March is always such on optimistic month, heralding, as it does, the arrival of spring. As the nation heads less optimistically towards a general election, we brace ourselves for the onslaught of campaign speeches and backstabbing sessions. What did grab our attention this month, however, was the solar eclipse, sadly not visible to us all because of cloud cover just at the wrong moment! Still, on the whole, the month has seen the arrival of some brighter, warmer weather, which has proved welcome to us all.
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This improvement in the weather saw us going on our first proper outing of the year. Our destination – Quex Park Powell-Cotton Museum in Kent. The museum houses a series of natural history dioramas – stuffed animals ranging from mice to giraffes – disturbing and striking in equal measure. There is also a great hands-on room where visitors can play musical instruments, try on costumes and delve in drawers of secrets. The gardens make a lovely setting for a picnic and postprandial stroll and although not open until 31st March, there is an historic house to peruse. Admission for museum and gardens combined is £6 for adults, £4 for children (£8 and £6 respectively to include house) and ticket sales operatives do try and press you to agree to Gift Aid donations. We declined, to their horror, as we feel this should be reserved for more deserving charities – also theoretically, the charge should be different to include Gift Aid, as detailed in Gift Aid Explained so technically they’re breaking the rules!
The warmer weather (together with a glimpse of myself in a changing room mirror recently) has set me on a mission to dispense with a few of my ‘flabby bits’ in preparation for wearing all those lovely spring and summer clothes. This has involved cutting down on quite a number of foods, strangely mostly those beginning with the letter ‘C’ – crisps, chocolate, cheese, cake – and eating somewhat healthier substitutes. My current favourite lunch comprises sliced avocado and tomato, olives, cottage cheese and crispbread – it’s surprisingly satisfying and tasty!
March has seen me continue with the campaign that I started back in February, to push for an independent review of Ofsted in light of some very inconsistent and often unfair reports. Many schools commended and praised by parents and students have been deemed as ‘failing’, whilst those on the receiving end of parental complaints appear to have been judged as ‘good’. Just what agenda is Ofsted working from? To add your support to my campaign, please tweet using #OfstedNoConfidence and if you’ve not yet read my previous Ofsted posts do so here and here
Thank you for your continued support!