March 31, 2007

Normality is a social construct

You Are 45% Normal

While some of your behavior is quite normal...
Other things you do are downright strange
You've got a little of your freak going on
But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

March 30, 2007

Ringing in my ears

I can't hear it yet and that is because it is not there. The sweet releasing ring of the final bell of the day which will tell me that work is done for two weeks and holidays are to begin. There are still a few precious hours left and I am weak with the anticipation of room to breathe. I have plans, I have books to be read and people to see.

March 29, 2007

Escape artist

I am sat in the staffroom eating an almond croissant and drinking tea when I should be marking work. It is a miserable day here, the greyest of skies and that horrible drizzly rain that looks like nothing but still makes the whole world damp and bland. I have a free lesson now and I am trying to plan next terms work. I have been asked to stay until the summer in this job which means that I have some room to breathe and the waiting will be punctuated by some shopping trips once I get paid.

One of the dream jobs has slipped away and now I am looking at other options. I suppose that there are worse situations to be in, I have a place to stay and some amazing friends around to help keep me sane. I have also started to appreciate the feeling that my car can give me when it is zooming away from home. I like going to the cinema, twenty minutes on the motorway and then darkness for two hours. I went on Monday and realised afterwards that I really had escaped, sat in the cinema I forgot my frustration.

Only two more days and then it is the Easter holidays. I have more plans to go to the cinema, I really want to see Amazing Grace as I have spent this half term teaching about Slavery. I also want to go and see M, maybe catch up with J and S in York and generally relax for a while. If I can scrape up the cash I might go to Prague for a couple of days. Anyone have any crazy, interesting plans for their time off?

March 26, 2007

Dusty CD singles

Over the weekend there has been a Ipod shaped theme developing. Ever since I got my new laptop at Christmas, I have been eyeing the piles of CDs without ever bothering to get them uploaded onto my computer. Since Saturday morning I have steadily sat in the kitchen, chatted with my family, drank cups of tea, watched TV and talked on the phone while CD after CD went into my music library.

On Sunday evening I felt like the trip down memory lane had come to a crossroads. Did I carry on with CD by more current bands? Paolo Nutini, Kaiser Cheifs, Keane? Or should I drag out the box full of CD singles and upload individual songs? Sneeze as the dust flies into the air. CD singles it is.

Every one of them has a story behind them. There are at least 20 singles that I got when I worked at HMV, you used to get given the promo when the real single came out. Some of them are pretty rare I have to say. There are singles that were packaged in special limited edition sleevs that I have never opened, just bought because the sleeves were cool. And then there are singles that make me excited just to look at them. The ones that you remember loving, the ones that made you dance all night. There are songs that I listened to as my heart broke all those years ago and there were songs that I played so much I gave my housemates headaches.

All uploaded and ready to go they are now. Old songs by St Etienne, The Supernaturals, The Manic Street Preachers, Ash. I love them all. What I am looking forward to is my road trip in May with J, a university friend, on our way to a weekend with H. I know that when she sees those names on the Ipod screen she is going to squeal with delight. We can share those memories, that will be even better than the dusty discovery of discs written into my life.

March 25, 2007

An eye on Yorkshire

There have been some lovely sunny days recently and I have been happy to be able to take pictures in good light again. This is a view from outside the town.

This is the garden behind Solberge Hall just near to Northallerton. There are lots of weddings and events that happen here. The view from the front of the building is beautiful.

This is a view from inside this estate. I really liked the old window frame.

March 24, 2007

Saturday morning fever

I managed to make it after all. The wonder that is Saturday is here at last and all I have to do is update my Ipod so that I can listen to some new and wonderful tunes on the way to see what culinary beauty N is cooking up today. Sometimes I imagine myself to be spoilt, great friends to spend time with. Last night me and L had what is now a usual Friday night takeaway. Yes, I feel lucky sometimes. They listen to me when I am bored of listening to myself.

More movement on the job stuff. There are more interviews and some more things to think about. Wait and see is the message that always seems to the one that gets through the loudest. Mum and Dad are hovering around today as they are in the middle of tracing through years and years of family history. They are writing the family tree and have found all sorts of scandal in the family going back years. My Dad has found family in Boston and also worked out that the family do not all come from Yorkshire as we thought. There is Manx, Cornish and Southern blood mixed in there too. It is all highly interesting. When I find that I am related to Abraham Lincoln or similar I will make sure that I let you all know.

March 20, 2007

Scream if you want to go faster

Things seem to be moving along apace today. I have had three phone calls from the same recruitment company and it looks like there are a few jobs that they want to put me forward for. Add to that the fact that I applied for two more jobs today, one in Prague that I am very excited about and the sick feeling in my stomach may be starting to subside slightly.

I still want things to go faster. If you could tell me in half an hour when and where I would be moving to I would be happy with that. But there are lots of fingers in lots of pies now and I hope that in a couple more weeks I should have some answers. Any sort of excitement about going back overseas has very much been put on hold while I stood in that waiting place. Now that I am back in the driving seat the next few months at home do not instill the same level of fear that they have been doing.

All I know is that the next move is going to be for a while, a few years. I can't spend more time looking and waiting. I don't have it in me. It has taken a while to get there, but I will feel settled in the end. I never imagined I would want it to be overseas so much, but there you go. I had to come back for a while to realise that I didn't want to come back.

March 19, 2007


I have spent quite some time over the last couple of days uploading new pictures onto my Flickr. I have linked on the right bar and invite you all to go over there and have a good look. I am quite pleased with most of the pics and can't wait to get some new ones on there after going out and snapping away again soon.

March 18, 2007

The Art of Procrastination

Even though I have lots of things that I could be blogging about I keep putting it off. I imagine that every hour that passes might be the one that brings an email that changes everything. I am waiting to hear if I get an interview from the job that I still imagine is going to be mine, despite all evidence to the contrary.

I am being active, I applied for another two jobs this morning, but I just keeping twisting back round and dreaming of the one that I really want. Other than that things are happy at home. I am still enjoying being at home, this is the first time in four years that I have been with my Mum for Mothers Day. As each day passes I am more and more ready to leave. I want that buzz again, airports and packed bags. New apartments and old cities. Come on, I'm sick of waiting.

March 16, 2007

Er, really?

What Your Dreams Mean...

Your dreams seem to show that you're a very well adjusted and happy person.

Overall, you are very content in your life.

You tend to be a very productive thinker.

Your dreams indicate that you have very conflicted feelings.

You have a very vivid imagination and a rich creative mind.

March 15, 2007

In the sleeping hours

For over a week now I have been having the most vivid dreams. They wake me up sometimes in a daze of confusion and I wander downstairs to make a cup of tea surprised that the world is normal colours. In my dreams there have been pregnancies, there have been tests and there have been conferences. Random? I would think so. In one of the dreams I missed a Maths lesson that I should have been in. In another I ran and ran but could never get away.

This is every night, one after the other, each more bizarre than the last. I dreamt of Slavery, of wanting freedom, but being in chains. I have dreamed of huge old factories that should be producing something but are used for classes to be taught in instead. My psyche is trying to tell me something, but I can't really be listening or the dreams would have slowed down. Maybe it is just my brain processing stuff, trying to make sense where my waking brain is utterly failing. Either way, the wrinkled nose and worried heartbeat is not good for a happy start to the day.

March 13, 2007

In the pipeline

I had to change my mindset. I had to let go of the life that I had imagined for myself and see what else there might be coming my way. It was easier said than done as I still have not heard whether I have an interview for the dream job or not. I have spent the last couple of days on the computer and sent out a few more CVs and applied directly for some other jobs. The places on the cards include Italy, Finland and Saudia Arabia.

Just the process of clicking 'send' and having more ideas and more possibilities wizz out into cyber space has made it a bit easier to cope with the absence of news. Everytime I look for something else the stress is a little bit less and there are some interesting jobs coming up now. I just can't stop myself sighing all the time. I have hated waiting, I don't want to stay here. Always in-between, it is always where I place myself. It is the place I feel most unsettled.

Since blogging this morning I have had an email asking me to interview for a job that I had forgotten all about. It is based on school improvements and sounds really interesting. It is far away enough to make me excited, but not far enough away to freak me out. Interview is next Friday.

March 12, 2007

The existance of God

A very good friend of mine left the UK last summer to start something new a long way from home. After years of conversations he has taken the massive step of leaving everything behind and training to be a priest. He has been there for a few months now and after much annoying from me and N he has started a blog. He is over here...

He is only a few posts in, but I am really enjoying carrying on the theological debate even though he is on the other side of the ocean. Check out his blog, I think he writes well about a topic that can be too huge for some people to think about.

March 11, 2007

Move over darling

Another funny week has been and gone. A few days at work, where things are settling down now that I have had a couple of lessons and the kids are getting used to me. I have had a great weekend, yesterdays highlight being several hours of good conversation and beautiful fish stew with N. Todays highlight so far was driving off to Catterick Market near Richmond. I used to go there all the time, get a coffee in a plastic cup and wander through the stalls. I love that every person you come in contact with calls you darling, sweetheart or honey. Huge meat stalls are owned by men wearing Britney style microphones shouting bargains into the crowd. It is really something to see.

I am trying hard to let go of the job that I have been waiting for. I still have not heard if I have an interview as I was contacted to say that the interviews have been pushed back a bit. I know that I need to let go of the ideas I had about how life would be if I was able to get that job and start the life that would go with it. I need to get to a place where I will not be too sad if there is no joy with this one, at the moment I would be completely heartbroken.

I am getting there slowly and since the end of last week I feel the heaviness gently going from my shoulders. Regular blog readers will recall that this time last year I had handed in my notice from my job in Paris. Despite the few weeks in Warsaw again, I really have not known what I will be doing since last year. That is a long time for such uncertainity. No wonder that I am ready to get started on getting started all over again.

March 06, 2007

Away from it all

After yesterdays mini meltdown, I decided to take a leaf out of Sognatrices book and take some pictures. Yesterday was horrible and those feelings have not totally gone, but as I looked out the window at the little pink car, I remembered that there are places in the world which give me the space to breathe and give myself a good talking to.

Things are going to be fine, and I just needed to keep telling myself that if this job is not the one then I will find the one that is. I need to understand that it is only a few more days in what has been weeks of waiting and that things will all turn out fine in the end.

I got into my car this morning and drove to the petrol station where I filled the tank. I drove all the way to the cinema before deciding not to get out of my car and instead bought a drive thru coffee and headed on up into the Dales. The sense of space out there is outstanding and you struggle to remember why people think that England is overcrowded. I gave myself a couple of hours. I drank my tea and I let my thoughts run riot. I put pressure on myself for every outcome to be amazing and when I think that it might not be, I get scared that I am letting myself down.

It took me about five minutes to find my camera before I left the house and I took tons of amazing pictures, the sky was so blue, you could see for miles and miles. Having to actually look for my camera reminded me that when I was in Paris I would take a couple of snaps at least on a daily basis. How times have changed.

March 04, 2007


Ok, so I can calmly admit that I am going more than a bit mad. I really am bored with my own whinings on the job subject. I am waiting to hear, literally anytime now, whether I have an interview for the dream job and it is sending me loopy. No more blogging until there is some actual news. Now I have to get away from the computer and my hotmail and leave the house to recall that the world outside my window is real.

March 01, 2007

150 kids in one day

Five lessons, over 30 children in each one makes just over 150 children through my classroom door. Those sort of numbers are just mad and I had blocked out any sense of remberance of how it feels at the end of the day. Here I sit dreaming of tomorrow and more certain than ever that my future lies back over the water. In the midst of that I am aware that all I do these days is whine, whine, whine. I just hope that when I am reading this part of the blog in years to come that I can see it in context as the waiting time that came before the great job.

Being back at my old school feels just like that, being back. The people that were there are still there and they are just as warm and friendly as ever. Being in the staffroom with a load of teachers who have been there so long that they taught me when I went there, reminded me that I have become used to the massive moves that are made every year when you live and work abroad. Back onto the continent for me please.