This week a hedgehog was spotted in our car park! One of our teachers, Mrs Saunders, rescued the poor thing knowing that I had never seen one before. It was small and prickly and covered with fleas and ticks–not a pretty site. I have told staff that they are exotic pets in the US and their reaction was “Why?” Apparently they are like the UK version of a possum, which of course back home we would not consider keeping as pets.
I have seen dead foxes and badgers on the side of the road. Apparently I don’t really want to encounter a badger alive as they will stand their ground and can be vicious. Foxes over here are looked upon as we do coyotes. I think coyotes in Portland are pretty cool, since we occasionally see them in our neighborhood. There are no coyotes in England. Nor are their raccoons, or so I am told.
I don’t consider my staff a wild bunch, but they are sure fun to teach with. Only a couple felt like having their photo taken the day I brought my camera to school.
This is Mrs Hill. She is one of our three part time secretaries. She is very nice and keeps calm when danger strikes!
This is Mrs Allen. She is a TA and is sadly leaving Waltham. She helps out in my classroom a lot. Alas, no more. We work well as a team. I hear she is a mean beater in a pheasant hunt.
This is Mrs Triggs. She teaches years 5/6. She is also my mentor teacher. She marks a lot of papers in her spare time much to the chagrin of her husband.
Lastly we have Mrs Nott. She is our other school TA. I don’t work with her much, but I hear that students float on air when she is teaching. Her husband makes homemade charcoal and we have cooked with it.
The other weekend we went down to Rutland for a walk around the water. Rutland is the smallest county in England and is only recently re-instated as independent. The Rutland Water is apparently the largest man-made lake in Western Europe. We did a 3.5 mile hike and had a great time on a really sunny day. Kids were great, sites were great, and the wildlife was in your face.
The sheep were right on the path we were on.
Our kids really like walking with us. They don’t mind the time it takes and we all enjoy the fresh air.
Three horses and about six cows caught us by surprise when we rounded a corner. Annika knows how to talk with horses and immediately was stroking one horse’s head. Zachary, on the other hand, was trying to get it to bite his stick. We put a stop to that nonsense straight away.
The Old Hall in Rutland. Yes, it looked really old. I wished out loud that we were living in this home right on the water.
The kids tried, and failed, to pet any of these sheep.
As with any well intended hike there is beer at the end of the trail. In this case a brewery in Oakham, about 5 miles from the Rutland Water.
Good beers on tap. We are actively seeking out the little breweries when we can. Pubs are ubiquitous, but the brew pubs take more effort to find. They brew in the real ale style, so they are hand-drawn from casks in the basement and served at cellar temperature.