Aardmuis

My favourite animal is the field vole. A tiny, fascinating creature. As a boy I kept a few as pets. You don’t see them often but they are one of our more common mammals. You can see sign of them easily, their tunnels through the grass have neat pile of green droppings and cut grass. The skeletons and skulls are often in owl pellets. Like other rodents their front teeth keep growing, like elephants their distinctive zig zag back teeth do too. They have a lemming like fluctuations in their numbers. They are also pretty cute looking.

Image Fer boei [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I must say I’ve been struggling to keep up with blogvember this week. I’ve been busy, when I saw renovation as a topic I almost gave up. I then remembered the modernest slogan “Make it New” that came from Ezra Pound, with a vague recollection that this originated from a Chinese text. Off to duckduckgo which took me to The Making of “Make It New” – Guernica

If you can one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day. Yea, let there be daily renovation. (Legge’s English)

The whole message web page is fascinating, the way Pound renovates this historical phrase and the way it spread. Well worth reading, so I am glad that blogvember is renovation my bloggign & reading.

As a teacher I like to recycle lessons, particularly what used to be called Topic Work and in now called IDL (Interdisciplinary learning, eg: The Home Front in WW11 or The Journey of Food). In years gone by I would repeat a topic for three years in a row. I always thought that the second year of using and adapting the same material was the best, the third my enthusiasm was probably flagging a little and it was time to move on.
Currently, working in a very small school, I teach a class with 4 year groups. This stops me recycling in this way, I’ve got to plan everything afresh each year. The coverage needed for the Scottish curriculum makes this a bit harder now too. At my age a 4 year cycle before I can try again with something that has gone well seems like a long time.

This is a list post, not really got a lot to say, but I’ve managed to keep to the blogvember schedule.

Daily liquid weekdays:
6:30am mug redbush tea with breakfast
6:45 coffee, stovetop or areobie
10:30 break, instant coffee
12:45 lunch instant coffee
If I get home before 6pm cup of filter coffee
7pm Dinner time, few glasses of water with dinner
10:00pm redbush tea

Supplemented by some white or red wine, the occasional malt, mostly at weekend.
If I go out a pint or two of Guinness.

I’ve not got the greatest sense of smell which might be a drawback in cooking which I love.
A smell that does give me a madeleine moment is that of bracken. I couldn’t describe the smell but it is unmistakable. This is the smell of a lot the Scottish countryside in summer. As well as more recent memories of walking through bracken I am reminded of playing in the woods as a child, chopping through the jungle And building shelters from the stalks and fronds of bracken.

The children In my class, 8 through 11 year olds, are at least 50 years younger than me. My childhood was so very different. Our lives and games were soaked in war. Our parents and grandparents were survivors. Everything seemed simpler, easier to grasp. Our milk came from nearby farms, pasteurised in a local dairy. Our history books shorter with line drawings of cavemen and kings. And so on. Sometimes my pupils seem like a different species or inhabitants of a different planet. Then again, when they are fascinated by a spider or delighted by a bounce time shrinks.