And you thought a $5 shake was expensive

Try this curry…

Thinking I probably didn’t want to spend the next morning explaining to my bank why I was daft enough to click “checkout” I removed the vindaloo and made do with the others. They were nice though, I’ll be using this place again – it was restaurant quality, rather than half-burnt brown slop in a metal tin that takeaways like to serve up.

Finally back home, also full of curry

Today’s been a bit of a weird one. Since my car was in the garage being repaired, I was fortunate enough to have a lift to work with someone I work with. During my first lesson nobody turned up because they were in an exam, which was nice. By half twelve the garage had rung to tell me my car was ready, so as soon as my bus duty at 3pm had finished I was off to catch a bus into town to collect it.

And there I learnt a handy, but annoying fact; there are several local bus companies, they all issue some form of ‘Day Saver’ or ‘All Day’ ticket. And since I needed to catch two buses to get home (the garage is a half mile or so walk from my house) I bought an ‘All Day’ ticket. Did the second bus driver even understand what this ticket was? Did they buggery. Did I have to spend more money? Yep.

Personally I don’t think the second bus driver understood English, my stop has a very ambiguous name – it simply being the name of the road – and I have yet to find a bus driver that understands what the hell I’m on about. I end up pointing at his destination card and finding something recognisable. It’s a right farce.

Walked to the garage, which was fairly pleasant. It’s a long enough walk to count as mild exercise, but not so long you want to give up half way. I collected my car and drove back to work, arriving in time to do a bit of marking and then go for parents’ evening.

And parents’ evening should finish at 8pm, so why was I still there at half past? I think I had nearly all my students from one group come to talk to me, and even weirder I actually had meaningful stuff to say to their parents. Rather than some vague made up stuff I could say “They have done x, y, and now need to do z. After z we do u and v, followed by p and q”. It was all very specific and structured. Quite odd, I normally prattle drivel for a bit before abruptly stopping and getting bored.

After work we went out for a curry, which was very nice and is now digesting inside me. I think I might burst.

Tomorrow I’m leaving the instant the kids have gone, and not a second later.

Car seems better, it makes what I hope are normal clunking noises and I hope the mild paranoia I have about holes in the road goes away soon. Your car contains big metal springs, they can go at any time without warning. They can go when you’re driving, or when the car is safely locked in your garage. They can also go without giving any outward signs until something Serious breaks off.

Day of cookery

Did quite a bit of cooking today. First I made a rather nice curry, and to go with it some hand-made chapatis and some paneer. While all that was cooking away I set some bread dough off in my bread maker.

The paneer was very easy to make and quite surprising. All you do is curdle hot milk in a pan using lemon juice. As soon as the lemon juice is added, that most horrendous cookery mistake happens – the milk curdles and separates into white lumps and yellow liquid – the curds (lumpy bits) and the whey (runny stuff). All that remains is to filter the lumps out and press it into a solid mass. It has a very smooth and clean flavour, not unlike mozzarella cheese.

For a bit of variety the bread I made was made from malted wholewheat flour, with a handful of sundried tomatoes added. I would have included some pictures, but I was too busy eating it all 😉 Making bread in a bread machine is a bit of an art, trusting the mix to the machine and hoping you end up with a loaf, and not a solid mass of hardened flour, or a sloppy mess. I like to watch the dough mixing to begin with, just to make sure everything is correct. Sometimes it sounds a bit too sticky, needing extra flour, other times it sounds too dry. Other times bits of half mixed flour will stick to the sides and not get incorporated correctly, needing a bit of help with a knife. Pay attention to your bread machine at the beginning, it prevents bad bread.

Curry Night

It was work’s curry night again tonight. This month’s wasn’t the best place we’ve been to, the food being alright but nothing special – mine seeming to mostly contain onions and a few bits of meat.

Finding the place was hard, with the building being located off the main road, with a giant row of trees between it and the road, up a hill on an unlit road. The way to it involved driving through a housing estate and round the back of a supermarket. I bet they keep their menus in a locked filing cabinet in a basement with a sign saying “beware of the tiger” on it too.

Chamonix in the rain

Had a bit of a lazy day today due to the rain. After waking up at the more civil time of 9am we caught the bus into Chamonix, and then another bus to a village up the valley. The idea was to then walk back, but after watching the rain start beating down we gave up on that plan and instead entered tourist mode and began wandering the streets, before catching a bus back.

This evening we went back into town, making good use of our free bus passes, and did some continental sitting-in-coffee-shops-watching-people, it’s quite amusing. Before coming back to the hostel we went for a curry, which was nice but supposedly expensive; I don’t know what the exchange rate is, so it’s all just numbers with no real meaning 😉

Celebrations and Curry

It was our NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher – or “Fresh Meat”, if you will) celebration this afternoon. Yes, one of those silly social affairs where all the NQTs, their mentors and some token people from higher up in the school make light conversation, nibble random food and – because it was only 3pm – look at the wine and think “why?”.

I got a certificate and a plate full of food, then after sticking around for some photos, escaped and went home 🙂

Then, at half seven, after a catastrophic failure in journey timing, met up with our Curry Club – a once monthly meeting of a select group of staff (getting into the Masons would be simpler) who’s objective is to consume curry. I have some left over, I will eat it tomorrow 🙂

The Week Ahead

This week is full of interesting things for me to do. On Tuesday it’s work’s Curry Club meeting, Thursday is the Year 10 trip to Alton Towers and then on Friday we break up for half term. After half term there’s only seven weeks of teaching and then we break up for summer.

Oh, and we’re on the computers for PSHE on Tuesday too, so no need to contain my form within our horrible form room for 50 minutes. My form room is a nasty room at the top of part of the school which was built in the 50’s. In the winter it freezes, in the summer it turns into an oven. It’s also devoid of computers which is kind of irritating.

Curry Club

Tonight was the monthy meeting of work’s curry club. The venue tonight was in the tiny village of Lepton, hiding in the shadow of the Emley Moor TV tower (a grade 2 listed building I’ll have you know). It was nice, the food being fresh, full of flavour and just enough to stuff you, but not so much that you felt ill afterwards.

I am now full of curry and off to bed.

Oh, and it turns out I’m off on a multi-day A-level PE hill walking assessment because I hold the required bits of paper. This is a good thing 🙂