I can't remember much about January. A quick trawl through Facebook reveals that I had book updates due, which explains why I don't remember much. It was a big effort to update them for the new specs, but worth it when I heard one school had ordered 200 copies in the autumn. Good to know my work is being used.
I went to see Brendan Cole with Kath and Parpy Jo at the Hippodrome, which was spectacular - I do love dancing shows and this one was pretty epic.
I had a job interview at a very well-to-do private boarding school. I was not sorry when they didn't offer it to me; but, with hindsight, I am a bit disappointed not to be working there. It would have been amazing. Not least because it offered 18 weeks of holiday a year.
We went to Sib's and had very late Christmas dinner, and Mr Z played a round of golf with Sib, which did not go well for the latter. I really admire his determination, though. The ladies went for a walk, but it had to be curtailed because I'd managed to rip a shred off the side of the tyre when parking, so we had to get back to the tyre repair man, since my car does not have a spare. Total wipeout.
The rest of the month was spent avidly watching the winter Olympics and knitting a jumper. It's impossible to choose my favourite part, but I really loved this in the Ski Cross quarter final, where three of them all fell on the line -
I also get quite emotional thinking about Jenny Jones winning bronze and her parents being there as a surprise.
Early in the month I had a nice afternoon of browsing with Vikki round an antiques fair in Devizes, after a school weekend away there. Got some lovely buttons, of course.
We lost our bunny Nause, sadly. He became ill very quickly and then died suddenly on a Sunday night. I still miss him a lot.
I went off and did a couple of rockstar teacher presentations. These were very exciting and also overwhelming: the second one was for nearly 1000 students. We accidentally disenfranchised all the accompanying staff by trying to start a hastag; the students, being teenagers, started using to to try and pick each other up.
I had two more unsuccessful job interviews, and decided it was probably time to call it quits. I realised I was applying for jobs that were one the same salary as I was on, for way more responsibility. That's just not sensible. Plus, there was an absolutely mental week when I had one of the sessions above and a departmental audit consisting of unannounced lesson observations and a job interview. It was a tough week.
I also went to Portsmouth to visit Mother Hand. Mother Hand has not been well this year and this was sort of the start of her coming out of the other side of that.
Here I am giving Charles Dickens some ideas for his next novel. I was on a shopping trip with Mother Hand and Grace, my littley bridesmaid who's now in Y13. Makes me feel ancient! I bought he a tablet to help her with her studies.
Tutt and I started playing squash on a weekly basis. This was incredibly frustrating to begin with but we did get better as the weeks went on. Also, in this month, I started to get my nails shellac'd every two weeks. I thought a few rounds of it would totally kill my nails but it doesn't seem to have had too negative an impact on them.
May was a blinked-and-missed-it. Early May is always full of marking coursework, and this time half term was consumed with exam board work, because, for the first time I can remember, our exam was before half term. Both of them were, actually, which meant that all my exam duties were done by that half term. I was sort of pleased to have half term to do my exam board duties, because the bulk of my work now happens in the first week; but then it got to half term and I realised how urgently I needed a break. Oh well.
I did go on a wander around Farleigh Hungerford Castle with Tutt. It was a site visit for a school trip, but I think it still counts as a leisure activity.
June was a bit more interesting. It was still crammed full of exam board work, of course - and that work is getting harder and harder; I think fewer teachers are willing to sign up to examine now because the dya-to-day job is so much harder than it used to be.
However, there was also the Murder Mystery weekend (this year: Most Haunted) and Tutt and I went off to EdFest for the weekend again, which was fun. Gove got heavily heckled after turning up nearly two hours late. I'd never seen him look so flustered; it was less surprising when he was reshuffled, because of this, somehow. I sort of thought he might have just discovered he was headed for the whip job before he came to speak. His heart did not seem to be in charming us.
Part two on its way....