Sunday, 30 June 2013

Instagram fun times

Clockwise from top left
1, card full of eyes from friends
2, cycling police pandas, raising money for Retrak
3, Ilkley lido, an absolutely beautiful pool but pretty chilly
4, pretty flowers in my parent's garden
5, Hanson lyrics
6, practising some fancy hand writing

These are some of the fun things I've been up to recently, my user name is hopefulhelen all one word
Do you use instagram? let me know your name so I can follow along

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

More from Manchester Day Parade

So even though it was right at the beginning of the month, I'm not finished sharing pictures from the Manchester Day Parade. I just think they're fun and it's always nice to look at fun things



 This bus was full of elderly child evacuees from Guernsey who'd stayed in Manchester during WW2, some hadn't returned since

Saturday, 22 June 2013

On becoming a Miss

 I've loved reading more personal stories recently from NYC taught me and Nothing but Bonfires. I thought maybe I should get a little more thoughtful that I often am.
This is something I wrote about my changing identity as a teacher.

I've always been kind of political.
In secondary school I was known for having strong feelings about human rights and being vegetarian. I took A levels in English Language, Philosophy and Government and Politics so semantics and systems of power were pretty important to me. I then went on to do a degree in Peace and Development studies
My best friend used to send me letters and postcards addressed to Miss H Stoker (because writing letters brings out the traditionalist in her) and I'd get slightly annoyed about the "Miss" part.
Why should me title, part of my name, be decided by my marital status?
I always used Ms
My first full time job happened without any planning on my part. I got a temporary job through my landlord and became a teaching assistant in a local primary school. I hadn't been back into a school since I'd left mine about 12 years earlier.
School children call their teachers Mr (last name) or Mrs (last name) if they're being polite or formal and Miss or Sir if they want attention quickly.
These are pretty much the rules without fail.
An older female who was not married was regularly called Mrs (last name) by children who thought they were being respectful.
I tried going by Ms but it wasn't something that at all familiar to the children I was working with. You can't necessarily hear the difference between the iss of Miss and the uzz of Ms, especially in Bradford where I was living and working.
Primary teachers in particular tend to get called Miss anyway, regardless of age, marital status or gender. I've seen several male teachers respond automatically to Miss
There are not many times in my non-working life when I need to use a title but I've been Miss in my work for nearly fives years now. For two of those years I lived very close to the school where I worked so I was also Miss in the local park, in the supermarket, on the bus and walking the dog.
Being Miss is part of my identity. It's not something I chose for myself or planned but when I'm working it's who I am, it's how I sign my name for children and parents and how I' referred to.
I don't really know how I feel about that.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Finished! Grey, TOAST inspired blanket

Yay! I finally finished this big, grey blanket that I started last November. The blanket was a Christmas present for some friends who'd got married last year. I went down to see them a couple of weeks ago and was able to spread it out in their huge kitchen.
The blanket is probably the size of a double bed with no overhang. I gave an update in April when I'd run out of the yarn I was using, I'm slightly annoyed at having to have used different yarns for my final square, but Hannah, the friend it was a present for said she liked the unexpectedness of one striped square.

I'm really rather pleased with it now it's finished and delivered.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Manchester day parade

I'm really quite late in posting this
Manchester day Parade was on the 2nd of June. I took over 800 pictures during the 3 hours it was on and I've been putting off going through all the pictures and sharing my favourites since then. I've still only gone through about half so I'll probably share some more pictures at some point.
The parade is an amazing day out. It truly celebrates Manchester. All the the groups are local, community led groups who work with a large scale art project to develop floats and banners and costumes. The floats are all people powered and mostly pushed although some are cycled around the city.
Last year, the cafe where my church meets had a giant teapot float, it was really exciting to be part of such a fun day.

 These balloons formed a large dandelion float which were then released (with difficulty)
 I loved this group working with dyslexia

 This is part of a LGBT group, the letters spelt out Kiss Hate Goodbye

Gosh I love Manchester

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Bright white summer flowers


These bright white flowers have been dotting the hedgerows and pathways that I walk and run down recently. They're so stunning against the dark green foliage. I took these pictures walking alongside the canal on an evening that wasn't quite warm enough to be sure it was summer but that felt summery enough to be outside walking in daylight after tea.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Look at this heron!

On Friday evening, I went for a walk with my mum after she'd finished work (I'm on half term). We took a picnic and strolled only a mile or so along a local canal.
This heron was stood by the opposite bank the whole time we were walking.
He wasn't disturbed at all by us standing so close and taking pictures and several cyclists riding past. At one point we saw him reach something in the bank and eat it, but I'm not really sure what it would've been, maybe a frog?

What a handsome fellow