December 26, 2008

This might be a while...

I stole this lovely end of year meme from Michelle over at Bleeding Espresso. I will be away for another week without any access to blogging for a week so I thought I would pipe up with my last words of 2008. K, T, and anyone else would fancies it, consider yourself tagged.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Realised that Hungarian is too hard to learn. Spoke at an International Teachers conference.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I never made any resolutions I don't think.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My sister in law, producing my first niece.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Thank goodness, there was no-one.

5. What countries did you visit? Poland, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Morroco, Spain. A pretty good year travel wise.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? Some sort of clarity is all I ever want.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? November 21st, I was dreading that conference for quite a while.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Starting my second year in Hungary, still attending Hungarian lessons even though I still don't understand anything.

9. What was your biggest failure? Still not being able to pull myself back onto the right track. Being rubbish at keeping in touch with some people who are brilliant, but far away.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Cold and flu, but nothing else.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Beautiful new Ipod that I have wanted for ages and just treated myself to. And a brown leather satchel that I got in Krakow, I am in love with it!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? N, she never fails to eb supportive and push me gently on.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Unfortunately, there are just too many to want to think about.

14. Where did most of your money go? Groceries, airplane tickets, leather handbags.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Marrakech, it has been a dream for years and it was just as amazing as I thought it would be.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? Thats not my name by the Ting Tings. One of the few songs which made it into my earshot now that I am totally inconnected with the UK music scene.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
A tiny bit richer, no thinner or fatter and sadder and happier at the same that progress?

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Weekends away.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Moaning and whining

20. How did you spend Christmas? With Mum, Dad and the family at home in Yorkshire.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? No, only in books.

22. What was your favorite TV program? Any documentaries I got my sticky little hands on, and Gavin and Stacey.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Not that I would confess to on my blog!

24. What was the best book you read? Girl in a blue dress by Gaynor Arnold, or the Zahir by Paulo Cohello.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? That I still love a good r'n'b tune.

26. What did you want and get? A new Ipod.Ugg Boots.

27. What did you want and not get? An idea of what comes next.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? I loved Inkheart, which I saw last week and loved it.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? It was my 32nd birthday and I had dinner at C's house with a load of the girls from work.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Worrying less about money and a better understanding of the Hungarian language.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Cord, casual, comfortable.

32. What kept you sane? Books, BBC costume dramas.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Rob Brydon.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? Credit Crunch, financial disaster...

35. Who did you miss? N and S, especially after our holiday in Spain. My family, inclding the new baby, who I have not seen yet. And J, H and M, J got engaged this year and I was too far away to celebrate with her.

36. Who was the best new person you met? A, new teacher at school, love, love, love her.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.Its not me, its you.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Razorlight - Before I fall to pieces:

Now I'm just waiting for something that might never come
If it's a million-to-one shot I'll make sure I'm the one
Seems that nothing is safe, except the truth turns to lies
Never figured it out, or found out why.

Happy Holdidays and a fabulous 2009 to everyone!

December 25, 2008

Happy Ending

The whole family are sitting quietly in the front room watching 'Scrooged' and I am so full of food that my eyes are droopy and I want to go to sleep. Christmas is nearly over for another year and pretty much all that stands between me and my New years holiday in France is the Wallace and Gromit Christmas Special.

I have been home for over a week and have squeezed so much in those days that there have been people that I just have not gotten round to seeing yet and with a flight leaving in the wee small hours of Saturday morning, meetings are looking less and less likely. I have loved being home and I feel grounded and happy here after my amazing holidays with the family,(only 1 out of my 3 brothers is home). Now I am excited about a week in a house in the middle of the French countryside with S,N and the sound of a crackling fire. I think I might be in heaven.

December 11, 2008

Chocolate kisses

As a teacher I must have got hundreds of boxes of chocolates over the years and I love each and every child who takes the time to give you a liitle gift to say thank you for teaching them. As this years chocolate count quietly mounts on my desk, it appears that I have very nearly survived the part of the year that often fails to knock me off my feet. I have only had two days off ill this year and as my Sunday flight home trots up behind me, I am tired, but not ridiculously so as in previous years.

I watched the apaptation of North and South last night, which has given me a hankering for Yorkshire all over again and I can't wait to see the watery skies of the North on Sunday evening on my drive home. There is a pregnant sister in law, Saturday nights out, gifts, cuddles and lots of gossip and laughter waiting for me when I get off the plane and I can't wait to be wrapped around it all.

December 08, 2008

Polishing the view

Some-one once told me, or maybe I read it somewhere, 'If the window is dirty, you don't go outside and polish the view'. I've spent a lot of time looking out of windows these last three weeks, mainly the ones on planes and buses. everything outside the window seems exotic and I feel that this Winter has not been anywhere near as bad as the last one. I can barely believe that I am in my last week of work before three weeks of holiday stretch out in front of me, but I know that I am glad to be seeing the back of this term.

Life is ticking along nicely, I am still waiting for something big to happen, but I don't know what it is yet. I feel strongly that this New Year and Christmas is going to see some changes ringing out, and I am excited to see what the next few months brings. For the moment, I would be happy with just a little more sleep and a little less travelling. These two trips to France and Poland have both been amazing, but they knock the wind out of your sails when there is nothing but work either side.

December 07, 2008

Coming round the Mountain

I have spent the last three days either gazing out of the window of a coach, or spending time with the students on our trip to Krakow. I fell in love with Krakow the first time I went there 5 years ago and the love has never faded. I had an amazing time with the kids and the staff that came with me, although I could have cried with tiredness when I got home yesterday after very little sleep the two nights before.

The coach trip between Budapest and Krakow takes you all the way through Slovakia and it really makes me think of what travel must have been like before planes and speed took over. There is something incredibly pure about watching the landscape twist, turn and change before your very eyes. I adored that bus journey last year and it was just as inspiring and beautiful this year. It is the most exhausting and brilliant way to end the Autumn term at school, only one more week to go.

December 01, 2008

The Dark Knight

I only had one full week at work after France and now this week I am away again in Krakow. Every teacher knows that the last half term before Christmas is always the hardest. The weather is cold, the days are short and the darkness is long, long, long. I've been enjoying work, but there is just so much to do.

I'm looking forward to going back to North Yorkshire and especially happy about my week in France for New Year with N and S. I only have another two weeks to survive, with a school trip squeezed in the middle, but I love going to Krakow as that will kick off all the feelings of Christmas that I have been waiting for.