Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve

There is snow on the ground.
The log fire is burning brightly.
I'm wearing a massive cardigan and big old slipper boots.

I think it must be Christmas.

Time for a sing-song and far too much food, I think...

Bring. It. On.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Tings wot i realized 2day

1. I have bought all but one of the Christmas presents I need to. Hurray!
2. It is less than a month til my birthday
3. I am officially going to be mid-twenties
4. I am pretty bad at the violin (but I like trying to play it anyway)
5. The sky is ominously white, and looking pretty laden...

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Getting a Sentimental Feeling...

This time last year, I was coming to the end of my time at my most favouritest school I've worked in. I can't quite believe I've been here as long as I've been there. I still feel quite new here. But at the same time, I feel like I know way more people (staff) here than I've known in any other school I've been in. Which is nice.

Tomorrow is the glorious end of term. I'm so excited about not going to work for 2 weeks. Hurrah! Mostly because I'm tired and would like a rest, please. Today I came home and fell asleep for an hour, curled up on my chair. Armchair. Not tiny fold-up dining table chair. That'd just be uncomfortable.

I'm looking forward to going back to the Rents' house too. Although kind of wishing I could have the sort of Christmas day my brother and sister are probably going to have - one with offspring and other half. Still, going home means I am the offspring, so giving my mother the sort of day I can't have, I suppose.


So, the problem with using glasses full of gold and red shiny chocolates attractively displayed as decorations, is that I keep eating the chocolates, and thus ruining their decorativity. (is that a word? it is now). It also means that I keep having chocolate for dinner instead of real food. Not good when the majority of my Christmas presents require me to not be a pie.

(bad grammar. don't care.)

Tomorrow is a peculiar day - all mixed up and confusing. I have my two least favourite classes in the morning (deep joy), then am spending two hours with my form, and then an assembly for which I'm supposed to be doing the music, but have no idea where or when I should be. Which is only mildly stressing me out... And then the staff panto. Which will be ace, I'm looking forward to it muchly.


Blah blah...

Also, has anyone seen my copy of the Usborne Illustrated Book of Christmas Carols? I think I left it at Bourne... D'oh.

The end.

Monday, 13 December 2010


Panto - Drive - Cambridge - Pizza - Seth - Natter - Sleep - Cambridge Market - Supervision - Gourmet Burger Kitchen - Drive - Woburn Sands - CHRISTMAS #1 - Food - Wine - Oyster Hands - Frank Sinatra - Presents - System of a Down - Sleep - Breakfast - Drive - Market Harborough - Bacon Sandwich - Drive - Kettering - Work - Shower - Sleep.


Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Still awake.
Not sure why.
Time for sleep.
Sleeping time.

Sleeping time...

(Christmas) Time...

I really should have done some more work this evening... In fact, some at all would have been good.

Instead, I have been sorting out all the piles of papers that have been accumulating around my house - on my desk, in my bags, up my stairs, across my floor, etc. Now I have piles of GCSE and A level text books, neat folders and recycling in my living room, which will soon be filed away.

Feelings today are a mixture of post-concert buzz, post-concert blues, Christmassy anticipation and an awareness of quite how much I have to do/get done before the end of term. I'm quite enjoying being ridiculously busy, but am also horribly aware of not having sent presents to Australia that I should have done, and neither have I properly invested as much time and energy into Christmas presents as I would have liked to.

I also really need to actually plan tomorrow's lessons now. Yes, yes I do...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Don't Stop Believin'

Wake up.
Wash up.
Show up.


Meet up.
Go back.
Cook pie.
Eat pie.

Show up.



Friday, 3 December 2010

Three French Hens

On the third day of advent, I :

- have received 3 Christmas cards in total
- ate too much chocolate (thank you, landlords)
- should have gone to bed ages ago
- ran the department on my own for a day
- sewed up lots of holes and worn out bits of clothing
- still have a headache

I also made the mistake of looking up 'sinusitis' on Wikipedia. It warned me that... "in extreme cases the patient may experience mild personality changes, headache, altered consciousness, visual problems, and, finally, seizures, coma, and possibly death."

Great, thanks Wikipedia.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


On the second day of advent, I:

- woke up at 8:12am
- still have a headache
- haven't done all the prep for tonight's MEd discussion
- got the year 12s to re-enact the entirety of Porgy and Bess
- would like to be asleep.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

November Snow

"It's funny how a name can change over time,
From 'friend'
To 'lover',

To 'was once mine'..."

Monday, 29 November 2010


I am really really really really really cold.


dreaming of a...

So, my Christmas tree is up and decorated...

I'm a bit embarrassed by its... prematurity, but at the same time, revelling in its warmth and scented deliciousness.

See, it was either this weekend as a friendly familial affair, or a solo struggle some time in the dim and dismal depths of upcoming December.

So I went with this weekend.

This, combined with the snow and absolute bitterness of the cold, is making me long for holidays, no school, family, open fires, leggings and winter boots.

(hurry up, please)

Le Noel - j'en ai besoin.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

In Brief...

Today I:

- have a headache
- taught for 6 hours
- worked for 8 1/2 hours with only a 15 minute break all day, as lunch was full of rehearsal and assembly
- got excited about music in conversation with the colleagues
- ate 3 clementines
- heard some amazing year 8/9 collaborative composition singing
- line danced with 16 year 10s
- am hoping for a snow day

That is all.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

A Few Good Things

Some good stuff has happened this week.

Um, let me just remember what they were...


1. We have created a 'staff band'. We are called 'Staff/Band'. (or 'Staff:Band'. the specifics are still undecided). Mostly, we sit around saying 'umm, do you know what we could play?' and things like that, but sometimes we play stuff. Like I-vi-IV-V chord patterns, and the 12-bar blues. Then we play two or three chords from actual songs, and when we forget what comes next, we just repeat the bits we do know. We are gonna be BIG.

2. We didn't have Ofsted

3. The year 12s heard me playing a song I had composed (I set myself the same task I had set them), and all came in saying 'play it again! play it again!' and then bowed down to my superiority. Literally. (bless them)

4. The department has been overflowing with music-making children, and I LOVE IT! Especially the little group of year 8s that started off as two slightly surly girls, and has somehow expanded into a massive cohort of composing soul singers. A-mazing.

5. I have been remembering how to play the guitar. Well, sort of...

6. The soup I made has lasted 3 meals, and is delicious, despite being an odd consistency and looking a little bit the colour of baby poo.

I think that will do.

I'm now going to go and eat the third portion of soup. Possibly with some delicious toast. And some port. (not too much, though - I don't wish to become gout-y)

Hurray :-)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Notes from the Periphery

I feel like I should write a novel with this as its title.

I feel like my whole life, stuff has happened around me, unstoppable and unimpacted by anything I myself have done.

I feel like I am watching the world and my life disappear, with me as an onlooker, making the occasional comment, or decision that partially deflects its path one way or another.

I see my friends grow, move and change, and I see my family expand and age, and then here I stand, in a stagnant bubble of solitude, contributing nothing of value, and goallessly bumbling along, blindly bouncing off times and places, making no impact on anyone or anything.

Life on the periphery. Not as edgy as it sounds.

Thursday, 11 November 2010


...I have been on a CD-buying spending spree.

I am currently listening to:
- Laura Marling, "Alas, I cannot swim" (I went backwards with this one, buying "I speak..." first)
- The xx, "xx" (it kept being recommended, so I listened to it, liked it, purchased it)
- Antony & The Johnsons, "Swanlights" (it has Bjork on it too! Double whammy)

- I have also bought (on a slight impulse), Peggy Sue, "Fossils and Other Phantoms", because a track from it ("February Snow", to be precise) came up on, and I liked it. So it's on its way. Woo hoo!

- I am also expecting any day now (which I forgot about, til I checked) Foals, "Antidotes", because I heard a track or two, and also liked it, so also bought it.

Amazon love me.

(also, I have just seen a CD entitled "Man Alive"... I want it, just for the name. Man alive, I do.)

The Bleurgh Surge

Today I feel a bit sad.


(one of my year 7s used the word 'melancholy' the other day. I was impressed)

I'm pretty sure it's because I am very very massively tired, and 7pm this evening marked the end of a pretty high level stress full week (not counting the 5 hours of teaching I've only half prepared for tomorrow), so I'm kind of experiencing that post-stress surge of bleurgh.

It's possibly also because I haven't eaten proper food since Tuesday evening. I mean, I have eaten food, but it's mostly been cornflakes (I've run out of substantial cereal), school sandwiches (which are actually pretty good. Today I thought I was buying a wholemeal baguette filled with turkey with some delicious stuffing type stuff. I was wrong. Thankfully, I like brie, cranberry and leaf. So not bad - although yesterday's was a ciabatta mostly filled with onion, which is not ideal), and Dairy Milk.

So I think I will go and eat something cooked, and a bit meaty. Possibly.

So anyway, farewell Ofsted. Thank you for your disinterest, and bizarre probing questions, I hope you were impressed.


Monday, 8 November 2010

November November

I love November.

It has that magical transition from late Autumn to Winter feel to it - those days where you suddenly realise it's dark and miserable and only 4 o'clock in the afternoon, which sparks those memories of walking home from school in the cold and dark, and getting wet feet and frozen hands, then arriving home to a proper fire and warm lights, and closing the curtains on the rain and the cold, and eating hot toast, made from real cut-it-yourself thick white loaves, spread with delicious buttery goodness...

I also love bonfire night. Definitely one of my favourite nights of the year. All that standing around, wrapped up in far too many layers, watching explosives that emit feeble showers of sparks, and flapping around flaming metal wands, writing your name in sparks and conducting silent bonfire night big bands, and trying to guess the chemical in the firework that created that particular colour, and choking on the massive amounts of smoke being released into the atmosphere, and taking pictures of yellow squiggles that look much more impressive in real life, but you miss them, coz you're too busy trying to take their picture...

Things I don't love about this particular November are:
- Parents' evenings
- Too much to do and not enough time to do it in
- Ofsted
- Awkward logistics

But, having said that, parents' evenings can be quite entertaining - I always enjoy the challenge of finding which good thing to say to the parents about their child, and scrutinising their reaction to try and work out what they think of their child's ability, or about music in general, or about the school etc.

Also, we were given exactly as much time in a day as was necessary, so it's how I use it that matters.

Anyway, speaking of which, I should be doing something more productive than this... like, making toast or something...

The end.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Tiring Business of Having a Social Life

This week has been half term.

I have loved seeing friends I've known for over a decade, friends I've known since 2004, friends I have known for only a couple of years, and friends I made this week.


Now, however, I am realising that I have all the work to do that I haven't done yet, and am far too tired to do any of it, because of all the friends I have been busy seeing.

I think I'll take this week a day at a time, and then use next weekend for SLEEPING.

Yes please.

The end.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Familial Delights

Today I saw my bro, his wife and their delightful daughter.

I would like to take a moment to say how much I love the many members of my family. I have about a million lovely nephews and nieces, close to the same number of brothers and sisters, and a few slightly less conventional connections, just to keep it interesting. And I love them.

That is all.

Also, we passed a few different kids from school today, and it made me realise that I no longer dread seeing a child from work every time I step out of my house.


Makes it much nicer. Thanks, God.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

One Term Down

So in some parts of this country, the school year is split up into 3 terms, which are then divided into half term chunks. In others, such as the part I currently work in, the year is split into 6 terms, which are separated by times away from school of differing lengths.

In the former, the half term chunks are separated by 'half term holidays', which makes sense, as it is a holiday halfway through the term. In the latter, however, we find ourselves tripping over the term 'half term', as technically it is an end of term. But to celebrate an end of term only seven weeks after it began, and with only a meagre week's holiday feels a bit anticlimactic. I therefore repeatedly heard myself referring to it as 'half term', and then cringed a little bit inside, because I knew that technically it is not called that...

Thing is, the kids call it that. Every teacher I know calls it that. Only the school calendar disagrees.

Whatever it's called, I welcome it with open arms, open heart and an open bottle of wine. Hurray!

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Magic of Almonds

I came home feeling cross and irritable today.

This is partly because there was an element of not-quite-right in all of my lessons today. I either didn't communicate as effectively as I'd have liked, or the kids weren't stimulated in the way I'd imagined, or some other slightly dissatisfying occurrence.

Then we had band, and played boring pieces of music, and I didn't even play them well. This made me miss Wind Orchestra (Notts) and the fact I used to be quite good at the flute.

Then I got home, feeling grumpy and dissatisfied.

Then I realised I might be hungry, and I get really short-tempered when I'm hungry. So I put Jeff Buckley on, very loudly, made a cup of tea and ate the only snack-y thing I have in my cupboards at the moment, which happen to be a bag of almonds. Half a bag later, I am feeling much more rational and far less angry with the world.

Also, it's half term next week, and I am SO ready for it, despite it sort of feeling like we've only just started at school after the summer.

Plus, I am planning on visiting Tesco late this evening. I find supermarkets much more enticing when it's dark outside. (also, I nearly have no milk and would like some for my breakfast in the morning. I'm not just going because they're enticing places to go to. They're not that enticing...)

Anyway, that's not very interesting.

I think I'll have another cup of tea.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The Echo of Possibility

Today I met two new people. A girl who lives and works half an hour from where I live, and a guy who lives about 15 mins from where I live.

It just so happens that:

1. They both lived in Nottingham at some point in their lives
2. They both went to Trent Vineyard at some point in their lives
3. They both live in the same area-ish as me now
4. They are both new to the same church I am new to

Methinks there may be some possibility of these two people becoming my friends.

I really really hope so.

I don't know how old either of them are (I have a feeling I am the eldest), or what their general situation in life is, but I am excited about the possibility of having some local-ish friends, who seem to be coming from a similar point as the one I am coming from.

Also, I dyed my hair on Friday. It is now the colour of 'spiced chocolate', apparently. I respected the development time to the max, in fact to the point of not leaving it in quite as long as the box suggested, and the result is that it is darker, but not oppressively so. And it is all one colour again. Hurray!

Before: (a dodgy dirty accidental sort-of-blonde)

After: an all-one-colour warmer brown (ok, it looks a bit more different in reality)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Monday, 11 October 2010

Dangerous Recklessness

Every now and then, the feeling of irrepressible restlessness niggles away at my insides.

It makes me want to do reckless things and stops me caring about their consequences.

So far, its manifestations are still benign. So far, I have painted my nails Ivy Green, cut my own hair and bought clothes I can't afford.

I took off the nail varnish before work today, only cut my fringe and didn't actually spend a massive amount.

The sensible person in me is, at the moment, still winning. The Dangerous Reckless is there bubbling up from the inside.

And I'm not sure how much longer I can hold her off.

Friday, 8 October 2010


1. I like that I had my hair cut short(-ish), but occasionally wish I had the sort of long luscious L'Oréal locks that would make me look glamorous no matter what I'm wearing.

2. I don't mind saving a bit of money, but occasionally wish I could buy lots of lovely clothes that I don't need, but would really like.

3. I like that I can get away with wearing short(-ish) skirts, but occasionally wish I had the svelte Keira Knightley type figure that can pull off the Art Nouveau 20s style, and everything else besides.

4. I like that I can play the piano a bit, but occasionally wish I was really really good at it.

5. I'm glad that I'm happy in my own company, but occasionally wish I had some friends a bit more nearby. I miss going to the pub.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


The cold has conquered.

I'm taking tomorrow off.


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

being ill

It's official. I hate having a cold.

It's the worst kind of ill. It makes me deaf, it steals my voice, it makes my head hurt and my arms ache, it turns my nose into a shredded warpath of tissue-mauled puffiness and worst of all, it sounds pathetic.

"I have a cold" is usually greeted with some form of "yes, it's going round" or "oh, you have it too, do you?", which is basically a sugar-coated way of saying "get over it, you moaner".

Bleurgh, stupid cold.

Also, I learnt the word 'presenteeism' today. It's the opposite of 'absenteeism', and apparently is responsible for a large proportion of non-productivity in the workplace. Apparently more people should take time off and get better, because we are costing our work by being inefficient when we're in when we're ill.


Meanwhile, back in the Real World however...

Sunday, 3 October 2010

October so far...

So, we've only had 3 days of October, and already it feels like it's been October for a million years. The reasons for this are as follows:

I have a cold.

Today I saw lots of family (parentals, sibs, nephs, nieces)

It has been raining a lot.

I have a million tonnes of work to get through.

It is mostly dark and a bit dismal.

Tonight I might make soup for tea. Partly because it would mostly consist of potato, carrot and parsnip, which are rather October-y vegetables, and partly because it will feel like I am cramming as many vitamins in my system as possible, without overdosing on vitamin supplements.

On a lighter note, I am rediscovering Alessi's Ark, which still makes me think of Bjork.

I wonder if I can have another lemsip yet...

The end.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

On Being a Grown-Up

I know I keep going on about being a grown-up. But it's because I can't quite believe I am one.

Today I bought a tax disc. I bought a tax disc. A frigging tax disc for my car!

There are a number of good things about being a grown-up. For example, I get to live in my own (well, borrowed) house. I get to make my own decisions, and choose what to eat or not eat, when to get up or go to bed, what to watch or not watch on TV. And all the big things, like being able to vote and buy wine.

But why does no one tell you how expensive being a grown-up is? I mean, adding up everything (for starters: rent, council tax, home insurance, gas, electricity, water, TV licence, internet, car maintenance, not to mention this ridiculous masters I've just started...) makes me wonder how anyone at all can actually afford to save any money, and live life as a grown-up.

I know a few people saving money in some of the above areas by living at home. That makes a lot of financial sense. I just think I'd feel like a pseudo-grown-up if I did that. I mean, I love my parents, don't get me wrong. I just think I'd rather have a little less money and a little more independence.

So maybe that's it. Maybe I need to stop moaning, coz it is, in fact, entirely my choice. I could save and pay much less rent, no bills and no council tax etc, but I have chosen not to.

Just means I can't buy anything pretty or non-essential for a million years.

(although I did just buy a Vampire Weekend CD from Amazon which arrived today... and I also bought a pink shirt for £2.25 from a charity shop today, in preparation for Pink Friday tomorrow)

I suppose the other option is to find someone rich to marry.

Or in fact, anyone at all...

Friday, 17 September 2010

A Day in the Life

Well, now that I have a set of wheels and a motor, I suppose I won't be making the half hour meander into work every morning anymore...

No longer will I traipse sweatily up the last major hill, nor inappropriately hitch my skirt up to better manage the incline, nor admire the beauty of the perfect rose bush, nor mourn the sudden death of the perfect rose bush, nor scurry through the Dodgy Bit as quickly as my skirt will allow, nor walk awkwardly close to the person in front for a bit too long as they're not going quite quickly enough to fall behind nor slowly enough to overtake. Nor will I pass across the widest road in history that makes me feel like I'm stepping out unarmed into shark infested waters, or feel like my shoulder's going to break under the strain of my bag straps, or turn up to school with my hair in massive windblown disarray and feet everso slightly blistered.

In all, I shall miss that daily walk.

Well, let's look on the bright side. At least now I'll be fat, impoverished, overladen and lacking in vitamin D. But my hair will be straight when I get there.

And most importantly, my feet will be dry when it rains.

Hurray for having a car!

New Toy

Today I bought a car.

Not only do I have an actual job, but I own an actual car too. If I didn't know any better, I'd say I was a grown up.


Sunday, 22 August 2010


This week, I have...

- Loaded my life into a number of vehicles
- Split my life between three houses
- Ended my life at one house
- Begun my life at a different house (almost)
- Spent more money than I would like to dwell on
- Visited my new school
- Met up with an old old friend
- Had stitches pulled from my leg
- Spent the weekend in the Cotswolds with my ex-housemates
- Suffered two nights in a YHA dormitory surrounded by people with chronic snoring disorders, phlegmy coughs and propensity for yelling aggressively in their sleep
- and come home again completely exhausted.

I am moving into my new house very soon. HOW EXCITING!!

Now I am going to forget I am a grown-up and go and eat the dinner my mother prepared for me. Hurrah!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

the morning after

Yesterday, my best friend woke up a Miss and fell asleep a Mrs.

She floated down the aisle, spoke her vows with assured confidence, serenely signed her certification and then boogied like a wild cat, sporting a smile to rival the Cheshire's grin.

What a happy lady!

Today, I woke up sore-footed (I stubbed my toe), achey-legged (too much funky dancing) and with a strange sense of second-hand excitement. I'm excited for their new life together, excited for their happiness, excited for their future, and (perhaps a bit selfishly) trying to work out how I might fit into it...

Then I saw my beautiful German friend for the entire day, celebrating her quarter-century birthday a week prematurely. I love her, but I hate that she inconveniently lives in an entirely different country. Glad that it is not a different hemisphere, continent or side-of-the-world, but still, it's a bit difficult to pop over for a cup of tea and a large slice of cake.

I also watched my beautiful grown-up little sort-of-sister dance an incredible solo with grace and presence far beyond her years, which sent shivers down my back and tears down my face. Who let her grow up?!

And now I'm trying to compose myself, as the next stage of my life kicks off tomorrow. The cars are primed and ready to go - their seams aching to burst and suspension longing to groan under the weight and volume of My Belongings. (moving house begins...)

I am excited about this next stage.

Bring. It. On.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

My Best Friend's Wedding

My Best Buddy is getting married in the morning! Well, afternoon...

We have stuck sticky shiny things on bits of pretty stuff and pampered and preened and plucked in preparation.

And now it's nearly today! It will be in approx. 1 hour and 50 mins. EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Very excited.

(I am also very tired, so am going to sleep until it's tomorrow. Hallelujah!)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Sunshine Yellow

You know that feeling when you feel like you haven't stopped for breath over a length of time that is far too long not to have stopped for breath in?

I feel like that.

Immediately after the End of Term, this sleepy little life of mine kicked off like a small child on E110. I have been camping in Somerset (at New Wine - involving lots of God, new song singing, coffee drinking, life refreshing, tent building, soul renewing, wine drinking, book reading, cheese eating and all the good stuff); Hen Partying in Stamford (involving lots of map reading, clue writing, person hunting, water dodging, tea drinking and general merriment); watching Chicago in London (involving coffee drinking, cake eating, map reading, lost getting, phone calling, restaurant finding, dinner eating and show viewing); Hospital visiting (involving coffee drinking, book reading, cafe waiting, chunk-of-leg-extracting, thread breaking, stitch pulling and other uncomfortable situations); seeing ex-housemates in Cardiff (involving tea drinking, pizza eating, dress wearing, make-up applying, sambuca drinking, gay club visiting (accidentally), croissant eating, coffee drinking, train travelling and lots more food and drink besides).

And then today I passed my driving test! Wahoo! (They say those that pass fourth time make the best drivers...)

The next 3 days involve lots of marriage. Well, marriage prep. Well, wedding prep... Not mine. My best buddy's... This afternoon, I helped pick out pretty sparkly sequins and pretty paper hearts and pretty lovely photos for their guest book, and tomorrow I shall not only have my hair cut, but also do some Very Important Socialising with the immediate wedding party (Bride, Groom, Other Bridesmaid) and go to the pub with the locals (aka some of our other friends).
I can't wait.

Crazy life continues with a horizon of house moving and school visiting and MEd preparing etc etc etc...

Still, better to be busy than bored, right?

I can sleep when I'm dead.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Latitudinous Joy

Man alive! All of a sudden, my sleepy life suddenly became not-so-sleepy.

Last week was full of house-hunting, house-finding, school-visiting, cheque-writing, train-journeying, staff-socialising, then LATITUDE! Wahoo!

We spent the weekend in a miniature tipi, clearly designed for a child shaped like a polo. Magically, we squeezed three twenty-something-year-olds around the central pole, contorting ourselves and our luggage around each other, putting any personal space inhibitions firmly outside the tent for two nights. Though our faces and feet layered upon each other, and if we so much as thought about moving, we would be rewarded with a shower of condensation from the non-fly-sheeted tent sides, and though our feet froze and our sides ached, we had fun.

In fact, we returned on the Friday night in fits of hysterics, which undoubtedly profoundly irritated a number of neighbouring tent-ers. (They paid us back, though. Not only by kicking a football against a fence at some unearthly o'clock, but also by cooking bacon right outside our nostrils, just as we were emerging damp-footed, sweat-drenched and famished in the early hours of Saturday...)

Leaky tents and bruised ribs aside, we had an exceptionally excellent time. We mostly perused the music venues, but also took a sneaky peek into the literature, poetry, comedy and theatre tents. I loved stumbling across the Love Triangles and the Day Like No Other postcards hidden in the forest.

All in all, I loved it.

And then this week has passed in something of a post-festival haze, what with non-uniform day on Monday (well done, SMT. Big mistake.) and two full days of off-timetable jollity. I have spent yesterday and today watching the kids play tennis, netball, volleyball and go swimming. I have also played approximately 300 minutes of badminton. I'd forgotten I enjoy badminton.

I've had to curb my competitivity (competitiveness?), though. Small children honestly don't deserve a shuttlecock to the stomach. Or a racket to the chin. Or... (I'd better stop, I'm giving myself ideas) But they played a good game, and I lost all vindictiveness and found myself thoroughly enjoying playing. Bravo, badders!

I now feel inspired and have of course decided to whip out the badminton net and rackets at home in m & d's garden as soon as I arrive on Friday. If we even have it anymore... Wait, did we ever have one?? Maybe it's a holiday I'm remembering. Or a childhood wish.

Anyway, I'm off tomorrow for various reasons. Which means... finito!! My time at the Toxic School is no more. Hurrah :-)

Excuse me while I do a little celebratory dance.

The end.

Monday, 12 July 2010


I've made a decision.

I am going to be joyful.

Yes, the kids at my current school can be obnoxious nightmares, but there are some lovely ones tucked away in there too that I mustn't overlook. In addition to that, one 12-year-old child told me I had "just got them on my side", and another insecure 15-year-old asked me to "do her a favour and not leave". In addition to THAT, I am going to a new school, where new relationships can be formed, new minds can be moulded and more fairy dust sprinkled.

Yes, I bear a massive grudge against my naked left hand, but I am going to be a bridesmaid for one of my best friends this summer, and she is so immensely happy and excited that I can't help but get caught up in it. In addition to that, there is actually hope for the future, and I am starting a new life pretty soon, in which there may well be ample opportunity for meeting people. In addition to THAT, I have learnt to live self-sufficiently (which actually is not wholly a good thing, but there must be something positive in it, so I'll count it as a good thing...)

Yes, I may have failed my driving test more times than I would like to admit, but through it I have learnt humility and perseverance and all the hard things. In addition to that, I might have a house for September (whoop!) which is within walkable distance from school if necessary, so has taken the pressure off passing the next time. In addition to THAT, it is in the area I have been learning to drive already, so to carry on learning there would not be too difficult. (It also has space for parking, if ever I do pass... see, I am learning optimism)

So you see, I am taking the Pollyanna outlook on life from now on, and choosing to find things to be glad about.

Right now, I am glad that it is the end of the day, because I get to go to sleep. Hurray!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

tales of the salad disaster

So I am going to a housegroup social tonight...

It will be mostly spent mingling with people twice, maybe three times my age, whose children are either young enough to be my students, or old enough to be my parents. We will sit about chatting and eating and sharing tales of our past week or day, perhaps play a game or two, and generally enjoy each other's company.

We have each been asked to bring something to share. My initial plan was to create some delicious biscuity goodies - then I realised I had no means of making said goodies, as my goodie-making-cupboard is a little understocked.

So then my second plan was to buy a large dollop of indulgence and take that to share, in the secret knowledge that I don't really like boughten puddingy indulgences, so I could painlessly come across as selfless, kind-hearted and as if I occasionally watch what I eat (I am known for having no qualms when it comes to delicious indulgences. Particularly biscuits. Particularly bourbons... mm...).

BUT! Alas, I could not (slash did not) make it to any sort of supermarket in time.

So, I decided to look in my fridge and see what there was...

What I have fashioned is a bacon, black olive and roasted red and yellow pepper spinach salad. I am going to drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with dried herbs, just because having a few specks on salad for some reason makes it look more delicious.

Or this is what I hoped to do.

Instead, I have 6 slices of cold bacon, a bag of soggy spinach leaves and a tray of shrivelled charcoal maggots that were once a vibrant red and yellow and have become a sad shadow of their former selves.

I'm off to salvage what I can...

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Distant Dreamings

In an ideal world, end-of-term lessons would be taken up with special treats of extended samba, African drumming, and/or whole class jamming.

In an ideal world, this blog would be riddled with witticisms, interesting pictures and tales of my fascinating life.

In an ideal world, all the shoes I have put in the washing machine will come out unblemished, not falling apart and as fresh as a daisy. (and will still fit my feet...)

In an ideal world, I would have been in bed before now. (idiot.)

In an ideal world, the end of term would be just around the corner.

Oh wait!

It is!

How exciting :-)

and now I am going to wildly revel in my excitement by going straight to bed.

Right about...



Monday, 5 July 2010

Conflicting Emotions

I am feeling a bit puzzled.

Recently, I have been going through a period of disillusionment about the whole concept of 'love'. It just seems too farfetched (is that all one word?), and a bit improbable. I'm struggling to imagine how can anyone be sufficiently attracted enough to another person to call it 'love'. Tolerate, yes. Like, of course. Find attractive, I'd be lying if I tried to deny that. But love?

The idea of it makes me recoil.

I understand, actually, how you can act lovingly. And I understand that 'God is love', so to deny the existence of 'love' would be to deny the existence of God, which I'm not about to do. So I suppose it's the idea of 'being in love' that I don't get. Being wholly vulnerable to one person, and being responsible for their vulnerability.

Then I see pictures of friends in wedding dresses, and engagement rings and tuxedos. And I feel all at once, a confusing cocktail of resentment, envy, joy, delight, scorn...

and then I don't know what to think.

So I try not to think anything at all.

The end.


Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Stamford Dilemma

Stamford is lovely.

I mean it, really beautiful. Strolling home along the river on a sunny Sunday evening has been frequently one of my weekend highlights. At this very minute, there is a music festival taking place on the Meadows, which I can hear from my little house on the other side of town. All in all, plenty of positives including:

- a generous supply of coffee shops
- a great many charity shops
- quite a few not-too-expensive-but-a-bit-pricier-than-standard boutiques
- interesting jewellery shops
- Collyweston stone
- beautiful bridges over the river
- Burghley house/park
- the Tobie Norris

The only thing it's lacking is anyone else my age to enjoy all the above with. Now, there surely must be other early-mid twenty-somethings around somewhere. Surely?!

I think they must all be very good at hiding.

I realised today that not only does my job run out in 3 weeks, but also my life here. No longer will I sing in the band with the boys; no longer shall I stagger home from Morrison's beladen with too much stuff I probably shouldn't have bought; no longer shall this little house be mine.

I feel like Stamford has been on loan to me for a year. I have dipped in, dabbled about and now I'm drying off and moving on.

To Kettering.

(How did that happen? Though I hear they've just got a new Costa. Someone must have told them I was coming...)

Friday, 2 July 2010

Le Weekend

Is it wrong to be drinking rosé at 4:28pm?

Today I am massively exhausted. But it's a good sort of exhausted - the sort that comes with prancing round a classroom with a whistle and a cow bell and 30 samba-playing thirteen-year-olds. It's a far better sort of exhausted than the weary sort.

Yesterday, we were discussing 'joy'. More solid than 'happiness', less fleeting than a good mood - this elusive fruit created some interesting food for thought. What brings joy? What's the point of joy? Can you experience it on your own?

I'm sorry to say, I was a bit of a grouch. But at least I wasn't at the 'love' discussion last week. My "I don't believe in love" philosophy may not have gone down too well...

Anyway, my shoes are off, my legs are out and my vino calling out to be drunk.

Hello weekend :-)

Thursday, 1 July 2010

New month, new start...

The number of times I have used that phrase this year (probably about 7...) is a bit ridiculous. Every month, there seems to have been a need for life re-assessing, slate wiping and attitude adjustment. This month, I am pleased to say, feels like it could be a joyous one...

June was not.

Let's leave it at that.

July sings of all sorts of joys:
- the end of term
- Latitude festival
- New Wine
- The End of Term
- Rach's hen do
- new house (hopefully)

and many other things besides (not to mention the end of term), so I am EXCITED by the prospect of this month's new start. Bring. It. On.

Also, might I add, today year 9 actually did some work. I couldn't believe it! They were even a little bit pleasant! (don't tell them I said this, or they'll stop) Well done, year 9. Tomorrow, I am branching out of the standard music lesson formula and we're going samba crazy. The year 8s won't know what's hit them! (I promise I mean that figuratively)

Anyway, hello July. Hello

The end.