I’m sitting on a train on the way up to Manchester. It’s 7.00am – I have been awake since 5.00am, and currently resemble the closest thing to a zombie that a live human being is going to get. Despite this, I always enjoy travelling at this time in a morning – it’s quiet, there aren’t usually any screaming children and the nutters haven’t yet surfaced, so I’m enjoying the calm of the carriage at the minute.
I’m spending the weekend with my mother, who is still reeling after the death of her little dog, and tonight I am going to meet up with some friends that I made during sixth form college when I was sixteen. We’ve always kept in touch, mainly through the efforts of one or two of them, and we meet up at least once a year. Most of them are married, some have children, and over the years we’ve supported each other through our various achievements and life events. It’s nice to be around people who enjoy each others company, and it’s always guaranteed that I’ll have a good time.
I’m in need of a good night if I’m being honest – the last week has been a sea of paperwork and headaches as the new academic year has started. While it usually eases as time passes, the initial list that I find myself working through is always astronomical, and I always marvel at how calm and relaxed my colleagues seem during this period. I have managed to keep up, but don’t mind admitting that the pressure has reduced me to tears in the privacy of my own home on a few occasions.
By Friday afternoon I was feeling a little down – I was saddened by the news that a teenage scumbag had set fire to Manchester Dogs Home, resulting in the death of sixty animals (yet another reason why I don’t like people sometimes), and my friend informed me that his Nan passed away. Her death wasn’t unexpected, but I still feel sad for him and his family. If you’re reading this my lovely, you know I’m here whenever you need me.
However, when the chips are down, things always seem to happen that put me firmly back in my place and offer a little perspective.
Our school has its Open Evening next week, and my choir (who are brilliant) have been asked to perform. I have been a little worried as a few of the members of the group left at the end of last year as they had graduated, and so our numbers were down and there wasn’t the time to rehearse new starters. However, when I went to my classroom at the end of the day to start a rehearsal with the remaining students I was surprised to see all the ex-students sitting there, complete with a visitors pass and a big smile on their face. It turns out that they had heard about the performance next week and wanted to help out. I gave them a massive hug, and one of them told me that they wanted to surprise me ‘because you’re a legend Miss.’ Suddenly, the paperwork worries didn’t really seem to mean anything – THIS is what the job is about. I almost cried.
The Bloke, as always, has been pretty amazing throughout as well. Last night, after I had regaled him with the story about my choir cherubs, he told me that he was quickly going to the supermarket around the corner, and when he returned I saw that he had bought all of my favourite foods, and we cuddled up on the couch while watching NCIS: LA and talking rubbish at each other. It was exactly what I needed.
I’m lucky. I’m lucky that I have a job that (while challenging and frustrating at times) continues to give back. I’m lucky I have a lovely bloke, a family, amazing friends and the opportunity to spend time with them…
…And this morning I heard that Manchester Dogs Home has received over £800,000 in donations since the fire.
Good things will always happen during bad times.
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