Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Wednesday 1st September 2010

There is something about this time of year which both terrifies and excites me. The tiniest nip in the air, the half an inch less of open window in the bedroom, the odd whiff of burning garden detritus makes me suspect autumn has arrived, quietly letting itself in the back door like a polite guest while everyone was partying in the front room.
At this time of year it is also the beginning of a long uphill struggle in classrooms throughout the country as each shell shocked teacher girds up their loins and gives in to another year of grueling little people management - the difficult ones, the arrogant ones, the lonely ones, the obnoxious ones (and that's just your colleagues). After the first week you swear you have a throat infection. disappointingly, it never turns into anything that merits a few days off of school and it is glaringly obvious it's just your voice being re-trained after a rest to deal with the "sit down"s, the "I said no!"s and the "I am waiting!"s. As all teachers who have been in the game for a while know, the secret to success is a simple yet sledgehammeringly effective mantra; Don't smile till Christmas.
This year I went to bed on bank holiday Monday with a strangely queer and foreign sensation; relief. For the first time in 11 years I am free! (Martin Luther king, eat your heart out). So when we found this little desk ensemble last week, it felt appropriate to put it out on the drive in honour of the time of year and in support of my many wonderful friends who admirably are still in the front line.

Meanwhile, inside, my new little charges are a wee bit smaller and easily managed. This little guy loves his matchbox home and knitted blanket. He is prepared for the long winter ahead and has fast become one of our best sellers.

The princess and the pea sits on her lofty shelf, quietly watching the going on s in the shop.

This curly haired fairy is a little less quiet!

and these chaps keep us busy!

When we are not busy, a little silliness tends to set in.

School boy hat modelling

Amish Girl with a sofa arm cover

Homer Simpson impersonation

and my personal favourite; Steve doing a Geri Halliwell with bunting.

On ocassion we do get serious. This week I finally completed the "Holly Nicholas-Steele school of art" prospectus and have been handing loads out. To help this process along, my chippy smart husband knocked together a 'little' something which he thought might help. Tadaaaaaa! Isn't it brils!

It seems to be working and it will be a small miracle if we get through the week without another chelsea tractor slamming on the breaks to have a look while the poor drivers behind screech to an alarming halt.

As I turn out my cupboard for a few of last year's autumn jumpers and I find myself cuddling up to Steve just a little closer at night, I am reminded that it is a very long winter which lies ahead but I am excited by the sense of adventure and well being I have within. It might not be school but it certainly has its challenges, some we will overcome others we will fail and pick ourselves up and learn from our mistakes, either way I will definitely be smiling before Christmas.

Love to you all.


  1. Hi, you two! Thank you for the weekly installment! I giggled throughout the teaching references and the wonderful Homer impersonation. I adore Princess and the Pea. How do I get one in NZ? I wish I was there to help you two out, and chat and have a hell of a lot of fun. love Beccy

  2. Beccy, we really wish you were here too. Send us your address. We might just have a little princess who needs to immigrate. Hx

  3. I just love reading your blog. Well done to both of you the shop looks just great.
    Wish I could walk in the door and spend all my money on that lovely china !
    I wish you all the best for the future.
    Barbara Howe (Auntie) Sydney Australia

  4. I think you guys should definitely go into modelling as a part-time venture :o)

    Love the idea of putting out the vintage cutesy schooldesk outside in honour and support of teachers who returned to school this week (last week in some areas) ... lovely to hear that you are also getting the attention you deserve, 'tho hopefully there will be no accidents outside as curious passers-by screech to a halt to see what you have in stock!

    See you soon :)