Sunday, September 21, 2008

first week at work

I have finished my first week at work. On Monday, I had the day off. Then on Tuesday I trekked a 2.5 hour round trip to Bedford. I taught religion to year 7 and 8s. A bit nerve-wracking as I don't have a history in religious education. I turned up and was given the textbook and it was really easy!

On Wednesday I had another day off. It was good because I could do a couple of errands that popped up. Thursday, I went to Kettering; an hour round trip, and taught History and Science to year 7 and 8s. Friday I had the best day. I went to Corby and taught English to years 8 and 10. This was a bit harrowing. Supply teaching and all that. I really liked this school because their discipline policy was the strongest. I know that seems a funny thing to be so concerned about, but especially as a supply teacher, to not have a policy that is defined and strong, you don't know where you stand with the students. If you know the policy you can follow through with some semblance of normality for the students who actually want to do the work and you have another arsenal to attempt to control the students who don't want to.

I also taught German to years 7, 10, and 11. I really enjoyed this. The students were given work and they weren't able to finish the activity because they didn't understand the words. My level of German really helped them.

I am going to Bedford again on Tuesday, to a different school. I really don't mind the commuting, I'm just worried about the money. It's costing an average of 20 pounds to get to a school and back because the buses in Wellingborough don't start until too late to make connections with trains etc, so I have to take two taxis in the morning. Once I get registered with the pay company, they should be able to reimburse me with some of the money. I will be saving up to buy a car here and then I should be able to spend less money and less time on commuting and more on travelling!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Do not have sex in this country

10% have herpes
89,838 new cases of genital warts every year
121,986 new cases of Chlamydia, 1 in 10 in Britain
49% of 18-24 have never used condoms
1800% increase in syphilis in the last decade

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Yesterday Erin (a Canadian over here) and I went to Northampton. We basically went to look around and see what was available outside of Wellingborough. Once we were there though, we found it was Historic Weekend or something like that. Basically all their historic buildings were available to go look at in a bus from the war era. It was pretty good, best bit was that it was free!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

yes, I watch a lot of TV

Australia is actually ahead of the UK in all the programs that I used to watch (except the Bill and Australian made programs) A couple of weeks in the case of NCIS but entire seasons in the case of channel 7's 'fasttracked' shows - Grey's started last night with the last season that we had shown a couple of months ago.

My holidays haven't been all that adventurous; tv has been my friend. I've caught up on lots of Gilmore Girls, Charmed, Scrubs and have become entirely obsessed with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It's a program in which a team of designers demolish a house and recreate it from scratch for people.

Television is my friend...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Day Rider into the City please

... is what I asked the bus driver for this afternoon. He looked at me and said, you can get a ticket to Northampton at the Church Road bus stop; on the relevant bus.

Ooops. I meant town centre. It's confusing people here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I am on holidays for the first time since 2005. I love it.
Jane's here at the moment. She's washing up our breakfast dishes and washing clothes.
We went into the town centre (see, I stopped calling it the city) and went op-shopping. Jane bought a jumper, that even though we made fun of it, it is quite nice.

I bought 15 apples for `1 pound, 4 oranges for 1 pound, 5 peaches for 1.50pound and 12 eggs for 1.80 pound. Considering Jane's jumper was 4pound, it's pretty cheap buying at the market.

The difference between Australian supermarkets and the supermarket that we go to here (sainsbury's) is that the fresh food section in Australia is massive. I'm talking massive! In Wellingborough, it's one row, which includes the fruit and the veges. And it's not as cheap as at the market.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bad quality food

I will never poo-poo Australian meat ever again.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hi from England

On Wednesday morning I went to the airport with my Mum, Sister and Father. We were so early that we had to stand in line at the check-in desk for half an hour; but I was first in the queue. That meant that we had the full three hours to wait before I was to fly off into the sky.

Brisbane airport is undergoing construction that we were unaware of, so I went down early enough to go shopping and get a book or magazines etc. This didn't happen because there were only three shops open down the bottom. I got my money back on the TRS for my iPod. Good old getting GST back – makes everything 10% cheaper.

When we arrived, the person at the check-in told us that we weren't stopping in Cairns anymore. I didn't know that we were supposed to stop there, so that was ok with me. It saved 2.5 hours off the flying time, but the best bit was that we didn't pick up extra passengers, and we didn't have anybody on the flight to Cairns getting off. This meant on the A330 plane (2, 5, 2) we had at most 30-35 people. We all had a row to ourself and we could stretch out etc.

In Hong Kong, I was upset because the only food that I could see was starbucks, and I really didn't want to just have muffins or coffee in my 6 hour stopover. I said that to someone and she said, "Go upstairs" So I did. Holy man! Noodles, Burger King, McDonalds, Noodles, Steakhouse (where I ate) and Noodles. I got the money that I had in my wallet (thank you to who gave it to me) transferred over to Hong Kong Dollars. $100AUS turned into $609HKD. My dinner was pasta and garlic bread. A serving of garlic bread had 6 slices of Turkish bread with garlic butter. I have never seen a dinner that was as nicely presented as this garlic bread. It had dried lavash bread as well, and sheep's (I think) cheese in a ball on the side.

Then came the 10.5 hour flight to London. I was in 69C – the last seat on the plane. I was right next to the toilet and the area in which everyone stood and talked for hours on end. I was unable to sleep, however I did manage to watch Indiana Jones, Just Married, Sex and the City and some other movie that I have never heard of, and lots of other things like Ugly Betty, Simpsons etc. I read a little and was able to get up and down a lot, because I was on the end and I was able to lift up the armrest and just get up and down without interrupting anyone. I don't know that I'll have a window seat ever again – being able to get up and down without having to disturb other people.

I arrived in London, but I didn't stay there. I was too tired and just wanted to go to bed. I got a train to Wellingborough. £32.60 for a trip one-way and the woman said, "Are you coming back any time soon" Ah no, "Well, if you wanted to come back within 30 days it would be a £1 increase on the cost." Oh, ok, then. Well then I'll buy the return ticket.

When I got out of the train at Wellingborough, I freaked out. The accents of the people on the track were completely indecipherable. I was scared about what I had taken on. Just went, oh, well, I learn to understand it. They don't know what I'm saying when I say ATM (they call it the cash dispenser) and a couple of things like that. After I left the train station though, the accents became really normal. The woman at the hotel that I was in didn't pick me as Australian, she said, "and what region is that accent from?" She looked shocked when I said Australian. "How long have you been here?" Three hours. "Wow, you've got a very faint accent." Ok, thanks.

I stayed at the Hind Hotel last night. £62.50 pound for the night in a room as small as my room at Mum's and no wireless connection! I got up from bed at about 4.30pm and asked the receptionist for the nearest internet cafĂ© – ah, there's none in town! WHAT!?!?! I was so not happy – wanted to check in with Mum and there was an email I was looking for in relation to the place I wanted to live in. The only public place for internet is at the library, but it was closed.

This morning I bought a mobile – a Sagem – for £30. Get in touch via email if you want the number.

Also, when I watch the Bill and they talk about pay as you go number being untraceable, I always go, pfff – each time I've bought a SIM in Australia they've taken some form of identification and in Germany, they've taken my information. Here, I walked into Vodafone and they took a SIM from the wall, said, £5 and took the cash. I understand now why they would be untraceable.