Thursday, December 31, 2009

9 things that furthered me in 2009

I moved departments at work. This is the biggest thing that happened to me this year. It was the best thing that (I think) has ever happened in my life. Not that other things haven't been more joyous in the moment, or more exciting; but I can't think of anything else (although Yeronga SHS came close) that has centred me on my journey. The path to the pure spirit of me is clearer because of this department. I am eternally grateful for this experience. It was one of joy, contentment and fulfillment. I am a better person for it.

So technically, this happened in 2008 as well, and I moved on from this in 2009. But through this house, I gained a couple of great friends, learnt to live independently and how to live graciously around other people without impacting their lives negatively.

I went on my first official date this year. While I have had relationships and been 'out' with boys in the past, this was the first time that I officially went on a 'date'. What's the difference I hear you ask? Well, going out with someone is much more casual - this date, we met each other, he bought everything and I didn't have to spend any cash on myself (except for the tacky souvenirs I bought). Nothing came of this date - mutually - but I have experienced having someone buy the stuff for me and experienced the 'dating game' as an adult. I learnt that there are adult men out there and that I can have a comfortable afternoon with someone I'm not attracted to and there is no need to be rude to them and run off. And now, it's not a secret anymore.

N, E & J
These three women came to my rescue when I decided to leave the above-mentioned Geddington Road. I am eternally grateful for the three of them allowing me to doss at theirs and give me two months grace in finding a new place to live - I would never have found such a convenient and lovely place if I hadn't had them to accommodate me. I am also grateful for their friendship and the comfortable way in which we interact with each other. I have learnt that I am not abhorrent and strangers can and will like me. For me, without me changing myself into someone I think that they will like. Even in such a bad emotional state these women took me into their lives and became friends with me. For them I am eternally grateful.

Even though Stacey on 'Gavin and Stacey' drives me around the bend using this word as an adjective, I have become a serious convert to Lush products. Back home, I used bathing time as pure necessity - jumped into the shower and got out as soon as possible. Over here, with the addition of Lush to my life, I will actually run a bath on a weeknight - obscene luxury - and soak in blackberry, or avocado or peach. So relaxing. The only thing that annoys me is that there aren't enough citrus products. But by finding this company, I have begun to treat myself to relaxation and think I am worth it.

*deliberate lower case i*
On arrival (and, actually, to this day) I spend a lot of time in front of the television. Having the BBC and Channel 4 here have given me lots to watch - and on occassion Five and Five USA. And most of it much better quality than the tripe we got back home. But then I learnt I couldn't watch all of it and live my life. Something had to give, and in my new-found love of life, it was not going to be that, so TV had to give. I don't mind missing programmes now - after years of taping hours and hours of TV each week to do both, that's a different perspective on life. But, if I do miss something and want to catch it up, invariably I can - on the internet! Apparently this invention has come to Australia as well during my time over here, but it wasn't available last year so it was a revelation and something that got me through this year.

During the first half of the year, I was involved in the school musical - We Will Rock You. Absolutely brilliant. Brilliant play, good songs and what I got out of it was invaluable - more children at school got to know me and I was able to command more respect from students through the school. I will never join a new school without taking on extra-curricular duties. Invaluable lesson.

This meant that I could keep in contact with family at home (as well as friends.) This furthered me because I was able to get healthy and know that I could still contact people back home. I am scared about going home, but know that I will be able to keep my spiritual path open and acheive more because I have been in contact with them. It has also meant that I haven't overly missed anyone - they've been just a phone call away. Unlike in Germany when my homesickness was all-pervasive, having contstant access has made it seem like that I was not so far away at all.

Yes, this is a constant source of worry, and I have been broke all year. It didn't seem to matter how much I earnt it; I spent it. Nothing new there really. I have needed to ask parents for a few handouts, but unlike in the past, it has been a last resort. There were a few things I contemplated that would not have helped me on my path, and I often left it too late for deadlines to ask for help. This proved to me that I can live on 10 quid per week (as long as school wasn't on and my friends were in different timezones) and that I ache to be financially independant. It is my main goal in 2010.

**Obviously, there are more things that have contributed to making me who I am now, on the cusp of the new decade than I was at the beginning of 2009. But these nine things above are those that I can see as being pivotal in my soul being lightened and leading me into 2010 as a calmer, more mature and independant person.**

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

Holmes-baby has never really attracted me. I mean the story. All a bit homo-erotic to me - two men living together as bachelors? yeah, like Cary Grant (I'm totally if I got his name wrong!) and that other dude and their dog. 'Just Friends' *Pfffft.*

However I really enjoyed the new film with Downey Jnr and Law in it. Holmes was a bit camp, but Old Coke-head carried it off. Bumbling idiot and not taken at all seriously. My kind of 'victorian crime thriller'. Mr 'I like my nannies warm' was the straight man - oh, look a double whammy - and it managed to negate my annoyance at the whole 'friends' thing. Really trying to get out of Sherlock (what the hell kind of stupid name is that? Almost as stupid as the girl on Waterloo Road called Sambuca)'s grasp but always getting pulled back in.

I swear I annoyed E - I kept saying, "Yeah, that's right, kill the Necromancer" *oopps* Oh, well, sometimes you get things really wrong.

My movie career in the UK is now well and truly over. Too much money must be paid for the privilege and I don't have much. :( And, I finally got so jack of the seats not having drink holders so you've gotta hold on for the duration of the film. Bah.

2 more days of this month, year and decade left. I'm of the 'decade starts before the 1st year' Don't care what others think. So a full decade will have passed in two days time since the millenium started.

What's happened? The millenium dome's been revamped, I've been to Europe three times - Germany twice and England once (still gonna get the tattoo design done that I want... when I get up the courage...) graduated uni and kept a teaching job for a year. I've done a lot. Proud.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 09

It's all over. Gone. Finished. Done and dusted. But you know what? I am not feeling all that sorry this year.

It was missing something this year - family, friends and sun. I had a heap of fun with N - lots of crap TV, over-sugaring ourselves, Wii party (most annoying game ever) and presents. But it just didn't fulfill me this year. Don't get me wrong; I wasn't sad or resentful about the way I spent it. My choice afterall. It just had a couple of missing elements.

I am looking forward to getting home more and more. Beginning of February!  Bring it on.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas TV

There are two movies that I want to see each Christmas. Scratch that; four. One though I own on DVD so it doesn't matter when I watch it - it's a great movie and sometimes I will watch it throughout the year.

The three movies I long for all year are:

The Last Leaf.

So yes, it's an Easter parable apparently and therefore I really shouldn't be waiting for it at Christmas. I feel slightly stupid now, but you know, I swear that I saw it first at Christmas. Anyway, the story was sooo beautiful. A girl is dying and giving up the fight. She tells her neighbour that when the last leaf falls from the vine outside her window, she will also die. During the night, the neighbour paints a leaf in place of the last one (which had fallen off). So, of course she doesn't die - but he does.

Now I know it's an Easter story, I understand it much more. When I watched it the first time, I was shocked and horrified by the LDS message that came up after it. This was a religious film???  Even my 15 year old self couldn't get past the beauty of the story to hate it. On principle you see - it was religious. Not because it was from the LDS, but because it was from a Christian organisation.

Now, as an adult, I am much more easy-going and, you know what? I thank this movie for making me a more tolerant person - I now enjoy that there are people in the world who follow an organised religion and believe totally in a supreme being. I envy their totality of belief and their ability to follow a thought. I don't, but believe in something - I'm not agnostic either - I know what there is out there, but it is not part of the conventional wisdom.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

This movie I look forward to all year. I finally got to watch it this year and fell asleep! I can't believe I did that. It's an anarchic interpretation, if the muppets could do anything else, of *shock* Dickens' A Christmas Carol. This year it was even more interesting for the time I was awake - I taught the story at GCSE level at the beginning of this year, and, you know what? It made it so much better; Gizmo, playing Dickens, uses words direct from the book and this gave me an added rush.

A Mom for Christmas

Olivia Newton-John as a mannequin that comes to life and becomes someone's Mum? What a corny story. I haven't seen this since I saw it the first time. Released in 1990, I'm guessing I was ten or eleven when I saw it. But I fell in love with it. I've wanted to see it again every year, but now that I'm in my almost-late (what?!?!?) twenties I am scared that the magic I hold in my head from this story would not be there, and it would just be soppy and corny.

Joyeux Noël

A Trilingual war film with Daniel Brühl, Benno Führmann and Guillaume Canet? Hell yeah. Canet I've never seen before or since, but woof! (that was a wolf whistle by the way). It's the story of the Highland Army, the Germans and the French all fighting for a little piece of land in WWI and the ceasefire story we all know - they go to mass together, become friends, play football, eat and celebrate christmas. It also has the aftermath of the army trying to hide this fact. Powerful stuff and really, trilingual? That's my kind of film.

So, essentially, I look forward to Christmas because of the presents and the family (ooops, Freudian slip-should really be in the other order) and Christmas movies. Even if most of them are totally sappy and corny.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nail Marbling

So I've kinda got obsessed with my nails. I have in the past three months accumulated around 15 bottles of nail polish - and then E got me another 10 or so for Christmas!!! It's kinda a guilty obsession - 'cause I've always made fun of painted nails in different patterns and different colours every day. *shrug* I guess I've just got to own there is a bit of the chav and bogan (and yes, they are different species - Wikpedia obviously doesn't know the interacacies of the differences. Chav's, in the words of Nathan from misfits, have their hair pulled back so far that they look a little asian [OMG, totally racist] and wear Burbery, tiny little skirts or grey tracksuit pants about three sizes too big and huge gold hoops. Bogans on the other hand, wear jeans, flannelette, have their cigarettes held by their shirtsleeves and still think the mullet is in fashion.) in me, no matter whether I hope there isn't.

Anyway last night I tried finger paint marbling. Oh, ye gads, did that ever go atrociously wrong.

This is what I was heading for (albeit in green and red):

What I got was more like this:

 But even that's pretty compared to what I got. It was Terrible. That deserves the capital. I know that it will extend up the fingers 'cause of the way you do it, but I wasn't prepared for the great lack of consistent colour - it came up either really really dark on the green/red or like light green and pink. Then my polish remover sucks. I know this. It takes me way too long to remove any kind of nailpolish. So I couldn't remove it from my hands. What kind of nailpolish doesn't allow you to remove polish from flesh!!! I opened my travel pack of nail polish wipes (like make up remover pads but for nail polish.) BEST INVENTION EVER! These got rid of the nail polish better than I've been able to with  'proper' remover for the last thre months. Well chuffed.

So now I've bored you stupid about nails and polishing, I am going to brave the snow and pray I don't fall over again so that I can get some food in.

**In fairness of copyright laws, I must tell you that all pictures in this post are not mine and were found through google images. I apologise to those people who were able to get marbling done properly...*

Monday, December 21, 2009

Labelled as a teacher

I'm on the hunt for new blogs to read. I read Amy's, the Daily Nail's and Nat the Fat Rat's religiously and they're in my little 'blogs you're following that are being updated' pannel on the  blogger dashboard. I also try to remember to check Postsecret every Sunday. But now I'm not working, I thought I'd try and find some more blogs, like mine, with Blogger's 'Next Blog' feature.

Apparently, because I have the word 'teacher' in my precis of my blog, the next blogs are all about homeschooling, or teaching blogs for classes (why they aren't using a VLP I don't know).

So, in other words, I have not found any more blogs that speak to me.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

White man dancing!!!

A warning goes out to the wide world - there were white men dancing in my town tonight. Badly. Can a white man dance rythmically? They're either dancing in the 80s (hell yeah - lawnmower, sprinkler, cash register), spazzing widly and hitting people or dirty dancing so disgustingly with their partners (or, interestingly, each other) that people feel decidedly ill.

(Has anyone noticed yet that this is my second post in 12 hours?)

We went clubbing tonight. If you've read aforementioned post, you will know that it snowed so much that the school was closed today. So I caught a cab into town at 8.30pm. I thought fleetingly about walking; but one instant outside made me laugh at myself and head back inside to call a taxi. He turned up on time, and drove sanely to where I wanted to go. Then, I got out of the car, after giving him a 1 quid tip and walked around behind the car, thinking he would drive off forwards. No. It seems he didn't want to do that. He reversed. Right into me. Before you get worried, it was so slow I didn't know what it was to begin with. Then some drunk dude on the footpath hit the car and the same instant I realised that I was being pushed by the car. He drove off without checking. I didn't hit the ground and promptly forgot about it, so I obviously wasn't worried.

I was with my old housemates, and bar one woman (who on noticing my new-found happiness and confidence asked what his name was) I get on with them really well. R got sooooo drunk. Not talking a little drunk, I'm talking insanely drunk. And we were all tipsy but not drunk. So, at 1am R decides that it's time to go home and says, "let's go outside and get a cab" And for some reason this sounded like a great idea, so we traipsed outside into the snow.

40 minutes until the cab arrived. In -2.5 degree heat. Or, should I say absence of heat? Never have I been so cold in my life. It was warm when I arrived home - of course. But now 15 minutes later, in bed, with my thermal underwear on, I am really cold again. :(

But, ignoring the cold, the being almsot run over by a cab, the huge fight that started in the toilets and spilled out onto the dancefloor including at least 10 men and the almighty drunkeness that was R, I had one of the best nights of my life!

A picture of the real ugg boot I bought today. OK, I bought a knock-off... and two of them.

I just spent over 10 minutes writing a really informative, thought-provoking and very stream-of-consciousness (and let's face it, the writing that I do and my Dad likes is pretty much always stream-of-consciousness) post and then IE went all postal on me and crashed. I much prefer Firefox. IE is the devil. I know one of my friends from high school haad some kind of joke name, but blow me if I can remember...

Anyway.... I am going to endeavour to replicate the ideas of the post that is now in the middle of nowhere.

I finished at school today, rather like a whimpering dog than a big firework. I was looking forward to saying goodbye to everyone and maybe getting a formal send-off during the leaver meeting. I had even practiced my '2nd place' face - you know the one when you're happy for the other person if you didn't win - for when my headteacher forgot to mention me in his 'these people are buggering off' speech.

Then I woke up this morning. The landscape had turned miraculously from greys and smog to white and frost. Snow had fallen and settled during the night. Just what I didn't want. Snow is miraculous in that it covers up the rubbish on the side of the road, it hides the grass the council hasn't mown in six months, and it closes the schools.  We don't give our kids realistic expectations, 'cause they think that life stops if it snows. It doesn't unless you are school student, school teacher or someone who lives in Britain. But at least they had grit today - back in February they had to buy it from France and Ireland, and a table salt company stopped grinding and sold it to the government!

So, that all could have been summed up as, "It snowed so I didn't have school today but chose to go in anyway to clean my desk for the new teacher."

After 4 hours of marking and tidying, we caught a cab into town and went shopping!!! My friend bought a pair of Ugg boots for 179 quid. Not a lot you say??? That's about $380 Australian. I went next door and bought a pair of the picture above for 30 quid. I also bought a pair of jeans, a shirt, a ring and earrings.

I am currently lying in bed, trying to keep warm. I was supposed to go clubbing tonight with the old housemates, but we've had a few miscommunications and we've all been changing our minds, so not sure anymore what's going on. I kinda just want to buy a pizza and snuggle up to the blanket and internet.

Or the marking that's left over.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I got up late today. Not too late- dead on the third alarm. I never used to be like that but this winter I am seemingly uncapable to get up on the first alarm. I have gotten dressed and pinned myself up. I need to 'cause my shirt's too low and I flash bra everytime I try to help one of the little ones (which is kinda a terrible idea.)

I removed my patchy green nailpolish with red french tips. That was brilliant polish. I have replaced it with clear polish with red glitter in it. I'm trying to convince myself that it's Christmassy enough. I changed my earrings too - yesterday I wore wreaths dangling from my lobes. Today I'm wearing candy canes!!!! I figure that this is the best way to do Christmas seeing as we're not supposed to do anything Christmas until Friday.

The head announced it in briefing with "I might sound like a Scrooge..." Why, yes, mr man banning Christmas! Just a little. But in reality I'm ignoring that advice. He did say that as long as it was educational it was OK. So, I figure that anything I do is educational.... as long as it's in the target language! Mwahahaha Evil plans afoot.

9 sleeps. Holy crap! (Interesting saying by the way... but the bus shall be arriving in 8 minutes and I still need to adon my body with two coats, a scarf, a beanie and gloves. Bloody cold. So the interesting that is the phrase "Holy Crap" will go undiscussed this time. [I guarantee you it's going to bug me all day])

Saturday, December 12, 2009

All going to the dogs

Not really sure that phrase has anything to do with what I did last night, but man, that's how I sure felt when I got out of our Taxi (why the capital, I ask myself?). We were meeting the rest of our work department for our Christmas dinner at....

the Dog Track.

Now, for 10 quid, I really wasn't expecting much. We got 2 quid totes (for some reason, you don't place bets on the animals in dog racing, you place 'totes' on 'tracks'.) I confused the bet-taker (not going to call the 40 year old man in a tshirt, drinking a bright red drink [which could only be red fanta, or lemonade with grenadine in it - pansy] a bookie) when I went up to the counter and, in all my wisdom of never having bet before, confidently stated, "1 pound on Morden's mist in race number 3". The man just stared at me. Rather conspicuosly I stood there. IN my work clothes - tailored brown pants, a peasant blouse with sequins all over it. In the incredible amount of tshirts and jeans, I well stood out.

Where was I? Oh yes. I then said, "Dog three in race three., one pound to place." He still just looked at me. This was not a glare. It was not angry. It was utter confusion. I've not even seen any of my wee kiddies look that blankly at me. It was a look of "What the hell is this woman talking about? Is she speaking a foreign language?" which is you think about it, I do all day at school but don't confuse people that much. In the end, he had the form guide in front of him and I reached over and pointed to the dog. A light came on! 1 pound to place? Yes!!!! I communicated.

So back to my expectations. 10 quid and I got two totes, two drinks, dinner and entry. Really really wasn't expecting much. We had a choice of scampi and chips or chicken nuggets and chips. I don't eat fries. I don't eat fried food (OK, sometimes I will have a pack of pringles... but I've eaten four packs all year). So I bought a burger. Wow! The food at the school canteen was miles better than that.

It did only get better though. It was incredible fun! I won 5 quid, so came out with money, and got to see a wholy different side to a couple of women from school.

And the best bit??? We talked about school for no more than half an hour, and it wasn't complaining!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Safe, warm, relaxed and calm

I am writing to you from my very own fortress. It is a comfortable fortress. It is a cushiony fortress. It is an extremely close to technology fortress. It is my safe haven from the wide crazy that is the 'borough.

I read ithe concept on a blog in October (word up to "Blogs of Note" - this invaluable tool has allowed me to stumble upon [a  word which I know I so shouldn't be using as I am sure it's copyrighted. Damn you, I stumbled across it - myself!!! Without a program to help me {OK, I guess the Blogger program helped me}]) and didn't really get it. So? You're sitting in your living room near the TV and with your laptop? Woot.

I am now a definite fortress convert. I come in from school, get changed (nothing better than loose jeans after 'smart' trousers) turn one light on and get comfy. It's like Homer J Simpson - my butt is starting to leave an imprint on the couch. I turn on my music (currently Christmas carols - In der Weihnachtsbäckerei!!!) and then watch some TV, do my planning, marking and generally just laze around. Ich faulenze - Je suis paresseuse *.

The only thing that has felt this comforting in a long time was a long hot bath with a good cry to 'the Book Thief' and then wrapping myself in towels straight out of the dryer. Ahhhh, heavenly bliss.

*Before anyone wants to get really picky - I am aware that Ich faulenze and Je suis paresseuse do not mean the same thing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Inconvenient Truth

The inconvenient truth I have to tell you is uncomfortable. It is annoying, irritating and really quite gross. It's this:

My housemate is loud.

I don't mean she talks a lot, I don't mean she listens to music loudly, I don't mean that she watches her TV loudly.

I mean that when she and her boyfriend are ensconced in her room she's loud. Do you follow?

I bet you do in these days of 'inappropriate' content on the internet, TV, and movies.

My computer only goes so loud.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I got the bus today at 4.27 and by the time I got home at 4.35 it was pitch black.

So unfair. I want the sun!!!

*but I don't want the heat it brings.*

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Death by perambulator

Something that I have heard plenty of times in my year here, "I wasn't scared of strollers before I moved to England" Now, before you ask - no, I do not now call them strollers. I have a friend of the Canuck variety (is Canuck racist for me to say? Seriously, I'm asking. Is it as offensive to call a Canadian a Canuck as it is to call an American a Yank?)

So my friend has on many an occassion when we have just, barely, escaped death by pramchair, and said, "I wasn't scared of strollers before I moved to England."

I can't remember prams being a death-wielding vehicle back home. This is not to say that they aren't - maybe the Australian variety of death-pram are hidden from view much better in Australia. We are much better at hiding our dirty little secrets - no red tops you see. We don't do scandal like the Brits do. They might say, 'chin chin' and pretend to have perfect manners, but inside their wee little heads they are screaming out for a good gossip. I guess it's why they drink so much tea. "Oh, Mrs Jones, would you like some *ahem* tea?" "Oh, yes Mrs Allen, I would love some *ahem* tea." 

See what I did there? I used the word tea as code for gossip. Clever me, I really do deserve the G&T label.

Anyhoo... Again, I've completely veered off track. I guess that's what happens when you mark 30 books with less than 5 pages of the required writing in them. You go well mental.

So, where was I? Ah, yes, death-prams. These are prams wielded by both low socio-economic and high-socioeconomic mothers. They are wielded by both the teen mother and the mid 30s mother. They are wielded by both smoking and non-smoking mothers. They are wielded by both those mothers in tracksuits and those mothers in suits.

These are the prams that seem to be going into the exact space you were walking in. The prams that force you out into the middle of the road, because they couldn't just wait. These are the prams that walk into the backs of your legs while you are standing in line... or walking along minding your own business. These are the prams that are more unwieldy than those supermarket trollies (sp that doesn't look right, even though I followed the English rules. No, no more tangents this post!) with the incredibly dodgy wheels.

And these prams are always followed by mothers (and fathers. I understand that death-prams are directed by people of both genders) with extremely death-like glares. How dare you walk on the sidewalk? You want to go through that door? Well, you can hold the door open even though you got there first, 'cause I'm going through. You've got to let me - I reproduced!

Now, a deep and sincere apology for those parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts and friends who can and regulary do have control of their prams and don't turn them into death-machines. But man, I'm scared of prams now.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mixed metaphors

I understand that the examples in the previous post were of understatement, not of overstatement. I am going to be a child here and stamp my foot in annoyance. I know that they are wrong, and that is not the best thing that I can put on my blog, but you know what? I don't care. I don't.

Well... only a little bit - see understatement.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A different plan

I have been thinking about what happens when I get home. I was worrying about not having a car - oh what to do sans car in Brisbane?

I've been happy dealing with the bus here. Well, happy might be an incredible overstatement. Like, the Black Knight's 'it's only a scratch' or Katrina only 'being a storm'. I hate buses.

I hate the way that they arrive late or early. I hate the way that the drivers are rude and often don't stop for people - quite randomly, I might add. I hate that when they are 1 hour late and you passivly aggressively say something like, "lots of traffic?" or "are you the 4pm, 4.20, 4.40 or the 5?" and they just smile. I don't mind you're late if you apologise. Not that big of a deal if you just go, 'sorry we're late, we got caught in traffic' or even just a 'sorry the bus before didn't arrive'.

I hate people who sit right next to you when it's you and three other people on the bus. I hate the chav mothers who get on the bus with their prams and other children and take up the whole wheelchair section and then glare at you so that you allow their children to sit down. I hate the mothers who obviously can afford a car 'cause they've got a 500 pound pram that won't fit in the pram space and they just put it out into the aisle. I hate that drivers are too scared to tell these mothers that their prams are nuisances and should be folded down before getting on 'cause there's already 4 prams on it already.

I hate older people (not OAPs, but mid 50s people) who stare at you to get up and allow them to sit, even though you've had a ten hour day and you're on a full price ticket. I hate people who are too sick to be on the bus (there's one here who has a catheter with a pee bag that leaks) and make everyone uncomfortable.

I hate the way the word buses doesn't conform to grammar rules. I mean - it's a consonant at the end; it needs a damn 'ss' in the middle!!!!

Oh, dear me. That post got to a crossroads and took the left hand turn instead of the right, where it was meant to go - back to the original path ---

I was worried about being in Brisbane with no car again. I hate not having the independence....

No! Stop. No more rant. I was going to be limited in where I lived, what I did, where I worked.

Then I got an email. My lovely step-mother is going to allow my Dad to pay her the trade-in and he is going to be excellent and allow me to pay him back. So, when I get home, I will have a car!!!

I can live where I want, do what I want, work where I want.

I want to make a public thank to two of my parental units for allowing me to retain some of my hard-won independance on my return.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just wanted to say...

that I had one of the best teaching days of my life today! If I could cartwheel I would have done 100.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The devil that is the bus

The times that are written on the post next to the shelter are inefficient. The driver reads them; 'pfft. Timetable! I laugh in your face. My middle name is keeps-on-time. Watch? What's them?'

They run early or late, depending on their mood. Don't even try and tell me it's the traffic! I get on that bus and I can see what's come before and if there is traffic, we will catch it up.

When it comes too early, you run, dragging your coat behind you. When it arrives late, you stand with your thirty books in your bag on your shoulder. In the freezing cold.

Or, as happened this afternoon, your friends are running and you are hoffing it as fast as you can. They get on, show their passes and the driver pulls away. It's almost like he's giving you the finger.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moon

So, I will say it here. Loud and Proud. I will not be paying money to see this film. I will not be spending money or any (more- I realise that writing about it counts) bandwidth on reading about, looking at pictures or secretly wishing that Robert Pattison was in my life.

In six months time when it's on TV, I will not  be spending my precious time stuck in front of the TV watching some teeny-bopper writing about Werewolves and Vampires.  Underworld sucked enough of my time, and I really really don't want to be thinking about some 17 year old at school trying to get one of these two creatures to (euphemistically) carry her into the dark night.

There is a place in the world for vampires, and it is Anne Rice, or Poppy Z Brite - hard core, no holds barred, unadulterated evil. Questions of the universe and agnosticism. Written well.  The world lost something wonderful when Ms Rice (as Stefenie - may I point out that this is spelt wrong - is often called) 'found' the Christian God and could no longer bring herself to write about evil.

It is not a place for mothers with young children who attended BYU and write for teens.

*In honour of being totally truthful, I have not read any of the Twilight books, but I imagine them to be soppy teen romances written inartfully by a hack writer (a la JK Rowling) with nothing appropriate for pre-teens and the middle twenty women who are swooning over it left, right and centre*

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I went to the Acupupuncturist during the week to get some more herbs. I use the term herbs loosely - they're what TCM calls herbs, but it's flowers, seeds, bark, roots, grass, and on occasion, an actual herb. I mentioned my sore jaw, and he added something extra to my concoction.

Not much better, but I have only been drinking it for a couple of days. The top jaw is less sore and I am not clenching my teeth together as much.

Can't wait until I get back home and back onto my healthcare so I can see a dentist.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Last period notices

So the admin assistant of the year level I was teaching comes into my lesson this afternoon. No problem there. She's lovely and the kids are little-kid-watching-blair-witch scared of this lady. A great lady to have on side and supportive of you. But I digress.

She came into the room with a pile of red leaflets for me to give out as they were leaving. I kid you not - these were blood red pieces of paper, with HEAD LICE WARNING emblazoned directly over the top of the page in Times New Roman in size 30!

There is no scarier font than Times New Roman that big. It's scary at size 12. I really don't know why I tolerate it as the horrid default for this blog - I never allow the devil of fonts to be a scourge on my documents. All serif fonts give me the heebie jeebies (official diagnosis - I'm not making the term up) and you can give me the information that one of my sweeties has intestinal parasites and therefore cannot sit still while I'm eating - that's fine... in fact it gives me a reason why the child just will not sit still for more than 30 seconds - but use a serif font on your powerpoint and I will be wanting to go all Mr Miyagi on yo' ass. And, no, not a nice Miyagi-san.

My new favourite for my own powerpoints is Comic Sans. I find that they will read a 'fancy' font more willingly and CS is one that both my computer at home and the school has. I also don't mind Papyrus or Harlow, or even Minya Nouvelle (which contrary to the above is a serif font). But they're not interchangeable and I end up with 2 hours of work transferred into Arial. Arial??? Why would I want to write in that? Not a serif, so granted is much nicer than Times (what newspaper is so egotistical to have called a font after themselves anyway?) but so predictable. Verdana and Tahoma have almost joined Arial is perfect respectability. Like a Stepford Wife.

Anyway, back to the story. I got these ruby red leaflets to hand to my horrors and that line just jumped out at me (how could it not?) So now I've got 45 minutes to teach this lot and I'm circumspectly looking at their heads - who's got it? Swine flu, meh, whatever. 48 hour bug that everyone has at the moment, I laugh at you. Head lice? Holy no!

I've been itching psychosomatically for hours.

I blame the font.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Woop Woop

The ad for rude tube makes me smile everytime. "Woop Woop, I've got my man boobs!" But I cannot imagine actually tuning in and watching a program of clips of naff people (and oh my, I use the term people loosely.) Cheapest programming ever!

The other ads that make me smile are the two "Phones 4 U" adverts. "Phones for popular people" Two that really make me giggle - two 'men' throwing ping pong balls into containers... and the other two 'men' dressed as cardboard knights beating each other with cardboard weapons. No! No! It's the fact that people I know back home would do that... and also the voice he uses.


Saturday, November 7, 2009


One seventh of the half-term is down. Six to go before my holiday *eee* I can't wait!

I am soooo much stronger as a teacher this term. Stand up to them and am bossy as hell. :) Feels good to know that you will have the support of the others if this is what is needed.

Next week even has a half day off! Kids back home have it tough, I tell ya!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Days off

My reward is almost at an end. No more holidays for me in my England jaunt. Blergh.

I am quite scared and apprehensive at 10-12 week terms back home. 7 was the longest here and I almost collapsed at the end of it. *shrug* Maybe that's 'cause it was the end of the year back in July.

This week I've spent far too much money, almost paid off my Contiki tour for Christmas, finished Christmas shopping, wrapped them all up (and am just waiting for the posties to stop striking to bother sending them all (and I mean all...) home. For some unknown reason I decided to buy proper presents instead of just little tiny tokens like last year. Damn postage.) bought some jeans, gone to Lincoln and walked down the steepest hill I've ever seen (imaginately called 'steep hill' - photos available through my profile on a social networking site) and am just about to head out to Wisbech (uh oh, me's is heading out to them there Fens) to celebrate Halloween with my peeps.

Last year we got trick or treaters, but my overwhelmingly British housemates ignored the door, this year the Canadians are excited to welcome them. So, I am going to head over for some good old North American (ooh, yep, I went there!) Halloween fun.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another 350 GBP

Balance: 1139
Paid: 350
New balance: 789

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Half term

7 weeks of school complete, so I get my reward: a full week off!

Yes, I will be doing copious amounts of planning
Yes, I will be marking furiously
Yes, I will be looking dreading the class on the first day attempting their exam.

But I can do it at 2am if I damned well please.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


460 pound paid onto my trip for Christmas.
1139 to go - come on tax return!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I am almost completely finished with my Christmas shopping in October for the second year in a row. My excuse is that I need to meet the deadline for shipping and post, but in reality, I like buying presents for people. :) Gives me a rush - both the spending of money (I think I am a little addicted to that rush) and finding something that I hope the person in mind likes.

Both sisters are done. Mother is semi-done. I found something perfect, bought it, then worked out at home that it wasn't quite so perfect after all. This is the danger buying something on the other side of the world - it can make it inappropriate for back home in the antipodes. Dad is also done.

So it's basically just the step family to buy for now. I will have to wait until I can afford it though; all tapped out at the moment. (see aforementioned addiction to spending).

Second year in a row I will be far away from loved ones. I will hopefully be in the Royal Casino in Monaco all 'gokked' (oh God, I'm using it as a verb now) up and forgetting that I am not getting any presents or hugs from friends and family.

Next year.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Come Back. Please.

Heading into winter now and the sun is very shy. He was very verbose and like an old jumper - comfortable - in summer, and now has decided it's time to take a holiday.

He arrives around 7am and leaves at 7pm. Doesn't sound like a big thing, but he's not helping me wake up anymore. It's soooo hard to get up. My alarm goes off three times, and it's still a struggle to get up and going.

So even though the sun back home is the devil (related to the sun here, but is mean and nasty with the amount of heat he gives off) I am looking forward to getting up with the first ringing of the alarm.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Goal #9

I don't really know why I decided this was something I needed to do. Cull Facebook 'friends'? It's not like they're being offensive or taking up any of my time.

But I did it. Well, I started anyway. I culled 10 people!!! Generally people who added me that I really didn't like when I knew them in person and a couple of people who aren't healthy for me.

Going to give myself a month to cull another 10 - it's a big decision people! :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I live in shared housing. Much cheaper that way. A month's rent is less than a week's pay - they have realistic house/room values in this country! :)

The couple that were sharing with me have left. They left yesterday. The owner moved back in.

I hope it goes better with her.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


It's here again. The week goes so fast! It doesnn't necessarily seem like it's going fast while you're at work, but on a Friday night it's like... wow! Where'd that week go?

Especially when you're going to bed at 8pm.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

changing my password

My profile on the computer system was down all last week, so I needed to change my password today (it was reset by IT). I was at a loss - I use 5 or 6 passwords throughout the internet and they are all time related and I didn't want to use them for work.

I recently found out a friend's password and was inspired by her ordering the initials of a band in order of attractiveness. Inspiration striking, I thought of all the men in television and film that I am attracted to at the moment.

I now have an eight letter password of seemingly random letters that can only be worked out by knowing every single famous TV man I'm attracted to, choosing the correct ones, and the correct combination.


Oh, and I did write it down somewhere so I didn't forget when my tastes change!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

28 by 28

Stolen from Amy's blog.

Maybe if they are public, then I will do them?? Not in any logical order; just how they popped into my head.

1. Read Crime and Punishment fully
2. Make a new friend
3. Run a race
4. Join a dance class
5. Pick up my clarinet again
6. Halve my debt
7. Retrain to teach SOSE (HUMS for my English readers)/MFL
8. Scrapbook England
9. Cull FB 'friends'
10. Participate in the lives of friends' children. Like a creepy 'oh, that's Aunt X. She's not really my aunt; she's a friend of my mum'
11. Cut down jealousy
12. Go to New Zealand
13. Close my CBA account/s
14. Own shoes that support my feet and didn't cost less than a tenner.
15. Tithe to charity
16. Get involved in amateur theatre - even just as an audience member.
17. Join (and go to) a gym
18. Go and visit friends elsewhere in Australia.
19. Get Voc Ed Certificate to teach that too.
20. Restart connections with old freinds
21. Take better care of myself. I know what this means.
22. Less passive aggression.
23. Give myself two hours before buying anything
24. Keep a distinct record of the money I spend.
25. Take time out for family.
26. Have $2000 savings.
27. Have socially accepted facial hair
28. Keep things in closets and not on the floor.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sometimes teaching is lots of fun

Amusing anecdotes from the classroom.

1. "Please don't give me a 'discipline policy level 1' or Mum will take away my straightener." Another year 8 girl from across the other side of the room - "Why do you think I've got no make-up on?"

2. "Miss, you have extremely pointy elbows!" - Year 9 girl

3. "Miss, why did you give me a bad report? You're so unfair"...5 minute tirade before yr 10 boy reads it ... "Oh thank you, it's a good report!" goes back to chair sheepishly.

4. "Mum! Oh, I mean Miss! Oh God. Miss! I meant Miss! *panicked year 9* Not that you wouldn't be a cool Mum though..."

5. Yr 8 girl to Yr 8 boy - "You love Miss" Yr 8 boy gags. "Sorry, Miss, no offence".
"That's okay X, that'd be my reaction too"

Things you probably shouldn't say can come out of your mouth sometimes. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to school

Two weeks down at school for the new year. And yes, that's wierd. I keep saying to the kids, "What did you do over Christmas?" even though it's September. Moved up into a different department in the school, and you know what? Oh my God, the difference is amazing.

It's a combination of three things, but I am ENJOYING it again!

I think it's gotten a little easier is that I have done three terms at the school. And I came back after summer - got over that 'she's gonna leave' thing. Which I am dreading going through again back home. :( One of the parents told me that her son (in year 9 - third year at high school) had had 11 teachers in my subject, not counting day to day supply over the three years - apparently at two and a half terms I was the longest teacher he had had. So I guess these students are seeing, well, yes she left this department but we count enough to her that she stayed with us. Big party the last lessons I think!

I am also much more comfortable teaching the subject I am now. It's what I went into teaching for - not the one I started with - and even though one section of it, I have less content knowledge than the students, I am loving. OK, not loving each class - I have two that aren't great, but compared to last year, it's like being in heaven. The two 'horrid' classes this year would have been the ones that I was enjoying lots last school year. Am toying with the idea of going back to uni when I get home to upgrade back into this subject, and SOSE. Much better at teaching content I think - I am much more comfortable and that's a good thing.

Keeping it quite on the down-low at school - if people ask, I say, yes, I am enjoying it lots, but in different ways. "It's like coming home" is kinda what I say. Don't think that the members of the old dept would be offended by the HOD definitely would be.

This half-term has five weeks left, one week off, then we come back for 7 weeks and then I'm having another change in location. Not sure how I am going to do 10-13 week terms back home - the longest here has been 7 and God, was I tired!!! Headed through Europe on a tour as long as I get enough money (hint!!!! lol) and then over to Canada to catch up with a friend from Germany and her 'big day', then as long as I don't get snowed in (((WHICH I WON'T!!!!) back to Brisbane for the Deanna/Travis shindig. Am so grateful that I am going to be able to share both days. I love weddings and seeing people on their days. :)

I have been here for over a year now and I love that I have been. Stuck out last year and, oh goodness, it was hard. I had a return ticket and no one knows just how hard it was to cancel it and not use it to flee back to friends. I am eternally proud of myself for staying and now have another outlook on it. Still missing people, but timing will see me seeing almost everyone the weekend I get home, so that's OK.

I would say, talk soon, but I can't guarantee that. :) Not quite as up-to-it as other bloggers...

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Wow. It's been a long time and for that I apologise. What's been going on?

Well, I've moved three times. Am sorted now until I leave. Phew. In a flat in the catchment area, which could be seen as rather silly, but I don't really mind at the moment. Just get kids saying hi as I walk home from town is all.

My contract at the school has been extended. I am there until Christmas now, which is when my eligibility for work is up anyways. I'm not going to be teaching the same subject, but that suits me too.

I have been to London twice and really enjoyed it both times. I have also gone to two union conferences. If I was staying I would get much more active in it.

Three weeks until we finish for the school year. We start back up in September. A holiday in the middle of the year is wierd. It's also wierd saying, "end of the year" when you mean 17 July. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Peterborough Cathedral

During the last week I went to Peterborough Cathedral with the L* sisters. Everyone has been saying, "Have you seen the Cathedral?" I've been saying no because I thought it was the Guild Hall! :)

We went searching for it during the week and found it behind Starbucks. It's behind a wall and I was not aware it was there - can't see it from outside the wall.

We walked through the archway and there was a monk standing in the yard! OMG this church is breathtaking. Really great. Peace and calm.

Katharine of Aragon is buried there (she was the first wife whom King Henry VIII divorced.) Mary, Queen of Scots was also buried there originally, but has since been moved.

Really brilliant day, topped off by going back to Erica's place and watching Australia. Wow. Great movie - Luhrman continues to impress.

As usual, pics on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Went to Cambridge today. Lots of walking, eating and looking at very old buildings. Buildings that were built hundreds of years ago that are still used as university lecture rooms and dormitories. None of this, oh, the building's 20 years old, we need to redesign it!

Pictures on my facebook pages. You'll need my email to find me unless I'm already on your friends list.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snow Week

It has been a week for snow this past few days. Snow on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and has just started to snow again.

Last Monday school was open and OMG were the students off the wall!

Thursday 5300 schools across the UK closed, trains closed, the tube wasn't running in London, the main highway through the country was closed for 8 hours with people still in their cars, Heathrow was the only airport still operating and shops were closed left right and centre.

It was amusing to me that the entire UK came to a standstill because of less snow than I saw in Germany. Apparently the most snow they've had in years. To the point that they have basically run out of grit for the roads. One council has bought the unground salt from a table salt company to replace their grit.

Thursday my housemates and I built a few snowmen on our front lawn. So cold. But lots and lots of fun. My housemates then preceeded to spend over 5 hours constructing a killer igloo in the backyard - it is still solid and standing 5 days later!

Friday were had to go into school for 1 hour and then we meandered home. I lost my wallet and spent the afternoon calling Australia and cancelling cards. Right pain.