Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Today Makes Me Feel Like a Ninja


I love leap years.

The 29th February feels like a secret day. A non-existent day that only humans know about.

Like as if anything that happens today doesn't really count, because it's not real; it's not a real day.

On this not-real day, I have eaten a lot of biscuits (they don't count), eaten some cake (doesn't count) and drunk about a million cups of (doesn't count) tea.

I also had a little nap.

I should have taken more advantage of it.

Art Unprepared

I'm so tired, I could sleep for a week.

But! If I did that, I would miss seeing Laura Marling and Pete Roe in Cam tomorrow night, which would be VERY SAD INDEED.

I would also miss out on seeing my lovely Cambridge-based friend, and my Corby-based southFEST co-conspirator who is coming round on Friday to drink wine in belated self-congratulatory celebration.

We raised over £540 for Great Ormond Street Hospital - did I mention that? How good is that, though?!

So now I'm moving straight on into the next acoustic evening. It will be classy, vintage-esque, ill-timed yet beautiful.

I just hope some more children audition, otherwise it will be me and one sixth former strumming our guitars to an audience of cream roses, over-sized lampshades and recently restored picture frames...

Bring on the auditionees!


Friday, 24 February 2012

The Exhilerations and Exhaustions of southFEST

So this week has been one of the most exhausting I've had in a while. One of the most amazing I've had in a while, too mind, mostly due to the first ever southFEST variety show we organised for Thursday night. It has meant a massive amount of high-level tension, and very little sleep, due to an apparent inability to switch off at all.

Let me break it down for you...

- southFEST meeting at break
- Form assembly (i.e. no lunch time, loud rehearsals and LOTS of questions)
- After school rehearsals
- Home at approx 6pm
- Orchestra 7:30-9:45pm
- Home at approx 10pm
- Lesson planning
- Sleep circa 1:00am

- Two hour year 13 composition workshop
- Break duty
- Sixth Form choir (i.e. no lunch time)
- After school rehearsals
- Going to Tesco, due to a severe lack of ANY FOOD AT ALL
- Home at approx 6:30pm
- Lesson planning
- Sleep circa 1:45am

- Teaching after school
- Supervising and helping initial sound equipment set-up
- Home at approx 5:30
- 5:30: a friend arrives for dinner
- Lovely evening of dinnering and being models for aforementioned friend's Make-up Course portfolio
- Friend leaves circa 9:30pm
- Lesson planning
- Sleep circa 12:30am
(I think it was on this day that I found myself thinking "man, I can't wait for the weekend, so I can have time to do all that work I haven't done." That's not what weekends are for! Weekends are for filter coffees, and lazy breakfasts, and walks in the woods and sleeping til midday! Ah well.)

- southFEST DAY!
- Teaching p.1 and 2
- Break spent setting up cover lessons
- p.3 and 4 rehearsing
- Lunchtime spent clearing up and sorting
- Tutor time = form for 15 mins, then FREEDOM (I was given cover, but hadn't realised so went to do my form, who are a bit full of questions and therefore difficult to get away from. So I ran away.)
- p.5 rehearsing
- After school rehearsals
- Faffing and poster-putting-up-ing
- Home at approx 5pm
- Back at school for 6pm
- southFEST 7-9
- Set down
- Home at approx 10pm
- Lesson planning
- Sleep circa 12:00am

- Lessons as normal (one free, p.3)
- Choir at lunch
- Home at approx 3:45pm
- Evening spent in an exhausted slump / on Skype.
- It's 20:26 and I'm seriously considering going to bed now.

But then I read things like this... and it puts my week into some perspective. (see also this).

(That child is a super star, and one of the nicest students I've ever taught)

So there you go. A manic, but pretty immense week.

And now I'm going to sleep.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Counting Dolphins

So this past week has been the gloriousness that is Half Term.

In the past, I have often had time off school ram-packed with exciting visits and adventures. Then my thesis happened, so I spent (nearly) all my spare hours on that. Since then, I have led a much more sedate holiday-life. From what I can gauge, based on three thesis-less holidays so far (Oct, Christmas and Feb), I now mostly spend them floating between Parentsville and my house, often wiling away hours in Costa with Mother, or arranging short-ish meeting-ups with a select one or two friends, rather than a few days here, and another few there, with a little frantic crossover time in between into which I squeeze a few more café visits.

(It would appear that many of the friends I used to cram into my weeks are now living in far-off lands, which makes meeting up with them a little harder than before. And by 'far-off lands', I mostly mean 'not in Harborough'. Although there are a few in actual far-off lands, like 'Japan' and 'Germany' and 'Doncaster'...)

Sometimes I find this new existence a little directionless. Other times, I find it lazily delectable.

Anyway, what this new-found laziness has allowed me to do this week, is read two and a half novels. Mostly light, frothy, relatively insubstantial novels, but novels nonetheless.

Anyway (anyway), the first I read this week was called "Breakfast at Darcy's" (you see, even the title is frothy). It's about a girl whose only living relative (I think), her aunt, dies, and leaves her a large sum of money and an (almost) uninhabited island. She can only inherit the money if she lives on the island for a year, with the company of at least 14 others. There's one man who's been living on the island since forever, and he's full of all sorts of island folklore and mythology.

One of the stories he tells is about dolphins. They are only sighted in the seas surrounding the island when change is afoot. The more there are, the more change is about to occur. (it's something to do with them being under the reign of the King (or Queen) of the island, and seeking their counsel / approval / somethingorother as things begin to change. I think.)

So then the thought came to me the other day, that I felt like I was counting dolphins.

Change is afoot.

I feel like I've been saying that a lot recently...

Maybe because of the new year, and then the new month, and now the snow is gone and spring is around the corner...

Anyway, I'm excited by the change.

Bring on the dolphins!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Out of Sight

Out of Mind.

Or does absence make the heart grow fonder?

Another of life's little mysteries...

Friday, 3 February 2012

Double-edged Sword

"And then, there's another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims...
We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones..."

So I've been thinking recently about the cruelty of love.

I mean, not to sound pessimistic, or cynical or over-dramatic, or anything, but specifically how painful and unwieldy it can be.

There are all the beautiful tales of boy-meets-girl and all the real-life stories of man-meets-lady, and many of them thoroughly lovely.

But then there are the untold tales. And the tales told to a certain few. The secret stories, told in confidence and allegiance. Of love lost, and love abandoned and love unexpressed.

Then there's the love spurned, which is perhaps the cruelest.

How often does it actually work out? I mean, really?

I think I'll just take a Sherlock stance, and see the world clinically and analytically, from a safe, unloved and unloving distance.

Much easier.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


February already...

If the rest of 2012 is going to be like it has been so far, it is going to be a flipping brilliant year.