Thursday, 23 July 2015

I'm sure I left my sanity around here somewhere...

School finished on Tuesday, and the 'Let's-celebrate-the-end-of-a-really-crappy-year' vibe was strong. Tuesday evening, staff gathered at Ms Titian's house, because she's used to entertaining and knows how to do so in style. Food was eaten, wine glasses were broken and occasional insults were not particularly well-hidden. Never mind. We have six weeks to forget that we've really got on each other's nerves lately. 

Last night, we had a smaller meeting, when The Sozzlers went to the village pub. Usually consisting of Ms Fab, Mrs GSOH and me (I? Whatever. I have six weeks away from school. I don't care.), we had an honorary Sozzler in the shape of Mr Chaos. A welcome addition, and hopefully a permanent one, if he hasn't changed his phone number and moved out of the village since last night. 

For the first year in many, there were no tears from our departing Year 6 children. In fact they looked so happy and relieved to be on their way, that I was very tempted to join them. I think there are some feelings which can only be summed up by teenagers, so I'll say that this school year has been very 'Meh'. A word which here means 'We got really fed up and complained a lot, but did nothing about it but slump around and sigh.' (Apologies to Lemony Snicket.)

I have looked for another job, and got all hopeful when Ms Fab told me about one at a local high school, but looking into it this morning, it's for someone to work in the Special Needs department, especially with children with behavioural problems and that play truant a lot. I currently have enough of a challenge working with staff with behavioural problems, but at least they can't swear at you or hurl a chair in your direction. (Well, they haven't as yet. We'll see...) I wrote myself a list of the pros and cons of applying for the job. Pros were: a change of scenery, working with older children, more money, it was a nice school, and I'll know some of the children there. Cons were: working with especially badly-behaved high school children and their parents, longer hours, I'd miss the nicer people I work with, I'd no longer be able to walk to work (not that I ever do), and I'd have to give up the school library. I think it was the library that did it. That, and not being able to have a good bitch with Mrs Secretary. So, I have told myself that if I'm not going to change my job, I must shut up and stop moaning. I think The Husband is getting fed up with my complaints about work. He had to go to the dentist this morning for a filling, and he looked relieved to be leaving the house, so I think I've overdone the whinging. 

Speaking (writing) of the school library, I have kind of jumped the gun and chosen next year's librarians already. The criteria they have to fit is to like books and be nice people to be around. In fact, the latter is more important because I have to work with them. Noisy or argumentative children stand no chance; the meek shall inherit the library. I have shiny new badges at the ready.

Anyway, I must go. The Husband and I are having a rare evening out and are going to see Jurassic World. I promise I'll be good and try not to mention work, so we can just have a nice time watching people being eaten by dinosaurs.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

'Gardening' or 'How to drive The Husband mad'

It's raining hard. The Husband is, I think, very grateful for this, as I've been 'helping' him in the garden. As he is a gardener by trade, by the time he gets home in the evenings, he's had enough of turfing, pruning and landscaping. When I've offered to do bits in our garden, it's taken as nagging. Either that, or he knows I'm going to do a terrible job and can't bare to watch as the hedges get massacred by someone holding the very expensive loppers the wrong way. 

We have had a rather large pile of earth in the garden for about two years, ready to fill in the hole where Son Number One broke up the horrific crazy-paved patio. The pile of earth was meant to be leveled-out and turfed, but it's actually been covered by a large green tarpaulin and used as a look-out post by the cats. Every time The Daughter visited from Cornwall, or my parents came over, they would say, 'You've not done that garden yet, then?' But now it's just a given that half our garden looks like an abandoned building site. Anyway, today turned into the day to do something about it. While Son Number Two nervously took a girl on their first date and Son Number One headed to the cricket club, The Husband and I ripped up long grass, dug up brambles, pulled ivy out of trees and made a start on flattening the heap of earth. 

I suppose I should be honest here, and say that I was of some help, but there are so many things to distract you in a garden. For a start, some ants had made a massive home in the pile of earth. When I disturbed the nest and exposed some eggs, there was frenzied activity: hundreds of ants were racing around trying to take the eggs back underground. I stood and watched them for ages. I imagined mini air-raid sirens going off, and father ants shooing their families down underground tunnels to safety. 'Save yourselves!' they'd cry. 'I'm going back for the babies.' While I was engrossed in all this nonsense, The Husband cleared his throat and I was reminded of what I really should have been doing. Then there were ladybirds to be rescued from being dug into the earth, woodlice that appeared in their dozens from under stones, plants to ask the names of, and so on. It was only after a heavy sigh from The Husband, that I realised it must have been like working with a particularly irritating child. It is to his credit that he didn't tell me to be quiet and get on with it. Anyway, it started raining heavily, and The Husband is now watching Wimbledon and trying to think of excuses not to work with me again. 

Earlier this week, I got the results for my OU course on religious controversies. I managed to get a distinction, which means I'm guaranteed a first class degree, no matter how much I mess up my creative writing efforts. It's quite a relief because I think I may have already used up all of my ideas on my level 2 creative writing. And I've found that I'm not very good at writing fiction. Everything I did on my level 2 was based on fact. Even the story about the scarlet fever outbreak in our village was based on entries in our school log-book, and I killed off a couple of school children that were in my class at the time. The piece of work that I will very loosely call a 'poem' was about some oyster-catchers that I had watched at 6 am whilst on a school trip to the Lake District. 

                                            Merlin, helping me study

I'm not sure if I have enough experiences to write about for another 6 assignments. The Husband has been very supportive during my studies, and has often agreed to me buying £40 text books to help with essays, but I think he may draw the line on a round-the-world back-packing holiday just so I can write about it.