panties, but it could be embarrassing if it is  mirrored, or worse still a glass elevator. If it was on the outside of the building I could go viral.

elevator glass

Oh, and why do we still call them a pair  of pants? They are singular. They are no longer two pants legs tied or buttoned in the middle and have not been so for many decades, so why a pair of pants? A pair of gloves, yes, they are singular and two. Pants are one.

Anyway, back to the elevator. You haven’t solved my urination problem yet. Do I pee in the corner and hope no ones notices the puddle? Worse still, what if it is… um, a number 2? And no ventilation!

No ventilation and everyone else has bad breath and I need to puke?

These questions need resolving people, this could happen to any of us!

In the meantime, I am taking the stairs.

elevator old

Friday on my mind

bed fd

Friday night, rain falling outside, and I am in my favourite place – my bed. A quiet day for a Friday, except for being summoned to a “special announcement” by the Principal this morning where upon he announced his resignation. He is heading north for a big promotion. I know it is sometimes proven to be “better the devil you know” but honestly, not too many real tears will be shed. Of course, we pretended to be shocked and stunned, well we were to a degree for only a couple of months ago he announced to us all that he was going to stay another five years and he loved us so much. Yeah sure…


Minerva is off on a Ladies Weekend, drunkingly howling at the moon by now I estimate (she works a nine day fortnight and so today is her regular day off). She has been texting me all day with roadside updates as they ate their way across country to their destination. I expect her to woman the circulation desk under the darkness of sunglasses on Monday. No one knows how to truly party, like a long married fifty something woman!


I am so ticked off with our Prime Minister and the budget the just brought down, that while ill I emailed letters of dissent to the PM, the Treasurer and our local member of parliament, who sadly is one of his political persuasion. I know it won’t change a thing, but it made me feel better to voice my opposition. Not that I ever voted for them in the first place. No death threats so I don’t expect to be hauled off any time soon, though we are turning into such a police state anything is becoming possible. The Not So Lucky Country these days.It was a first though, as I have never written a letter of protest to a politician before. Is that one for a bucket list of some sort?


We are running a competition in our Library in which the students are asked to take a selfie (a good Australian word) whilst holding a book. They don’t have to actually read the book, just pose with it. The prize is a tablet worth almost $200. I stupidly thought that this would be one competition sure to have us inundated  with entries. Two weeks in and we have received three. Lots of emails asking for confirmation on details of the prize, or to ask what other prizes are also offered (iTunes vouchers) but no avalanche of selfies. A couple of emails asking if they can just take a photo of a book, or their pet reading a comic. One student asked if he could read a magazine in his photo. It is a worry, people. They are so apathetic. It appears the prize is not good enough (!) or taking a selfie and emailing it is too much effort for them.  Gosh, back in my day, yes my day, we would have lined up to win a block of chocolate! Another ten days to competition drawing so I guess we will hang out for last minute interest.


Sleep tight.

irrigating the deserts


Back at school today to be told by some of my home class students that they had missed me. I burst out laughing it seemed so incredulous, but there you go, truth really is stranger than fiction! Students never cease to amaze me!

Tomorrow I am going to introduce my ICT students to code. I don’t really know how to code, though we were forced to do a semester of computing back in my undergraduate degree which had us using DOS. I am going to use the tool Codeacademy  and the students will learn how to animate their own names.

There has been a big push in recent months to interest students in computing, active computing not just passive consumption of media, and a new ICT curriculum is being introduced. All students will learn basic coding, right from the start of school.

I won’t be involved in actual ICT classes once the new curriculum is introduced as I don’t really have the skills, but as a teacher librarian I currently teach basic year 8 ICT and use of their laptops (we are a 1:1 laptop school) I also teach information literacy and research skills in the term long unit.

Last week I had the students use PowToon to create a presentation on cyber bullying. I told them the site to use and assisted them in downloading it, and after that they were on their own. What fun they had! My usual difficult to engage students even created and for once, were open to sharing their work.

Occasionally there are lessons where everything comes together for you and your students and it is just magical. Then it is when you realise why you are a teacher. The lessons can be few and far between at times, but when they come along… priceless.

I didn’t have to correct one student for the entire double period. Miracle! They all worked solidly, and I almost became dizzy as I raced about the classroom trying to view all the stages of their presentations when they asked for feedback.

Tomorrow’s class is a little harder and requires them to use their literacy skills in reading instructions to complete each line of code, but I think that with the exception of one young girl who is on a modified learning plan and has the assistance of a school aide, most of them should be able to cope. We can but try!

Or drink.


The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
C. S. Lewis