11 February 2010
Cor! It’s bloomin’ freezing this week. Boots, the chunky monkey of the two cats has been waking from his slumbers to snuggle up to me – just to get warmed up, I’m sure.
Amidst this chilling gloom and leaden skies, there has been some brightness… no, not some, I should say considerable. After my first teach for a year and a quarter, I came storming back and was reminded of how much I enjoy the whole thing. The challenge of breaking down barriers, both of attitude and communication, the thrill of seeing people smile when they learn something and know it will be useful to them, and the whole buzz of having to think on my feet and work so hard. Better still, when the scores came in (we get scored on the American GPA system) I got a straight 4, which is the best one can get. Result. So, I get paid to do something that feels like good fun (it is hard work, but the enjoyment is greater) and I get confirmation that my instincts about the student’s enjoyment were correct.
As if that weren’t reward enough, Kim, the silly old softie, treated me to a present. He told me it was for getting through the teach so well, but I have decided it’s my Valentine’s present is it is very RED. My old suitcase was a nightmare to close, with lots of silly clips to align and it often reduced me to a gibbering wreck. Not any more – I’m the proud owner of a very, very bright cherry red samsonite suitcase. Oooh, it’s just gorgeous! I don’t suppose anyone else gets so excited over luggage, but having something that works and is pretty is so delightful. I like red. I have a leather holdall that I brought back from Tunisia and that’s bright red too. Not much chance of missing my things on an airport carousel.
Lots of other things have gone well this week – somehow my life feels like it’s turning around and getting better and better each day. Moving normally again is such a blessing. Never will I take for granted the simple things like being able to walk, to bend over without pain, the possibility of dancing again, and so many other things. Cripes… What happened to the curmudgeonly old me…?!!
04 February 2010
And I never thought I would be…
I’m in London teaching this week; it’s the first time I have taught for a year and a quarter. The hiatus was caused by my hip replacement operations and I have to admit that coming back was a bit nerve-racking. Apart from anything else, I pander to my body clock with the hours that I work at home, often rising later than most but working much later too. Six in the morning is not an hour I’m familiar with these days, but it’s necessary when I’m teaching. After a full and gruelling day yesterday, I limped back to the hotel, feeling footsore but pleased I’d been on my feet all day without pain or mishap. Within minutes of eating, I was overcome with huge yawns and leaden eyes; it made revision hard work.
I woke this morning before the alarm- a first for as long as I can remember. Though my eyes were rather puffy, I felt sprightly and ached so much less than I normally do when I get up – so perhaps a hard day in the classroom was just what I needed. Best of all, I have a really delightful bunch of students, so the “work” doesn’t feel like work at all! Where else would I get a captive audience where I can prattle on about my favourite subject… and get paid for it?
This is such a milestone for me. Not only being able to stand and walk about all day, but that I’m back ‘in harness’ doing something I love. My life is so good and I’m grateful for it.
29 January 2010
It’s Friday, it’s 5 p.m. and I’m warm indoors with my beasties, what more could I want?
Bertie has been keeping me company on the desk all day…
While Boots has been sleeping in Kim’s study, until he was transported into mine, with no effort on his part!
Where he proceeded to have a pre-prandial wash.
I had noticed how glossy their fur had become since they moved in with us, but seeing the reflections and gloss in the pictures reassures me that we must be doing something right. They don’t seem to be making any effort to escape!
Wishing everyone as cheerful and peaceful a weekend as I’m having.
27 January 2010
During the last cold spell we had a number of fieldfares in our tiny garden. They are birds I have not encountered before and we were rather thrilled to have these Scandinavian visitors amongst the usual local birds. As soon as the cold abated and the temperatures rose above freezing during the day, the fieldfares disappeared.
We felt privileged to have seen these lovely birds, even though they duffed up the local blackbirds in the food queue! Today, I noticed a fieldfare sitting on the back wall, beak pointing upwards at 45 degrees, as usual and my first thought was, “Oh, more snow on the way!” I don’t know if it’s true, as I have managed to not see a weather report for days on end, but I’ll bet the birds are as accurate as the Meteorological Office! We shall see – I’m off to the BBC weather site now…
22 January 2010
We had our oil for the heating system delivered today – I had been getting quite concerned as the levels had been dropping lower and lower, while the delivery seemed to take forever. Phew! The new heating system isn’t up to much – we paid a hefty sum and I can’t say that I’ve felt particularly warm since it was turned on; I never thought I would miss my filthy old rayburn.
It’s so wet and gloomy. I rained all night and it’s still wet, soggy and misting as I type – the light is on and still the room feels drab and grey. I far prefer the very crisp cold days that we had during the very cold weather. The Blues Brothers are feeling the weather too, they are both curled up, one on the desk and another on the chair beside me, with their heads tucked into their tails, snoring quietly.
I’m supposed to be driving to Lincolnshire tomorrow to visit my son, but I can’t say that I’m feeling very keen to go; I’d love to see him, but a five hour drive in this weather is about as tempting as root canal dentistry – I may delay the trip to another weekend.
The worst bit is that I’m not feeling very lively and so haven’t managed to get a single job finished today – I must apply myself as I hate going to bed without feeling that I’ve achieved something during the day.