Family and animals

I’ve decided I don’t want cats; I’ve been feeding my brother and sister-in-laws’ over the weekend. Sweet as they are, they don’t do it for me. I’ve been hoping for a tortoise for a while, but it might end up on the general ‘what-did-she-want-that-for?’ Christmas wish  list, along with my other long term wish – a unicycle. (At least unicycles don’t hibernate over the season).

Invigilating for mock exams this week I tried calculating how many times a heart beats over a lifetime, and couldn’t. There were too many variables. Cats have a faster heartbeat – maybe as they are smaller? So do unborn babies it seems, which is why my new nephew/niece is currently known as Twinkle (its heart on the scan seemed to twinkle they tell me). I wonder if tortoises slow their heart rates when they hibernate? I suppose they would have to. Or maybe I could get some fish, and just chill out with the relaxed pace of it all.

No – given the choice I think I’d far rather have children than any animals at all. Despite all the fuss, cost and point-of-no-return sacrifices.

Even the difficult kids in my tutor group don’t put me off. I’m going on my trip next Monday for a week with them, and cannot wait.

Sometimes I categorise pupils into animal groups. Those who can and who do work are like bees. Those who can but don’t are hyenas. Those who can’t but try are squirrels (I love ’em!) and the rest are slugs. I can deal with all types except hyenas, who wind most teachers up and will probably go on and live off our taxes or earn more anyway in the long run. Not worth getting upset about.

Spoke to dad today and his daily walks are keeping him so fit mum can’t keep up! He will even be able to call in on us next week, but we have to feed them without saturated fats, which will take a little planning. He is disappointed that so many of the foods he is now encouraged to eat are actually things he enjoys, such as oily fish. I don’t see that that is a problem really, even if he could have eaten more healthily in the past. Hopefully he won’t develop a taste for tortoise – although I’m not even sure that you can eat tortoise all that easily anyway.

More people have been calling in on dad, including our old minister who moved away (that was helpful; he was able to pray with them) and friends from 25 years ago who now live in Canada who I came across at my church this morning (they know my minister as well).

This weekend has gone too fast, and we didn’t get to see mum and dad, but they were happy to speak to me, and seem reasonably upbeat. Still need to plan year 7 lessons for tomorrow and mark a few more mock exam scripts. Might try to do a bit of this while watching Planet Earth, which I had meant to watch about now!


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