A proper Summer Holiday 2017

Of all of the New Years Resolutions I am likely to make in the next few days, one I really hope I manage to keep, is to go on a proper Summer Holiday. Abroad.

The last time I went abroad for a holiday was in 2013. 4 years ago. It was amazing to just completely disconnect my brain from work life and unwind in the Mediterranean sun. 

I’m a typical tourist. I like to explore but I could equally enjoy myself, just as much, by sitting by the pool and working on my beetroot coloured tan. My last two holidays were to Greek islands. I’d love to go back, or explore another Greek island, or go somewhere completely different… it’s hardly likely that I’ll go anywhere beyond the Mediterranean though.

I can just see myself in August now…eating on the rooftop terrace of a Greek Taverna as the sun sets on the horizon. Walking around ruins and historical sites, soaking up the history and learning new things about the culture. Enjoying boat trips to hidden coves and blue lagoons. Floating in a natural jacuzzi where sulphur bubbles tickle your toes. Ambling around, exploring islands and photographing beautiful Greek Orthodox churches, whilst my cousin discovers a genuine Mulberry handbag in a field of cows. 

 I was being all cultural in Kos. We were strolling around the roads near our hotel. We walked past this adorable mini Greek Orthodox Church. I have a unexplainable fascination with the blue and white Greek Churches. So there I was taking this photo, when my cousin calls behind me to hang on a minute. I turn around and she is literally climbing over a ditch to get into a field full of cows. She bends down and lifts up this piece of purple leather fabric. She shakes it about and declares she can’t believe it. She thinks she has found a Mulberry handbag. We get back to our hotel. In our room. A couple of baby wipes later, the clutch bag is looking cleaner and a quick text to her friend in the UK to check the genuinity of the find, it is confirmed that she has found a real Mulberry handbag. You could drop my cousin in the middle of a desert and she’d find a Chanel or Prada handbag in the middle of nowhere. She is a brand hunter on car boot sales and will find bargains for any branded items in shops. 

Hopefully, in August, I could be reading a boook on the sandy beach, sipping “juices” and photographing the clear blue sea. Walking along the beach to explore the nearby town. Shopping in and out of the quaint gift shops, looking at the jewellery and fridge magnets I could buy. Deciding which souvenirs to buy for family back home. Eating at quiet tavernas, enjoying omelettes and pizzas the size of my head. Feasting on Giros and pitta bread in hidden restaurants in the middle of the city whilst an Orthodox Church rings it bells up the steps. Sweltering on an unconditioned coach that meanders down winding roads to explore further parts of the island. 

Oh how I wish I was on a warm getaway right now. So, I feel the need to enjoy a sunnier holiday this year. In 2017. A proper summer holiday awaits. I have my passport ready, I just need to sort out where I’m going, who with and buy a suitcase… August summer holiday, you are mine this year!

“You get so many holidays…”

Yes. Yes we do get lots of holidays but did you know what most teachers do during those holidays? 

We re-build our chaotic lives! 

Yesterday I spent the entire day cleaning my kitchen, living room and doing many loads of washing. 

Guess what I am doing today…?

I’m cleaning my bedroom and spare room and bathroom. 

The only reason why my house is so untidy is because I have multiple piles of stuff that I have organised into agreeable intentions that have never happened, like shredding, filing, putting away, throwing away etc. 

It’s the jobs during term time that build up and up and up until the holidays come around and you can’t live amongst the chaos anymore…you didn’t really have to deal with it whilst it was term time. You only spent 5 waking hours, maximum, living amongst it each day and even then, you were probably too work focused, mentally, to acknowledge it was even there. 

So here I am, siting amongst piles of rubbish, damp dusting supplies, the hoover and my music to keep me on task, before  I get distracted by another pile of papers to sort through and think, wow I haven’t seen this in a long time! 
Either I’m not cut out for being an adult or I need to hire some cleaning help…

Christmas cracker crown competition

The past couple of years, my sister and I have had a Christmas competition to see who can keep their Christmas cracker crown on for the longest time. 

We are stubbornly determined to outdo each other. 

Last year, my crown fell off when I leant forward to get some chocolates from a box on the table. I was devestated.

This year, I was determined to keep it on for longer. Even when we dropped Aunty Maureen off at her house, yesterday evening, and the wind tried to blow my crown off, I held onto it for dear life. 

I ended up undressing as carefully as I could, to avoid knocking it off my head, and snuggled up against my pillow, uncomfortably, only to wake up and find it glued to my forehead with sweat and hair sprayed hair! 

My sister took hers off at midnight, before she went to bed, so I’m counting this as my first official win! 🎉 Even though she considers it a draw.

Until next Christmas…

Merry Christmas Everybody! x

My favourite 5.

As teachers, we’re not supposed to have favourites, but I do. In fact, I have 5. Which either says a lot about my star sign or the fact that my class are so amazing, I couldn’t possibly choose just one. 

For the first time ever, I’m going to initial all five children’s first names, in a random order that should spell out a random name of a child, who is not in my class. PIANU. (Because if I ever taught a child called PIANU, they would have to be on my favourite list, purely for the only reason that they have an unfortunate name…) PIANU is a lovely cluster of children in my class who can be relied upon to use perfect manners, smile at anybody, cheer you up when you are feeling sad, work effortlessly hard, present work neatly and listen carefully to every. Single. Syllable that you say.

They all have a happy outlook at school. They greet me in the morning with happy smiles which makes the start of those long, exhausting days worthwhile. They listen carefully, and are model pupils to those who could try harder in school, to do the right thing. At the end of the day, they will wish me a lovely evening after school. I will always call me her best teacher ever. 

There is no other way to describe these 5 children, except by saying that I absolutely adore them. If my class was just these 5 children, 6 fold, it would be infinitely blissful to be at work every day. I’d be racing to work rather than racing home each day. 

Each of these 5 children, speaks a different language at home, either Polish or Lithuanian, and I am always, wholeheartedly, encouraging them to speak their mother tongue in the classroom. It fascinates me to watch them flit between their own language and English with hardly any effort. I openly wish that I could understand them and their conversations. Who knows, maybe it will encourage me to learn some Eastern European languages to better my classroom practise?

On the last day of the Autumn term, I had some very sad news from one of their parents. They had received a letter from the child’s new school to say that a place had become available for them to start after Christmas. I could have cried. U looked utterly devastated and as though they could cry too. U’s dad said they might return for one day after Christmas to say goodbye to the class properly, before they move on to their new school. 

I feel incredibly sad and bitter about the situation. Why does it have to be one of my favourites to leaves? Why can’t it be the Oracle? Or Chief Meerkat instead? The thought of replacing U is unbearable, but looking at the other children in my class, PIANU could turn into PIANO, or SPAIN, or PAINT, or PAINE… Unfortunately, with my class, the possibilities aren’t endless and there is only 3 or 4 children who could fill the colourful, little shoes left by U

What am I going to do now? My favourite five is going to become four. 😭

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land, not a teacher was stirring, on their journey to dreamland. The stockings were hung with precision and care…in the hopes that some more booze would be waiting in there.

The teachers were nestled, all snug in their beds, tomorrow they’d surely be nursing sore heads! For this is the time, when all teachers will dine, several nights in the week, with a few bottles of wine.

When inside the house, arose such a clatter, the teacher got up to see what was the matter. Away down the stairs, she flew like a flash, to find someone nebbing in her stationery stash.

The lights twinkling bright on the Christmas tree decs, shining down on the scene where the teacher had been led. A jolly old man was all covered in snow, his face was a picture when he realised the show. 

The teacher glared at him in despair and disgrace, as embarrassment fell upon the intruder’s face. He looked just like Santa but she knew the truth, then suddenly, she had an idea about what to do…

“Before you even begin to think you can lie, you should know that we are both on the same side. Tell me why you are looting my felt pens and glitter? Or I’ll drop the pretence for the darling sweet critters!”

He knew he should fess up and ask for her help, but his stomach was churning as he let slip a yelp. He’d been caught in the act so he looked at his toes. The teacher just glared and lifted her nose…

The teacher asked questions as the poor man denied, he wasn’t a thief, although he had tried to jazz up his ride on a December budget, the paint job and new hub caps, just wouldn’t cut it.

He needed more sparkle, more glitter and shine, to make his sleigh look like he’d pimped out his ride. When the old man confessed, he rambled in a fluster. The teacher simply sighed “Well, you are in luck Sir,

The past week I’ve spent doing crafts and activities, whilst winding down for the Christmas festivities. Don’t worry, we’ll have your sleigh decked out in no time. All it will cost you is a bottle of moscato wine.”

The old man accepted her offer quite freely, getting past this one was becoming quite easy. He watched as she worked away on his sleigh, and a box of gifted chocolates, he sneakily tucked away.

The glitter and ribbons were flying around, she didn’t seem to care for the mess on the ground. The old man was nosey and looked under the tree, scrambling on the floor, on his hands and his knees. 

Searching for valuables and costly items to sell, this burglary stint was going quite well. He’d make loads of cash in no time at all, who says that you need to go to school?

Now the teacher was keeping her cool and on plan, carried on jazzing up his burglary van. Little did he know, with eyes in the back of her head, she’d been onto him since she had jumped out of bed.

She could tell he was lying from the way that he spoke, and knew that he thought of her, some kind of joke. Needless to say, he soon would regret it, this teacher had well and truly perfected…

The act of ignorance with a beady eye, if teaching failed, she could be an international spy. She’d called the police whilst she crafted away, he’d be going to jail, she was happy to say.

Once she’d finished, she smiled and nodded her head, as the man stepped outside and was filled with dread. His van had been covered in glitter and diamonds, in the distance he could hear the sure sound of sirens.

There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, as the teacher’s grin started to grow rather wide. She’d dialled 999, whilst she was busy outside, knowing full well that the slimeball had lied.

He wasn’t Santa, she knew that too well, but her belongings she didn’t want him to sell. Even though her mum thinks her a hoarder, to let him get away with this, was just out of order…

The policeman arrived and arrested the man, and laughed when he caught sight of the van. What Saint Nick hadn’t realised  as he raided her house, the teacher had wickedly sussed him out. 

She’d slashed all four tyres and disposed of the keys, making it tricky to escape with ease. The policeman pushed him into the back of the car as the offender’s innocent proclamations began to start…

“It’s no use,” the teacher insisted. “Unfortunately for you, you have been blacklisted. You’ve tried to steal from me and committed a crime, now you must own up and do the time.”

She waved the car off and walked back into the warmth, ‘there’s my good deed for the year,’ she thought. She locked the front door and went back to bed, falling fast asleep as the pillow hugged her head.

Before she fell asleep into a slumber so deep, she lifted her head to take a quick peep. With silence in the house, she turned off the light. Whispered “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

Rocky the Elf’s payback!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land, not a teacher was stirring, on their journey to dreamland. The stockings were hung with precision and care…in the hopes that some more booze would be waiting in there.

The teachers were nestled, all snug in their beds, tomorrow they’d surely be nursing sore heads! For this is the time, when all teachers will dine, several nights in the week, with a few bottles of wine.

When inside the house, arose such a clatter, the teacher got up to see what was the matter. Away down the stairs, she flew like a flash, to find someone nebbing in her stationery stash.

With his bum in the air and his collar askew, the teacher just stared and asked “Who are you?” The answer was obvious it was clear to see, the elf on the shelf would you believe?

He glanced to the side and gave a cheeky wink, to escape him so early, how could she think? “Your class may have made it onto the nice list, but you’ve got some more work to do here, little Miss! 

You’ve got presents to wrap and visits to make, and did you forget shortbread biscuits to bake? You’ve worked all year long and you’re due for a rest, but there’s something you need to get off of your chest!

About those advent chocolates you pretended I’d eaten, an innocent elf, I will not be beaten! In order to make up for your foolish mistake, you must spend the holidays lying wide awake!

I’m on my way to the North Pole to tell, of all the fake notes on the board you misspelled. I’ll tell him about the lies and the tricks, instead of cheap presents, you’ll receive rocks and sticks! 

You know that it will make Santa feel sad, to find out that you have been naughty and bad. A star pupil you’ve been but this year, I’m sorry, I’m throwing you under that heavy goods lorry.

Whilst watching your class and sending my reports, you pretended to be the lovely Mrs Claus, you wrote on the board and hid me in places, just to see the look on the children’s faces.

You’ve played a dangerous game on the lead up to Christmas, you’ll never receive presents from your lengthy wish list. No label maker, glue sticks or even some glitter, you’ve landed yourself, right in the sh…..!

To fill every lesson with blood, sweat and tears, you’ve got to work hard for the rest of the year. His lordship has gone and you’re feeling less pressure, but a new kid has arrived and he’s quite a treasure.

And don’t forget Chief Meerkat – up in everyone’s business and the oracle who claims to be the only honest witness. Your mini me will have tantrums and meltdowns galore, your favourite five will soon become four!

And if that’s not enough, I’m sorry to tell you, that this holiday is going to be shorter than usual. 13 days of rest and relaxation, to recharge your energy and dose up on medication. 

A Christmas cold is coming your way, just in time for Christmas Day. You’ll cough and you’ll sneeze all over your turkey, whilst trying to avoid spreading the lurgy

Your sister will laugh as you snore on the sofa, after 8 weeks of working, and staying quite sober. Moscato, Malibu rum and Midori, your family will be bored of hearing your stories.

About how you made me sleep with a biscuit, smelling of ginger and covered in shiny sh… The children all laughed at the ways that you left me, gave me a retest, the Wotsits you “fed” me. 

Before the night is over, you must repent for your sins, otherwise Christmas for you is in the bin…I’ll admit that this Christmas I’ve felt a bit lonely, there’s only one thing that you can do for me.

Next year when you’re playing your tricks – oh what fun! It would be nice to share it with a special someone. I’ve looked it up on Amazon and found a great prize, a gorgeous girl elf, who’s easy on the eyes.

If you say that you’ll buy her, I’ll keep your antics a secret, you can rest easy this weekend without any regret. I promise you, she’ll cost you no more than a fiver, I’ll even give you the link so it’s easy to find her.”

The teacher listened to the little elf’s demands, before he set off on his journey to Lapland. “Don’t worry, I’ll buy you your little pink friend, there’s no way I’m being on that naughty list again!”

She picked up her iPad and tapped away, the little pink elf would arrive the next day. “Thank goodness for Amazon Prime!” she declared, as she confirmed her order and climbed back upstairs. 

What a curious event the night of Christmas Eve, there’s no way I’d get anyone to believe, how a little red elf blackmailed me to pay out, for a little pink elf that he wants to take out.

The teacher climbed into bed and pulled up the covers, the elf sat and dreamed of his soon to be lover. Where would he take her on their very first date? To a diner for some fries and a strawberry milkshake? 

He sighed with content and closed his little blue eyes, realising the teacher had been rather kind. Was he wrong for blackmailing her this way? Who cared? Soon he’d have a friend with whom he could play…

Until next year, you’ll just have to wait, to see how things go on that little elf date. I wonder what mischief and fun will ensue, when next Christmas arrives with the little elves too. 

Will they be cheeky and ready for names? Will they be ready to take on the blame? For the tricks that I’ll play on the children next time, I’m positive things will work out just fine…

The desk II

Well, it has been a whole term. My desk-keeping ways haven’t changed. 

I realised, as I was packing my laptop away last night, that my desk was literally covered in dust and the pile of papers was sliding across onto the laptop…

I spent 30 minutes sifting through the papers. Keep, file, bin, shred… Packed away the laptop, saw the layer of dust rolling around on the top of the desk and cringed. 

Had I really let it get this bad? Could I leave it like this until January, knowing about the dust and the clutter around it? 

No I couldn’t. I grabbed the anti-bac spray, wiped the entire desk clean and dried it, put everything back and skipped out of the door merrily, knowing I had one less job to do next year on INSET day! 


Another New Years resolution…clean my desk more frequently. Or keep it clear full stop !? Does a leopard really change it’s spots? I really hope so…