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.