The Boy is Back

The cat looks rather handsome with his yellow and pink piggy bandage

Two weeks: 

  • Three long distance train journeys, 
  • Two flights, 
  • One long distance coach trip, 
  • Six taxi journeys 
  • Eight tube rides, 
  • Climbed at least 1000 steps,
  • Walked eight miles in one day,
  • A holiday in Dubrovnik 
  • A weekend in London,
  • A trip to IKEA,
  • Half a Sixpence at the Alexandra Theatre,
  • A visit to Martineau Gardens,
  • Two vets and a forty-eight hour stay for the cat at the veterinary hospital,
  • A follow-up consult at the doctors.

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Sleep Needed

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It’s 7.30am and I’m on a train up to Manchester to visit my mother. It was my birthday last week and it’s her birthday on Monday, so we usually go out for a meal in between the two. It’s cold, frosty, still dark and I’m shattered. I caught a glance of my reflection in the window and I look like crap – I’ve got a really dull complextion, enormous bags under my eyes and my hair has decided to style itself into something that the 80’s rock legends would be jealous of.

It’s been a challenging and stressful week and at times it has dragged. While there are only two weeks until the Christmas holidays, I have yet to feel any sort of excitement as I still have a mountain of work to finish off. Luckily, for once, my coursework folders are finished a little early, so that removes the pressure that I experienced a year ago. The kids have had enough, we’ve had enough and there is a sense of plodding from everyone to just get through the next few weeks.

I’ve barely touched the blog, and I’m hugely down on my regular stats, comments and general interaction with all the people who make me smile each week. I’m going to get involved in the Twitter #ArchiveDay blog share and try and catch up with some of my favourite ladies in the #SitsBlogging hour…

But first… Sleep.

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and you can also find me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

Ahh, The Weekend is Here!

 

After what has felt like the longest week in the history of… long weeks, the weekend is finally here, and I couldn’t be more pleased. For the first time in about three months, I safely locked my work laptop in a cupboard and went home, leaving it behind. It’s the half – term holidays and even though I am in school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week with the students who are doing extra coursework I am determined that the next few days are going to be spent as a work-free zone. I decided that if the computer was staring at me from the corner of the room I would feel the usual guilt that accompanies having personal time and so I removed the temptation by simply not bringing it with me. I like my job and am lucky to work at a high achieving and well-managed school, but this point in the year (ie. exam season) is always the toughest, and life turns into more of an existence. I’m in early, I leave late, and when I’m away from the place I’m either thinking or dreaming about it.

 

I had a few plans for this weekend in that I was going to go an visit my mother ‘oop North’ and go for a meal with some old friends from college, but after astronomical vets and household bills I found that my bank account is so low that the ATM laughed at me when I attempted to draw money out, so this is going to have to be put on hold until next week when I get paid. I don’t worry about things like this usually – the bills are paid, there is enough food in the house to last a while and I don’t have any events booked for the next few days – but it seems lately that when I do actually allow myself some personal time I find that the gods of finance are conspiring against me.

So, what to do with the next three days when, in true British style, it’s heavily raining outside? Any ideas?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

… and Breathe!

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The. Week. From. Hell.

This week I moved house, wrote 130 reports, marked 85 pieces of coursework, taught my lessons, spent several hours at the vets with my cat Daisy, who contracted conjunctivitis within just 18 hours of being in the new property and have done all this while still feeling quite ill. I’m exhausted. The Bloke has taken the week off and has rushed between the two houses to finish everything off and he’s done an amazing job. I don’t think that I could have got through the week without him. He looks exhausted too, bless him.

While I was initially upset to leave the old house, our new house is warmer and cosier and I have found that I have started to settle in quite quickly. The landlord seems nice too, which is certainly a bonus. I’m still angry that we have had to go through this, but I’m trying to view it from the idea that things happen for a reason.

However, I’m grateful that I have made it to the end of the week relatively unscathed and I have a lovely three days ahead of me where I am not required to do anything other than unpack boxes, go round and see our lovely neighbours from the old house and catch up with the blogging world. I’ve missed it so much! I’m worry for not replying to any of the comments you have left but I have read every one of them and I’m extremely grateful for your support.

I hope you’re all doing well…

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

Inspection Exhaustion

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Meh

My absence (hence the amount of reblogs and my lack of replies to your comments) recently has been due to the fact that my school has been undergoing a massive inspection. It isn’t the dreaded OFSTED, but may has well have been – my school is an outstanding Academy and therefore we also have routine inspections from the company that sponsors it. To say that I am exhausted is an understatement.

I don’t believe in ‘show’ lessons – I don’t plan anything that I wouldn’t normally deliver on a daily basis – but the added stress of triple checking paperwork to ensure that it is correct has resulted in about ten hours sleep in the last few days. I had everything in place and organised into specific folders, I printed off plans, seating plans, important information about individual students and overviews of the content of the lesson. I went into work earlier each day, making sure that everything was set up to the highest possible standard. The anticipation of everything gave me an enormous loss of appetite.

I wasn’t observed.

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Double meh

It’s always a double – edged sword in situations like this – I’m pleased that I wasn’t seen as the process is quite nerve-racking, but at the same time I was a little disappointed as I had some awesome lessons over the last few days and I spent hours printing off paperwork that I didn’t need to. However, I’ve watched some of my colleagues go through the process with various inspectors and I was pleased for them when the general feedback has been really good. In my last observation I was given an ‘Outstanding,’ so I was concerned that there would be a high level of expectation from an inspector entering my classroom and so I have been extremely tense for the last few days, so the plan for this evening is simply to relax and do absolutely nothing. I’ve been doing quite well on the diet that I started at the beginning of the year, but tonight I am going to indulge in some hot, buttered toast and a chocolate bar the size of my face.

Normal blogging will resume at the weekend, when I’ve got through tomorrow’s lessons and choir and caught up on some sleep and I’ll get on with replying to the fantastic comments that you’ve been leaving recently. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the blogs that I am advertising at the minute on my sidebar – simply click on the buttons for links to their sites. I promise it will be worth your time.

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81blog – I’d love to see you there!

Image credit 1: tucoo.com
Image credit 2: lolwall

Done, Done and Done

ImageI’m feeling a little delicate this morning. It could be due to the annual Christmas teacher flu that I always develop on the first day of the holidays. More likely, however, it’s because I consumed quite a large amount of alcohol last night at the staff party.

It was a really nice evening – my friend and I were on a table with the canteen staff, who are hilarious, and so we spent most of the meal in hysterical fits of laughter. Everyone looked very glamorous, the food was beautiful and after some initial reluctance most of us spent the rest of the evening dancing the night away to party classics from the 1970’s and 1980’s. At one point the Principal sat next to me to say hello and I’m a little concerned that I may have been slurring when I was speaking with her, but other than that I made it through the night relatively unscathed.

ImageWhen I got up this morning I decided to get everything finished off in preparation for the next few days. The Bloke and I are spending Christmas seperately with our own families so tomorrow we are going to have our own little celebration at home. We are going to start the day by opening our presents, then we plan to watch Disney’s ‘Frozen’ at the cinema, visit the German Market as it is the last day and then when we get back I am going to cook a nice two course meal. I would normally do three, but the children at work have been very generous and I have been swamped with enormous amounts of chocolate, so it seems pointless buying a dessert. This is usually followed by ‘A Muppets Christmas Carol,’ which has become a little tradition of ours to watch on the first weekend of the holidays.

I live one road away from the main high street, so by 8.30am I had been to the local supermarket, bought the food I needed and was back home snuggling with the cats on the couch. I think I’m done – presents, cards and food are sorted, plans have been made with friends over the next few weeks and I’ve even bought a novelty sweater to wear when I visit my sister on Christmas Day. However, I have made a little pact with myself that I will never be this disorganised again in the build up to future holidays…

After several weeks of stress, I plan to spend the rest of the day relaxing and hopefully catching up on some sleep. I’m done, done and done.

You can also find me on Twitter @Suzie81blog

Image Credits:

Picture 1: Mirror.co.uk
Picture 2: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Strange Dreams

It’s 4am and I’m wide awake. The Bloke is snoring next to me and Wobbly is asleep between my feet. I’ve just started to hear birdsong, I think.

I hate it when this happens. I feel a little spaced out as I had some really strange dreams last night that scared me a little, so I’ve resorted to blogging to try and calm my brain down. My brain has a habit of constantly processing information in situations like this and I have an unfortunate tendency to overthink things.

I’ve always had vivid dreams that often take place in weird and wonderful locations and I become involved in situations that make no sense with any connection of my actual life. I often remember them the next day and sometimes write them down in an effort to make sense of them. For example, I once had an extremely long dream that I was in the graveyard near the house that I grew up in (that I haven’t seen for nearly thirteen years)  and I was under attack from a rather scary army of New Zealanders. I had to convince them that I was one of them or they would kill me. Even more strange is the fact that I’ve never been to New Zealand and don’t know anyone from there. In the same week I found myself hosting a party in the Arizona desert (which I’ve never visited). I’ve had dreams where I’ve been able to fly and breathe under water, I’ve been friends with celebrities, I’ve fallen in love with a man I’ve never seen before, I’ve suddenly become fluent in languages that I can’t speak and I’ve even been on stage, performing in a play that I can’t remember any of the lines for.

A recurring set of dreams that I have involve my job. One of my most frequent occurrences is that I’m in a school that I don’t know, I can’t find my timetable and my computer isn’t working. I am panicked because I know that the students are waiting and I am followed around by an angry member of staff who is yelling at me for my lack of organisation. Another is that I’m in a classroom with the kids and they won’t stop talking.

The worst are the ones in which I lose someone important. These usually panic me and involve phonecalls the next day to check everything is ok.

What about you? Do you have vivid dreams?

Zzzzzz…

ImageIt’s currently 7.00am and I am on the train up to Manchester to go and visit my mum. It’s still dark outside, there’s a heavy mist in the air and there are just three of us that are in this carriage. The other two are having a deep and meaningful discussion about life and keep quoting motivational phrases at each other. Normally, I like these sorts of thoughts and must have thousands of inspirational messages saved onto my computer, but at this time in a morning I would rather they shut up, or at least conduct their discussion at a normal volume – Brian Blessed would be proud of their current efforts.

I’m not a morning person. In an ideal world, the very early hours of the morning are when I would be at my most productive, but I’m resigned to the fact that any sort of focus at work would be impossible if I don’t have a minimum of eight hours sleep every night.

Meh.

However, the journey to the station proved to be quite an interesting one. Even at 6am there were still lots of people walking around in their clubbing outfits from the night before and some had obviously started to feel the effects of consuming their entire bodyweight in alcohol. One particular girl was stumbling around outside the station in a dress that was so short it barely covered her bottom. She had taken her enormously high shoes off and had made the intelligent decision not to bring a coat on one of the coldest nights of the year so she was shivering violently. She was alone and looked miserable, so I asked her if she was ok and was she able to get home. She looked at me with a death stare and replied:

“Yeah. F*ck off and mind your own business.”

Nice. As I started to walk away a car pulled up and I heard the girl yelling, “Where the f*ck have you been? I’m freezing my f*cking t*ts off here!”

Classy bird.

The Motivational Speakers and I have been joined by a young Asian woman, who has promptly fallen asleep in the chair opposite mine. Her expression is hilarious – her head is almost on the arm of the seat and her mouth is wide open. She isn’t dribbling yet, but it’s only a matter of time…

I’ve got an hour to go yet, so I think it’s time for some entertainment. Candy Crush, anyone?

A 4am Alarm Clock…

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Wobbly is in the ‘cat house’ this morning after waking me up at 4am. There’s food in her bowl, she’s got clean water, a clean litter tray and her own comfy bed. However, for whatever reason, she thought it was appropriate to jump on my stomach and lick my face in the dead of night…

Obviously she’s clearly devastated about it! You’d think a 19 year old cat would sleep more. It’s a good job she’s cute…

Just a reminder that you can find me on Twitter @Suzie81 blog, and Tumblr Suzie81blog. I’ve been able to update them both seeing as I’ve been awake for hours!!!

Neighbours From Hell

This is going to sound a little more of a rant than usual, but after being woken up at four in the morning by my noisy b*tch neighbour on the only potential day I could have had a lie in I’m feeling really angry.

She’s a young single mother and she moved in next door with her little boy about six months ago. I live in a terraced house and the walls are so thin it’s possible to hear everything that goes on, even quiet conversations when she’s on the phone, so we have to turn our TV up to block it out. At first, she was fairly quiet, but recently on Wednesdays and at weekends she’s turned her house into ‘party central’ and it’s beginning to get on my nerves. Last night she turned up with no less than six other people at 4.00am who decided to drunkenly scream and shout until they left at 5.30am. It wouldn’t have been too bad if I hadn’t had to be at work today from 9.30 until 5 for rehearsals for a show that we’re putting on next week, so I am shattered.

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