It's been a long old year.
It's been almost a whole one since I got my promotion, and one in which I don't think I've done as well as I could. I've felt more and more wretched at my lack of innovation in G&T since I got the job, and as time has gone on it's just got worse and worse. Trying to juggle that with the Aim Higher stuff, and teaching, and the ski trip, has been an impossible task. I was so happy to be giving up the Aim Higher and delaying the ski trip by a couple of months.
But this weekend, as I scribbled down idea after idea for G&T next year, I realised that I had been too hard on myself. I never allowed for the fact that it might take me a while to get going. I couldn't pick it up and be amazing from day 1. I really feel now that I've got a good understanding of the expectations and rigours of the job, and I can actually start getting on with it.
Serious part over. Fun part beginning. The weekend is a good example of that fun. We went on the annual Murder Mystery weekend with 36 key stage three pupils, and they were lovely. Lovely, lovely children. Didn't stop making an effort for the whole weekend, and coped very well with the changes to the program we had to make, thanks to the weather.
If only the same could be said for all the staff (return to the not so fun bit). They were, in the vast majority, as enthusiastic and hard-working as the kids. Unfortunately, one in particular seemed to be unhappy with pretty much everything we did. On one point her complaints were valid, though she went about complaining about them in a very over-the-top way - really throwing her weight about and not giving me a great deal of opportunity to explain that she was basing a lot of her complaints upon something that wasn't true. I stayed calm and didn't argue back. No point. I was even more pleased I'd taken this course when, after that was over, that evening she had another row about not understanding what was going on or who she was supposed to be. Since she wrote the bloody story, with me and another, this came as something of a shock, and I don't think it was strictly the case. She also complained that our costumes were rubbish - when she'd been delegated to collect the costumes from our resident wardrobe mistress, and had said the day before that she'd kept forgetting. Le sigh.
I'm trying to remind myself that she had a very stresseful week, and hasn't been very well, and then I found out she was at a very low ebb on Friday afternoon, and it didn't help that I was poorly organised with the paperwork. Still, I think there are ways and ways of dealing with stress, and taking it out on your colleagues, who are giving up a weekend of their time to do an enrichment activity, is a bit low.
It makes me sad. Normally, the end of the Murder Mystery is a really happy, positive time - and I can look at it like that, if I think about the kids and how well they got on and enjoyed it. But it's left a bad taste in my mouth, and I hope I don't have to invite her next year. I can really do without that sort of negativity.
Onto more pleasant things, like my newest knitting project. I found a pattern for a knitted digestive system some time ago and Phillipa (head of science) commissioned me to knit on, so I got that started on Saturday afternoon at the Murder Mystery. It was a fiendishly difficult beginning - a provisional cast on and join in the round. I'd never done provisional cast on before, and with only 10 stitches it was difficult to keep my needles in the stitches and get it into a circle. In the end I did it on a circular and pulled the thread very tightly as I knitted it onto DPNs. Since the end of the knitting is turned inwards to make a nice puckered anus (there are three words bound to get my blog googled as a porn site...) it didn't really matter that I didn't do a great job of it. It's looking good so far, but knitting 15 feet of small intestine might get old quickly.
I have been wearing my CPH all over the place. It is warm and lovely and I get lots of nice comments. It isn't strictly finished yet (ssshhh!) because I wanted to wear it, and I know it will take me ages an ages to make myself pick up the stitches for a button band, or get a zip for it. It desn't look too shabby without either, but I am going to make myself do it in the summer, when it's too hot to wear it. I did the hood with a three-needle bind off and carried the cable up the back, and because I messed with the stitch pattern I have two little points on the hood, but I am not particularly fussed - I think they make a nice feature.
I have several knitting irons in the fire now, since the CPH is off the needles for present. I am all ready to cast on for Annie Modesitt's Corset Top - I have some royal blue soy silk that's just the thing. I swatched it two weeks ago and then, in spite of advice given to me at knitting club, washed it and let it dry - thank goodness I did! The swatch stretched to almost double its original width, and if I'd made the top it would have come out too big even for me. I don't know what to do now though - I want to drop from 4mm needles to 3.5mms without swatching again and hope it'll be alright, because I'm too lazy to swatch again and too impatient to let it dry - I want to make a good start with it over Easter weekend because I'd like to wear it to a wedding in May.
I don't know why I'm saying this - I know I'll swatch it again. I'm not a rebel, really.
In addition to this, I have yarn for a Noni Cherry Blossom Bag, and for Dahlia from Knitty, and a couple of skeins of chunky to knit some headwear with. I don't know what headwear yet, but I am aware that March is drawing rapidly to a close and I have yet to knit a hat. Shock horror! That's no good for knittahattamonth. I will have to cast on the bag instead, so at least I've done something for knittabaggamonth.
Then, next month, I'm going to knit a tricorner hat for felting - because next year's Murder Mystery theme is pirates, and I'd like to get ahead *grin*