No Day But Today

No Day But TodayA little while ago I was invited to see a production of RENT at The Old Rep in Birmingham. I’ve always been a fan of the music, having performed a number of the songs as part of a choir when I was at college, but had never seen the musical itself.

Since then, it has become a minor obsession. We watched (and enjoyed) the musical live on the Tuesday, then rented the film on the Wednesday, watched it again on the Thursday and then I went out and bought the DVD on the Saturday, and we promptly watched it again. I’ve owned the soundtrack with the original Broadway cast for years, so we have listened to it in the car, and there hasn’t been a morning over the last few weeks where I haven’t woken up with part of at least one of the songs going around my head in a loop. Despite the fact that I can’t relate personally to many of the themes in the show, there’s just that something about it that both The Bloke and I have connected with. It has become our thing, even though it finished on Broadway years ago. Continue reading

It Smells Like Summer

SummerIt smells like summer this morning.

Despite having a bad night’s sleep, I woke up in a disgustingly good mood. The current heatwave we are experiencing means that it’s already beautifully warm, even at 8.00am, and when I stood outside the scent in the air somehow reminded me of foreign holidays I have been on. My Facebook feed is littered with complaints from hot and uncomfortable friends, and The Bloke, who can’t handle any sort of weather except temperate, clear and dry is struggling, but I love it – after what has seemed like an age of living in the cold and dark, it’s nice to feel some real sun on my face.

I did my last bit of freelance work yesterday for the summer, which means I now have two months off. Two months. I can’t believe how quickly this academic year has gone, and the fact that I have remained reasonably financially stable throughout. There were so many worries and anxieties that accompanied last summer, but I’ve been able to prepare for this one over the last year, and I know that as long as I don’t go out and blow all my money on cocktails (which is always a temptation), I should be fine until Christmas at least. I’ve been enjoying the last few weeks and for the first time ever I haven’t felt like I have counted down the days or desperately wished my life away just to have a break. How lucky I am. Continue reading

#TrigglyPuff

I awoke at 4am to find the hashtag #TrigglyPuff trending.

Students at the University of Massachusetts were protesting and heckling during a discussion and forum on the use of political correctness on campus.

However, it’s one person that has sparked the attention of social media, who have awarded her with the name of #TrigglyPuff, and, despite Twitter’s best efforts to censor the hashtag, it seems to be quickly gaining in popularity. Continue reading

A Saturday Night In…

saturday-night-out-kidding-in-my-jammiesIt’s Saturday night, and I’ve got myself into a highly comfortable position on the couch, snuggled up in my jammies and fluffy blankets. It’s the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, it’s St. George’s Day and if any day was the day to don my England shirt and go to the pub, it would be today, but I’m having my own little personal celebration at home instead. I’ve got my headphones in as I’m listening to Steve’s Talk About Pop Music radio show, while The Bloke watches a random film with the ever lovely Jason Statham, and the cats are still snoring after stuffing their face with fresh chicken earlier in the day. I’ve made myself an Amaretto Sours too! Actually, that’s a lie – I’ve poured a load of amaretto in a pint glass, shoved some lemon juice and lemonade on top, and then tipped lots of cocktail cherries in to finish it off. The cherries are now sitting on the bottom, I’ve forgotten to put the egg white in and I can’t be bothered to get up again to sort it out, so I’m making do – it still tastes yummy regardless! I would show you a picture, but it looks like I’ve urinated into a glass… Continue reading

Notes From My Phone…

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My phone goes everywhere with me, to the point where it has almost (however pathetic it sounds) become an extension of myself. I use the note section almost on a daily basis, mainly to record potential blog ideas for a later date.

I was doing a huge update on it the other day, and as I was transferring lots of data onto my laptop I came across a whole bunch of these ideas that had been written down and then promptly forgotten. I can’t actually recall writing some of them, but I can certainly relate to the point of my life in which I must have written them:

Are students getting worse?

When me becomes we.

There’s an enormously comforting feeling in my home on a Friday night. It’s a warm and cosy evening, followed by two days of uninterrupted time. 

I know him! (Friends who have become famous and/or hugely successful). Continue reading

I am Batman…

BatmanAfter a wonderful (and busy) half-term (more on that in a later post), I’m back at work. Even though I’ve been doing supply and freelance workshops for six months now, I’m still adjusting to the changes in my schedule and the difference in workload, but I’m predominantly loving it.

The students also find it strange at times – some I have worked with for years in the role of their music teacher and have found it quite confusing to see me in their maths, Spanish or ICT lessons, but I have been incredibly lucky in that my history with them means that they know my rules and expectations for each lesson, regardless of the subject: they sit down, get their stationary out, work in silence, and ask either myself or their peers as many questions about the work as they like if they find it challenging. Continue reading

Three Things Thursday

imageThis was an idea I originally saw on Jenny in Neverland last year, and then a similar thing appeared on Facebook a few weeks ago. I thought it would be a fun idea to try it myself…

Three names I go by:
(Of the printable, non-offensive ones…)
1. Sue (which is odd for me, as until I’d moved to Birmingham nobody ever called me that)
2. Suzie
3. Madam (the school that I often work at insists that female staff are referred to as ‘Madam,’ instead of ‘Miss.’ Even after 4 years I still find it odd.)

Three things I blog about:
1. My daily life – almost in the form of an online journal.
2. Things that amuse me.
3. Restaurants I visit.

Three places I have visited:
1. New York
2. Pompeii
3. Barcelona

Three places I would like to visit:
1. Tokyo
2. Sydney
3. Las Vegas

Three places I have worked:
1. A well-known fast food restaurant. (I was there for eighteen months and can categorically state that if any other stores are like the one I worked in, the horror stories you have heard are most likely to be true).
2. Supervisor at a nightclub (best job ever – like getting paid for a night out).
3. Secondary school.

Three favourite drinks:
1. Volvic Lemon and Lime water, straight from the fridge so it’s ice cold.
2. Raspberry mojito.
3. Amaretto sours, with the egg white.

Three favourite things to eat:
1. Garlic and rosemary roast potatoes.
2. Yorkshire pudding.
3. Chocolate fondant.

Three memories I cherish:
1. Sitting on a balcony in Malia at 2pm on a blisteringly hot day, with a beautiful view of the ocean, sipping a drink and smoking a cigarette whilst listening to Eva Cassidy’s ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’
2. Last Boxing Day with my whole family – our partners were all with us and we sat, played games and laughed lots. Can’t get better than that.
3. Watching a cellist perform Bach’s ‘Air’ outside the Sacre Coeur in Paris.

Three things I am looking forward to:
1. Going on holiday with the whole family – we’ve never done this before and I’m sure it will be a laugh…
2. A few days to myself. When that will be, I don’t know, but I like to have a few days alone every so often just to recharge my batteries.
3. The surprise I have planned for The Bloke next month.

Three words I love to use:
1. Cherub – I call my students this every day and I love the confused look they always get on their faces.
2. Nonsense.
3. Shrubbery, usually with a Monty Python style accent.

Three dreams I regularly have:
1. That I can fly (those of you who know who Keith Harris and Orville were will know the song I currently have in my head).
2. My teeth fall out.
3. I’m in a school I don’t know, I can’t find my timetable and every time I try and ring my mum (?) to help me I keep pressing the wrong numbers. That’s always a fun one…

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

#RefugeesWelcome: Being Human Isn’t Illegal

imageIt’s rare that I comment or share opinion on political issues. I generally adopt what I would consider to be a liberal perspective on most things, and ultimately, I believe that everyone deserves the right to live how they choose in a safe, healthy and happy place.

As Europe is divided over the waves of thousands of refugees desperately fleeing war in Africa and the Middle East, there is one image that will forever stay in my mind – that of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler whose body washed up on a Turkish beach on Tuesday. The picture has been beamed all over the world and has become a symbol for the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Continue reading

The Empty Chair: I Believe You

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Image Credit: Amanda Demme/New York Magazine

Warning: Triggers for abuse and assault

Last week a friend of mine was telling me about an incident that had happened when she was walking on her way to her local shop. In front of her were two girls. One in particular was stunningly beautiful and there were a succession of drivers that had honked at her in their cars as they had gone past. A man was walking in the opposite direction to them, but when he saw her he stopped and started heading towards her.

“Can I buy you dinner?” he kept shouting. She ignored him and carried on her conversation with her friend.

“Oi beautiful girl! Let me buy you dinner!”. By this point he had started walking faster in an effort to catch up with them. Again, she ignored him. Suddenly, he grabbed her on the arm and pulled her around.

The girl was startled, and lost her temper, screaming at him. (Note, I’ve toned down the conversation a little here…) Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Things People Say and What They Really Mean

image1. I’ll be there in twenty minutes: I still haven’t got dressed and can’t find my handbag.

2. I’ll be there as soon as I can, I’m still waiting for a taxi: See number 1.

3. It’s not really my style, but I’m sure it would look good on you: I hate that outfit.

4. Well, if that’s your decision then I’ll support you: I totally disagree with your decision but I’m not going to say anything.

5. Do you think I’m overreacting?: I don’t care whether you think I’m overreacting, I expect you to agree with me.

6. As long as he makes you happy: I think he’s a douchebag. Continue reading