Monday, 30 June 2014

Beer, the World Cup and Bowling

I don't normally watch football. Actually, I don't normally drink beer either, but somehow the two seem to go together and I have found myself winding down after a long day teaching cycling or maths or science with a bottle of Italian lager and some international footy. It has to be international, as England got sent home a long time ago. Good thing I have Holland to fall back on. And Columbia, I mustn't forget them. I pulled them out in the Bowling Club sweep-stake, and they are still in the game.

I spent today down at the Bowling Club, trying to get some in-house matches played. I played Mavis in the Rosebowl. It was a tit for tat game that went to 20-20. mavis won on the last bowl in a nail-biting finish. Then I played Doug in Matchplay. Again, we both won one leg each and it went to a tie-break. This time it was me that won on virtually the last wood of the day. What a set of games!

Yesterday the club played Ledbury, who are a very good team. Eartha played her first match. Sadly we got totally slaughtered, but I think she enjoyed being part of the team. Everyone made a fuss of her, anyway.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Annual Accounts

I think it is time I picked up the baton again on this blog. I used to enjoy writing it a lot, and then life sort of got in the way and I started working 24/7 and everything not essential went out of the window. Maybe I should start with a quick summary of the major events of the past 14 months. 

I finished working at a School in Bridgnorth and went back to teaching Bikeability. We holidayed in Portugal, which was beautiful and very hot. You can read about it on my travel blog, which I have kept up to date. 

Back in the UK, Bikeability kept us going until half term and we spent the autumn break in Belfast with some fabulous people from the Couchsurfing world. Nick went off to Canada and missed the fun.

During the very choppy crossing of the Irish Sea, I applied for a Daphne Jackson fellowship, aimed at getting students back into science. The rounds of interviews went on and on, and I made several trips up to Loughborough. I got through so many rounds that I really thought I might have a chance. Inevitably I didn't get through (they are very competitive).

I suddenly became very popular as a private tutor and as my case load increased, I decided I would make a go of it as a business. Flying Tutor was launched at the end of January and to date I am making a healthy living from it. It is only now, as the exams are over, that my feet are hitting the ground again.

In the middle of all this, I trained as a Community First Responder too, going out with the ambulance service helping to keep people alive, or at least reassuring them that they won't die.

The kids have grown and grown. Mel's feet have expanded from a size 5.5 to a size 10. Donny and Mel are both taller than me. They have chosen their GCSE options and are doing their bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.

Saskia and Eartha have just spent a week in France with the school, which was their first trip away without the dreaded parents.I think they had a lovely time.

Nick has had a trickier time. His natural tremor and gait both deteriorated significantly from about October and he was referred for diagnosis. A brain scan and some functionality tests later and he has a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease, or at least Parkinsonism. It sucks. Practically, it means he is very tired all the time, as he is battling the shakes. He has trouble with fine movement, like doing up buttons, writing or using cutlery. The good news is that he is starting medication this week, and most anecdotal stories suggest that it works really well to start off with. We will have to see. Watch this space.