Thursday, 21 July 2011

Summer Sickness

If there was ever an especially inconvenient time to be ill, it's right now.

I have fun summer things planned, I have weddings to go to, and somewhat stressfully, I have the next installment of my thesis due in, oh, tomorrow.

I came home from school early today, due to the fact I am deaf in one ear, my throat is thick, my nose running, and I'm getting to that stage of "so stuffed up, I actually feel sick". Not a good look, and NOT a good feeling. Most of all, though, NOT CONVENIENT!

On the plus side, I came home and slept a while. Also, I only missed one lesson, as I went in and taught p.1 to my wonderful year 12s.

Oh, another positive about today was that the year 13s popped in to see us, beladen with colourful bouquets of flowers and thank you cards. Bless them - what an appreciated gesture.

Right, I'm off to continue slaving over a hot laptop. Perhaps after eating some soup or something. I am hungry. ("feed a cold" and all that...)


Monday, 18 July 2011

Operation Elly

My friend asked me recently, "when is Operation Elly going to start?"

What he meant was, "when am I going to take charge of my life, and start doing something big and exciting that I am passionate about"?

My reactions were as follows:
- Wait, what's wrong with the life I have?
- Flip, he's right - I don't have a life. Man, I don't even have a life plan. Geez, what is the plan??
- I love that he thinks I can do big stuff with my life, but I actually love teaching at the moment - is that so bad?
- My life is a bit stale at times, and I do often get the "I need an adventure" feeling...

So basically, I have no idea what to do with my life. I would love an adventure. Like a move to a foreign country, or even to a city - London, or even back to Nottingham. I do miss the sociability of cities.

I also am constantly aware that it is difficult to meet people in a small town, so moving away could be beneficial in that sense too. I'm also aware, however, that my CV is a bit bitty at the moment, and I need to solidify teaching at least for another year or maybe two.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.

Now I need to do some work.


Sunday, 17 July 2011


This weekend last year, I was at Latitude (not-just-a-)music festival (see this post). It was one of the best weekends. I saw a load of amazing live musicians, was introduced to a load of bands I didn't know and now love, saw a handful of comedians and poets, and spent the weekend getting gradually more and more sunburnt and less clean. I loved it.

This year, the line-up didn't look so captivating (but then, it would have been difficult to beat last year's Mumford and Sons, Vampire Weekend, Florence and the Machine, Jonsi, Yeasayer etc. Pretty awesome), so we decided not to go again.

That was ok. That is, until I kept getting notifications from Latitude on Facebook, telling me all about all the exciting things I would be missing, and showing me pictures of all the places I wouldn't be and bands I wouldn't hear. I started to get a bit sad that I wasn't going to be there, and also a bit panicky that I would miss out on a weekend of musical input (seriously, I have drawn on last year's weekend quite significantly. I think one of my year eights thinks I go to gigs all the time... No no, just lots in one weekend...)

Anyway, yesterday morning, as I was sitting in my comfortable new kitchen/dining room, with a cup of hot tea in my hand, and the rain pelting down outside, I realised that, actually, if I had been at Latitude, I would have missed out on:

- "The Show" (combined music/art/fashion/barbecue evening at school)
- Impromtu girls' night in with 3 lovely ladies from work (plus one of them's husband, but essentially girls' night in...)
- Driving my housemate and colleague to Tanzania (not literally) at 1 o'clock in the morning (literally)
- Collecting my bike from the old house, and bringing it to the new house.
- My beautiful friend's hen party in Birmingham
- Seeing my wonderful friend in London before he moves to Japan (how selfish of him)
- Being not wet, not dirty and not completely sunburnt.

Winner winner.

Oh, and I suppose paying lots of money to see bands I wasn't that fussed about seeing. There's another bonus.

So anyway, all in all, it's a good thing I'm not there, particularly for the not-missing-Beth's-hen-do and the seeing-Chris-before-he-goes aspect of the weekend.

The Big Man knows what he's doing.

True dat.

Monday, 11 July 2011



I love it.

(just felt the need to share)

Positive Touch

I read this article the other day.

It's all about the need for positive touch. That is, physical contact, used in a healthy and beneficial way. For example, peer hand/head/neck massages, and reassuring back rubs/arm touches etc. It's been found to help children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, particularly in anger management etc.

For many children at the school the research took place, the only physical contact they received was either restraint from their teachers, or abuse from each other. Since they started focussing on touch in a positive way, the number of physical restraints per day has decreased significantly.

Now, over the past few years, I have developed a certain level of tactile intolerance. I hate it. One time, I practically went into panic when my ballet teacher in Cambridge was moving my arms for me, trying to put them into the right position. I could not deal with it.

Reading this article has made me realise that perhaps I need to embrace positive touch a bit more. So this weekend, I made sure I stroked my old housemate's hair when she needed it, I hugged my other old housemate on leaving (which, to be fair, I would have done anyway), and yesterday gave my mother and sister-niece the massivest squidges I think I have ever given them.

Little by little, I am going to try and introduce more positive touch into my life, to upbuild others in it, and to (perhaps selfishly) make myself feel better too. Already this weekend, I have been feeling less intrinsically cross.

Everyone's a winner.

Except those who are also tactile intolerant, and therefore will hate me imposing my 'positive touch' on them. I will be careful...

Sunday, 3 July 2011


I tried to explain to someone once about how occasionally I feel as if I am both an "Elly" and an "Eleanor" (I was once an "Ellie" too, but I grew out of her).

Now, Elly is who I'd like to be. Elly is fun, with a dry and witty sense of humour. She is well educated, but humble, and well informed about the world and how it works. Elly is tall (can't escape that, whoever I am) but elegant and interesting-looking. She has some beautiful features and a unique but stylish sense of dress. She is sociable, kind and perceptive.

Eleanor, on the other hand, is clumsy and awkward. She is rude and aggressive and occasionally cutting. She makes derisive remarks, and shows few signs of love. She is tall and ugly, with a big nose, piggy eyes and a wobbly belly. Eleanor struggles in most social situations, as she has no positive social skills and is generally selfish, awkward and pessimistic.

Today, I was primarily Eleanor. Rude, ugly, aggressive, joyless.

And after having read only this morning that love in action looks like joy in hope, patience in affliction, hospitality and humility, Eleanor is not very loving.

My generous, humble, joyful new housemate bore the brunt of it, and she absolutely deserved none of it.

Sorry, housie.

Tomorrow is a new day. New day, (re)new(ed) heart, new start.

Yes, please.