Saturday 8 January 2011

2010 in Review

Vast and self-indulgent post coming up!

We started the year with a 60s themed Murder Mystery party in Taunton....

Shortly after that term started but there was a lot of snow so the first two weeks were only half weeks. I built Snow Henge and made a snow angel -

February was Sport Relief and I helped to make this video (spot my Hairography) to raise the profile of the event in school. That jump and slide on the crash mat you see towards the end was a complete bust - I jumped too late and landed heavily on my knee, which swelled up like a balloon, and then remained numb for several months. It was very painful. I didn't go to the doctor though, because I was afraid he would say no skiing...
(I should add her that Mr Z had a very bad knee injury a few years ago and when he went to the hospital they couldn't look at it for the first few days, because it was so swollen. So I was waiting for the swelling to go down, and by the time it did I didn't see any point in going. So it wasn't quite as reckless as it sounds.)

In February half term I went to visit my friend Sian in Warrington and we went to Crosby Beach, one of my favourite places -

I also went to see Jen in Sheffield and caught up with her, Ben and baby Abster, who had a go in my shoes -

In March I was very busy with the Murder Mystery weekend for school and my knitting group weekend away to Westbury-sub-Mendip. It was extremely relaxing and we found a great button shop -

April was SKIING TIME!!

This was my 6th week on snow and my legs were killing me after the first few days because, thanks to that dastardly injury in February, I'd done very little training for it. But I bought my own helmet and ski boots, and had a ski lesson towards the end of the week (instructor quote: "You are not bad, for a woman") and this vastly improved my confidence, much to the chagrin of my lift buddy Cara who is now worried I will be bombing around without her next time. She doesn't know that I could never leave my favourite lift buddy behind, because drinking hot chocolate on your own isn't any fun at all!

April was also the month I drove friends from knitting group to Wonderwool in Wales, and when I realised Henry the Wondrous Car of Miracles was on his last legs. I went and ordered a new Kia Picanto and the wait began.

May was a very busy work month for me, because Ofsted came in right at the start. It was killer, and they didn't even observe/speak to me. Then my Aunt and cousin were over from NZ for the Badminton Horse Trials and we went out to dinner at Jamie's Italian in Bath, which was great for catching up, though I was utterly scrambled since it was Ofsted week.

I also managed to have a lunch in Bath with Parpy Jo.

By this point Henry was refusing to do any sort of hill, so I was basically carless for the entire month. It was difficult, but not impossible. I spent a lot of time at home, though. On the day above, I had ordered a beautiful Jaeger dress in the sale to be delivered to the Bath shop and Jo drove me over so I could try it on.

In June it was her birthday and we went out to dinner and accidentally both wore pretty much the same outfit without any communication. It was a really fun evening with Ali and Kath too. I hope there are more of those this year.

The new car finally arrived, at the end of the month. I also got a new phone and my new computer was assembled. It was a very good month for technology. I made this video as part of my entry to the Google thing. There were lots of non-techie things as well: we were extremely busy in the garden -

The year 11 ball also happened this month and one of the pupils parachuted out of a helicopter into the venue. Totally stole the show - even from the girls who had made their own VW bus out of cardboard boxes and walked up the drive.

At the start of July the conference I organised happened: 8 schools, 100+ pupils, at an Oxford College for 2 days. I was extremely proud of myself; I organised a similar event in 2009 but was too ill to attend. Of course I didn't do it all by myself but that doesn't diminish my pride. As part of the conference we had a tour round Oxford from my head teacher, who is a native, and we dressed up for a posh dinner -

It was fun, though my lasting memory is one of complete nervous exhaustion. On the way home I couldn't find a petrol station and thought I was running out of petrol (newish car, wasn't sure how empty the petrol gauge would go) so I sat in a car park and cried until a very kindly old couple invited me to follow them to a nearby Tesco. V grateful! I was in the middle of team leading for the GCSE at this time though, too, and as the only TL on the legacy specification I had a gigantic team which didn't help.

Later on in July, we went to Durdle Door on a school geology field trip, when the weather turned out beautiful by lunchtime and there was larking around on the rocks -

Who knew England had such beautiful beaches?! I was slightly ashamed that I grew up just down the coast from this awesome sight and never even knew it was there. I resolved to take Mr Z there camping one day.

At the end of the month I went to London for the Google thing, which is another extremely proud moment for me, since only 50 people were picked worldwide to participate. It was inspirational and I learned a lot, not just about Google but also about innovation, and I made some extremely helpful contacts and started to think a lot more about my practice. I also started a work blog as a result, to keep my ideas together in one place.

I also visited the V&A whilst in London and saw the Grace Kelly exhibition. It was an absolutely glorious day -

August was my birthday, and also a month of trips - Sheffield, Kuala Lumpur, Glastonbury Tor, Prague, and Portsmouth, though there are no pictures of the first or last.

Riding elephants in Malaysia -

This was at an elephant sanctuary at Kuala Gandha. We also got to feed the elephants with fruit and had the opportunity to bathe with them, but I was a bit put off since the first one lumbered into the river and had a massive poo.
Other notable bits of this holiday were a beach weekend at Port Dixon, climbing the steps at Batu Caves and guarding our property from the cheeky monkeys, buying beautiful buttons in Chinatown, viewing KL from the top of the telecomms tower, and a night at a comedy club, where my favourite comedian was Douglas Lim, particularly singing Yellow (to the tune of Halo). I really wish I could find a copy of this online somewhere.

Climbing Glastonbury Tor with Mother Hand -

It was windy, but a nice day. I had had a Brazilian Blowdry whilst in KL and so my hair was looking effortlessly gorgeous without any intervention for the whole month.

Prague with Parpy Jo -

We stayed at an awesome little apartment right off the main square, which was incredibly convenient and also very reasonably priced. There was an awful lot of looking at garnet jewellery. We also went to Kutna Hora ossuary, a church decorated with the bones of 40,000 people (creepy but beautiful), and we rowed on the river and wandered round the castle. I also finally got to see the Museum of Communism while Jo went to the Cartier exhibition at the castle.

I bought a great make up brush in Sephora, too. It's a heart shaped plastic applicator for putting on loose eyeshadow/glitter. It claimed to prevent any spillage; I didn't really believe it, but there was a special offer on, so I bought it - and it really works. I can now wear all those glitter shadows! A big recommendation from me for this little beauty.

The Portsmouth trip was brief and involved some modelling on the beach for my old friend Zoe. It was hilarious, and freezing.

September was back to work month and nothing really seemed to happen. I got a personal trainer to help get me in shape for skiing (there's nothing like a bit of forward planning). My new tutor group started giving me headaches, and I fear this will be a feature of their time at school. I made chutney and jam. It was a quiet month, all things told.

October was Jo's wedding...I have pinched this pic from her photographer's website: this is mainly because I was forgetful and didn't really take any. They were amazing wedding photographers, very friendly, so if you're looking for a wedding specialist in Bristol these are definitely recommended. Me with Kath and Ali:

I drank far too much champagne but had a great night. So pleased for her!

At the end of the month I went to London again to see Wicked with Mother Hand. We had front row seats in the Circle that were cheaper because they apparently had restricted view but we couldn't work out where on earth the restriction was. It was an amazing show.

In November it was time to go back to Malaysia again, this time with school. We visited the Islamic Art Museum in KL and an old Dutch Fort in Pangkor, amongst other places.

Which brings us to December. There was a Crystal Maze school weekend, where we let off Chinese lanterns into the completely still fog, a 60s themed party for Mother Dusty's birthday (photos on Mr Z's camera), the work Christmas do...

..shedloads of snow, and finally, Christmas. Jo and I had an impromptu mooch round the shops on Christmas Eve and treated ourselves to champagne afternoon tea in House of Fraser, which they kindly agreed to serve us at 1.30.

Then came a week of relaxation, and preparing for what is shaping up to be a very busy 2011. It is always nice to look back with posts like this (well done if you've made it through the marathon!) but now it is time to start looking forward and planning for another good year.

2010 was great! I want to make sure 2011 is even better.

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