Friday, 20 February 2009

Half Term

I don't know where the week has gone. It seems to have raced by so quickly. It's Friday lunchtime and the half term holiday is nearly over. Saturday was our aborted attempt to climb the Brecon Beacons, which failed due to shambolic planning more than anything else. The fact that I was full of cold didn't help. I didn't double check Nick's packing and I wasn't on top of things, so it was a bit of a disaster. Still, the hills will still be there next time we go, I should think! We'll have other chances to climb them.

I didn't get any of the jobs I applied for so far (Oxfam, GoApe, etc) but I still have the boarding school interview to go. It will be good interview practice, even if I don't get it. Meanwhile I have been having panic attacks about going back to work after the half term. It is such a hostile place to work that the thought of going back makes me start to cry, quite often. After a mega sobbing session last night Nick and I decided that I would hand in my notice next week for September, so that I have an end date to look forward to. It also gives me 6 months to find something else, and to save up some pennies in case I don't find something straight away.

We've had a very quiet half term really. One of the days the kids decided to make pizza at Mel's instigation. It always is Mel, when it comes to cooking. They went up to the local shop and bought the flour to make the dough. I said that whatever mess they made, they would have to clear it up. The pizza turned out quite well, for a first attempt. The dough was a little heavy (think: modelling clay) and the topping a little soggy (imagine a tin of chopped tomatoes topped with cheese) but it nearly all got eaten. What's more, the kids tidied up the acreage of flour they'd spilt, without moaning.

One day we went out with some of their friends from school. Elaine has three lively boys, one in Donny and Mel's class, one in Saskia and Eartha's class and one in between in age. We went to Habberley Valley, which is a stretch of common land and small copses, punctuated with large outcrops of sandstone for the kids to climb on. They had races; they climbed; they chased each other; they rolled down the hills. Finally they discovered a bit of a cave, which they climbed in and out of for ages. Then they found a broken badminton racket stuck up a tree out of reach. They spent a good 20 minutes throwing sticks and stones at it to try and get it down, though for what purpose I have no idea. They didn't succeed, despite trying to boost Daniel up the tree to retrieve it from branches so flimsy they would never have held his weight. It was all delightfully anarchic.

Yesterday, we went to an indoor play area. It's one of those soft play barns full of padded climbing frames and plastic balls. It's not a particularly cheap day out once you've payed for lunch for 4 kids and yourself, but it does keep them happy for several hours. I had a good chat with my friend Sarah and caught up on the past few weeks' gossip. We always end up comparing schools. Sarah works in a school I used to work in. It is as bad as mine. We compared horror stories about outrageous things the management has done. Her school tries to prevent staff leaving by giving them bad references and not allowing them time to go to interviews. It is almost unbelievable in this day and age. It's like working in Victorian tied labour.

Anyway, we've not seen much of Tonny and Peter (my aunt and uncle) this week. Somehow, the time has spun past and I've not spent all that much of it at Mum's. We have had a few conversations, and made plans for when we are over in Holland at Easter. I haven't been great company this week to be honest, what with the cold and generally trying to get over six weeks' worth of exhaustion. I know Nick wants to go down there tonight to make sure we spend time together before they go home tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. What a busy week! I can't believe hwo the work conditions are in the schools for you teachers. However, if they are anything like they were when I was in school, or like they are here locally, I can imagine somewhat. Kids are very disrepectful now a days. That is one major thing I stress in my kids being home all the time is respect for their elders. Teachers deserve the highest respect.


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