Wednesday, 21 July 2010

When the cat's away...

So, Benn is away on his annual cricket tour. Before he'd been gone 12 hours, the flat was a tip. And I burnt a baked potato. Today has been slightly more successful, although I really should tidy up. The weird thing is, although Benn will be back on Saturday, I won't actually see him til Sunday, as I'm at a wedding on the Saturday and staying over night. It feels very strange when Benn goes away, but I am getting better at it, especially as he has had to go away for courses regularly in the last year. Also, I feel much safer in this flat then I did in the previous one.

Anyway, speaking of weddings, I got the first half of the wedding present done.

The bride has requested something hand-stitched and I know she likes her kitchen, so tea towels it is! I'm doing two with this design, this one (which someone said reminds them of Kylie Minogue in Moulin Rouge) and another in which the fairy has dark hair. That one will be mostly reds, pinks and oranges. The pattern is part of the Fairies and Gnomes set from Sublime Stitching (I have a ton of these transfers, which I just whip out for occassions like this or boredom) I might actually do a few of these for my own kitchen.

I also got my fascinator type thingy, which is a headband with a peacock feather. Now, I am slightly superstitious, so I wouldn't wear it if I was getting married myself, but it matches the dress I've decided to wear.  Also, I finished the knitted leaving presents, which were well received (phew) and I wrote my review. Most of the marking got done too. Woo-hoo!

The last two weeks have been very interesting- my school has a link with a school out in Ghana and a party of teachers and students came over for a visit. I am now sorting out a really exciting project between the two schools, in which I teach African poetry and the teacher in Ghana teaches Victorian literature. We're hoping that our students will also email each other and forge links. Right now, 'Ghana' is a very distant idea for a lot of the kids at school, I'd like the project to be a more positive one, so that some members of the senior team realise what a valuable exercise it is.

School ends in a day and a half and I have to give my form up to a new teacher. Although I am excited to meet my new year 7 form, I will be sad to see my kids go. We all started on the same day in 2007 and I've watched them grow from being tiny, with their blazers and backpacks being too big, to confident young adults. It has been amazing. I hope I don't cry on Friday when we finish! We had a party at lunchtime last week and I spent a small fortune having special badges made for each member of the form.

However, onwards and upwards towards a brilliant summer break!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Things I need to accomplish by Friday next week...

So, it's the final weekend before the summer holidays start and I have a mountain of things to do before Friday (also- just worked my last 'full' Friday for at least a year! Woo!) In order to be able to chill out a bit, I need to do the following:

- finish the leaving present scarf
- finish reading, and review, 'Helen' by Maria Edgworth
- Embroider some tea towels as a wedding present
- mark some essays about 'The Crucible'
- create a scheme of work about African Literature (I'm going to be the English Department link with our partner school in Ghana... v exciting!)
- re-mark and file away media coursework
- clean out the rabbit
- buy a fascinator type thing
- update my tea blog

I am also, at this point, very, very tired and just getting through the day is hard, but I am trying to be enthusiastic- this week, I created TWO new schemes of work. Very pleased with myself, as hopefully it will mean that I will have a more organised year. If I'm honest, the hell of the last year at work has meant I haven't been as good at my job as I am capable of being. I want that to change; there are so many exciting  things I could be doing. Hopefully, going part time will help me get my positivity back.

Once I've finished the scarf, I have to knit something for a swap I'm participating in and I have to start thinking about my mum's 50th birthday present (I'm thinking a shawl- a big one to help her shoulders when her arthritis plays up. Any suggestions welcome. I'd like pretty too, if poss.)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Life is lovely when work doesn't get in the way...

So, remember that list of things I put up a few weeks ago? I failed miserably in the 'don't buy any books part', as I bought a book, The History of Tea at my favourite book shop in the world, Much Ado Books in lovely Alfriston. And I got sent a new book to review too. So that one's gone out the window... And I did get a new lipstick, but I won that courtesy of the Flake/Benefit giveaway.

Other than that, I'm sticking to the no new yarn/clothes thing really quite well.

We break up at the end of next week and I am so looking forward to it. I find that I am more relaxed mentally, but more active physically. For example, I have been making a real effort to exercise on a regular basis, even though I do pretty much loathe it. The loathing is beginning to subside a little bit, so who knows where that will lead? (To not having cankles and bingo-wings, hopefully...)

Also, I had a massive tidy up yesterday. People who know me well know that I am messy. Not intentionally so, I just have so many things on my mind at once that tidying seems to fall to the bottom of my to-do list. Anyway, now the way to my side of the bed is clear and it really is marvellous. However, give it a week or so and it'll be total chaos.

I've also found that, after months of hiatus, my baking mojo has come back with a vengeance. This weekend, I will be baking up cheese scones and possibly some oat-y, peanut-y biscuit-y things.

I've done all the major school related compulsory activities (one day was at work from 7.30am to 9.10pm and didn't get home til 9.45- that was with a lift; had it been by train I dread to think what time I would have got in) and so everything now is slightly more fun. Tomorrow, I teach a media studies lesson to the visiting Ghanaian students and on Friday, my form is having a tea party. It's all good.

I really like this time of the school year; you're glad that the end is nigh, that new classes and stationery are coming your way and best of all, you get a nice break from children. Except I do a week of summer school classes every year. Oh well, glutton for punishment and all that.

And then it's Ireland!