Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Another Thing To Add To The List

Following on from Monday's Things To Do In Spring List, I'm now adding

Look for a job for September
(I haven't been sacked/fired - so please do not panic!)

My teaching contract was just for this school year as I am covering someone's maternity leave.  I always knew that I may not have a job beyond July this year, but it was a risk I was prepared to take to ensure that I had a job to complete my NQT year in and was being given the opportunity to experience working in a lovely, friendly school with high academic standards. It looked like and has been the perfect start to my teaching career.

But yesterday I spoke with the headteacher and another senior colleague, and was told that they cannot guarantee a job for me in September because they are still not sure if any other staff members will be leaving. As the last date for resignation notices is the end of May and they would have to externally advertise any job, they both advised that I am proactive in looking at vacancies for September so that I can secure a new post in a good school.

It does make sense and it is something I know I must do so that I don't come unstuck and am madly looking for any job in June and July, however I have had such a super year so far and have worked with some fantastic colleagues that I hoped this would not be the case. I feel very settled and have a lovely team in Nursery whom I would really miss.

I'm trying to be positive and think of all the possibilities and opportunities: I can rethink location and type of school. I'd really love to stay working in Early Years but even Year 1 now seems more of an option. 

But still, job hunting is something I'd rather not be doing right now. Pedicures are far more fun.

PS: One cheerful thing which I should add is that we've booked our summer holiday: Another week in a VW Campervan, this time in the Outer Hebrides. At least this is one thing in 2014 that I can be certain of! x

Monday, 24 March 2014

52 Lists / Thirteen

Joining in with Ema at Made In Hunters and her 52 Lists project.

This week: List your spring to do list

Declutter the flat, then give it a jolly good spring clean

Sort out my wardrobe ready for warmer, sunnier weather

Start ballroom dancing again

Find some sandals for a family wedding in July

Lose 6lb

Make some hot cross buns

Get a hair cut

See some newborn lambs

Sort out my classroom to make it Ofsted-ready

Make my annual visit to the bluebell wood

Change banks

Help Mr P help to get the garden ready for summer

Create something using my sewing machine

Start having pedicures again

Enjoy all the sights and sounds of the season

Keep cheerful throughout this chilly week! x

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

52 Lists / Twelve

Joining in with Ema at Made In Hunters and her 52 Lists project.

This week: List the things beside your bed

I'm looking at my bedside table that doubles as a dressing table and needs a jolly good clear out!

Photographs: Me, Mum and Dad on holiday in Devon when I was about two; 
Mr P and Me on the London Eye on the day I finished my A Level exams in 2000
Mr P on our wedding day.

A lamp

My Kindle (currently reading Letters To The Midwife)

A few bottles of Angela Flanders perfumes


Glasses Cases

Royal Ballet Nutcracker mug containing my make up brushes and random bits for beautifying

Make up bag containing lots of random make up stuff

Glittery nail varnish that hasn't been worn since Christmas and should have been put in the cupboard ages ago

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic and eye cream and lots of cotton wool pads

Throat sweets and pastilles still needed to stop my night-time cough

A coaster that I've had since I was tiny - it shows a cat in a cottage garden

Two hair brushes and two combs

A papier-mache box painted with a picture of a cat that I've had for years - it holds my hair bobble and clips stash

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Springing Back To Life

Yesterday we could ignore the glorious sunny weather and ventured out to the countryside for the first time this spring. In fact, for the first time this year. Actually it was the first time in 2014 that I'd gone beyond the M25. If it wasn't for the pneumonia, I think I would have been diagnosed with town claustrophobia.

Mr P and I headed out to Greys Court near Henley-on-Thames with my parents. It's a National Trust house and garden that in the last couple of years has overtaken Cliveden as our favourite easy-to-get-to-place-to-go when we a bit of space and country air.

It certainly was the most beautiful of March days. The perfect tonic!

We had a lovely long walk in the gardens and through the woods. Compared to three weeks ago when I'd gone for a walk in a local park and had to sit down every few minutes, I did feel stronger and more able (although was exhausted by the end of the day). However I'm certainly not strong enough to climb the tower, so the photo in the top right was taken by Mr P who ventured to the heights with Dad whilst Mum and I sat on a bench in the garden talking and wishing that it was ours.

The spring flowers were all in sunny bloom and the sky was such a bright blue. It was heavenly to feel some warm sunshine on my face; it didn't really feel cool in the shade either.

The day was made even better by a delicious lunch (bacony macaroni cheese with fresh bread) in their gorgeous new restaurant to begin with followed by tea and cake (Victoria Sandwich) after our walk.

And at the end of the afternoon - like some children we saw on our way round - I was saying I didn't want to go home. It was so nice to escape from the noises and closeness of city life, feel some space around me and hear the birds chorus. 

Despite being a city girl, I think I really am a country one at heart. x

Saturday, 15 March 2014

52 Lists / Eleven

Joining in with Ema at Made In Hunters and her 52 Lists project.

This week: List the things you want to make

Space in our flat - by decluttering and spring cleaning

My friends and family feel very much loved

It down to 9st 9lb by 31st May - the only good thing about being ill was the weight loss

Something/anything using my sewing machine - three years old and not used once

My garden beautiful and cottage-like - and south facing as well

A crochet blanket - if only I could crochet

Myself run 5k - not likely to be achieved in the immediate future given my current lung capacity

It to the end of my NQT year having done a good job

A perfect Mary Berry Victoria Sandwich!

Thank you for all your get well wishes in response to my last post. I was back in school on Wednesday and spent the few days doing paperwork and bobbing in and out of the classroom. It was lovely to be back and see both colleagues and the children. I was given a lovely welcome back and the staff continue to be so supportive and kind in making sure that I don't do too much.

Having said that I was exhausted at the end of each day and by Friday I was in my pyjamas at 6.30pm and into bed at 10pm, sleeping right the way through until 9.15am. A record for me. I'm looking forward to another lie-in tomorrow and not having to rush around. Having had very easy mornings for almost five weeks, it is quite a struggle to be getting up at 6.15am again, but duty calls! x

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

52 Lists / Ten

Joining in with Ema at Made In Hunters and her 52 Lists project.

This week: List the ways you can love yourself more

Do what makes me happy

Don't be so tough on myself to be/do everything all of the time

Do what keeps me healthy

Don't be a perfectionist about everything

Do make time to be with others

Don't worry about every single detail of life, including those I have no control over

Once again I write this post a week late. Sadly I didn't get better from the pneumonia and ended up in hospital last week for a day and a half so I could be given intravenous antibiotics, numerous drips and lots of oxygen as my levels were extremely low. I also kept being called tachycardic which made me chuckle as it's the sort of medical word that they're always throwing around in Casualty. Thankfully I only had to stay one night in hospital and was dispatched home with lots of horse-pill-type antibiotics and instructions to have yet another week at home, getting lots of rest but also 'pottering' to stretch and clear my lungs. 

I am hoping to go back to work tomorrow (after a month's absence) for a short week and gentle return to teaching. School have been amazing, so supportive and lots of instructions just to rest and not worry about what was going on there. I just hope the children remember who I am - and I remember all their names.

When I was thinking about loving myself more, I started to think about the need to look after myself better. I'm generally a healthy eater, take extra vitamins and don't have too many late nights but clearly something was lacking for me to end up so unwell for such a lengthy period of time. 

January was a hard month to get through. I seemed to work non-stop 13 hour days and at the weekends I was either working or flopping out on the sofa. There were few lighter moments and little time spent with loved ones enjoying each other's company. On reflection, from the start of the year until I got ill, the only places I had been were home, my parent's house, school, the supermarket, the butchers, two ballroom dancing lessons - not exactly a lengthy or exciting list.

I suppose I'm always constantly striving to make time for me, certainly it was key to my goals for the year, but this illness has been even more of a wake up call to find a better balance and make sure my mind is not stressfully worrying and my body is not flat-out working all of the time.

Perhaps it really is about time I adopt and try to live by one of my Nana's favourite phrases: 'Que Sera Sera'; remember what my Mum is always telling me "Good is usually good enough" and show that I love myself more by not being so tough on myself and making time for happy things.