Tutt, Barbs and I ran the Pretty Muddy 5k race across Bristol Downs to open this month. They both have pictures but they're not sharing, boo.
I went to Sheffield to see Jen, for Ben's birthday barbecue. It rained in a torrential fashion, requiring us to stand outside clinging to the gazebo to prevent it flying away, while lightning struck all around. Scary. A very fun weekend, though.
I had some singing lessons that I bought at a charity auction last year - just a couple, but it was enough to make me confident enough to sing in front of other people. Eliza was very complimentary about my range, which encouraged me to carry on, but then I had to cancel a session at the end of term due to lack of voice and I never rebooked. The voucher I purchased ran out in June anyway, so I think I was already pushing my luck.
I went to the History conference again, this time just as a delegate, which was lovely - like a proper geeky holiday. There were even History cupcakes.
I worked very hard for the exam board. My boss got promoted, so I got promoted, to Acting Head of History, for one year. Another year at school ended; Mr Z and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary (I know! Where did that time go?!)
Then Tutt and I jetted off to Italy. You might have already read something about that.
Italy, Italy, Italy. The south, Rome, Tuscany, the northern cities. La dolce vita! What a great way to spend a month, and my birthday. 24 again, ho ho.
I rounded off the month with a visit to Mother Hand in Portsmouth, who was feeling well enough to be preparing to return to work. We pottered around the old hometown and managed a visit to Scoops, which is a very good ice cream shop that I can highly recommend. We also went on a trip to Hever Castle with my littley bridesmaid Grace, the History geek. It was a really fascinating place - I would christen it, how the Edwardians thought the Tudors lived, with some letters from Winston Churchill thrown in for good measure. There were also friendly ducks.
Whilst in the old hometown I managed to buy a new pair of Ugg boots at the outlet in Gunwharf. They weren't exactly what I wanted but I have lived in them since the weather turned colder so I guess that was a good purchase.
Back to school. I had a meeting with the publisher about writing for the new exams. Then I was just really, really busy with work. I felt very overwhelmed. Mr Z and I went to Yakob's 20th wedding anniversary party. I started knitting the hats for my tutor group.
We adopted Norris, a tortoise. He spent the day in my classroom when he was ahnded over to me by Caroline. My students still ask after him.
I started attending yoga more regularly, which seemed to help with the busy-ness a bit.
More being busy and overwhelmed, although it did improve as the month wore on, and luckily there was half term in this month. I spent most of it in London, staying with Sib, having early family Christmas with Mother Hand as Sib's gone to South America for 6 months, catching up with my friend Sian for a nice Mexican meal, going on an exam board course and seeing Billy Elliott with Tutt, Caroline and Corners.
I took the water bus to my course every day, from Putney Pier. It was an amazing way to travel. Excellent views.
We also went to see the poppies at the Tower the next day. Probably the busiest day of the year.
Also in London, I had a good pamper at the Bliss Spa and with a haircut. I also went to the Natural History museum to get some Christmas cards - I love their Wildlife Photographer of the Year cards. It was really busy, as always.
I went back to the Bikram studio in Bristol and started attending their rejuvenating yoga class. It was much more achievable than Bikram. I love it, although I did hurt my neck that first time.
I hoped it would be a quiet work term after the busy-ness of term 1, but two of the three departmental audits happened this month, so it was just manic again. I spent most of my time hanging out for the weekend and trying to get to bed earlier. We had a wine-and-Chinese night at Tutt's for her birthday, and started playing the Strictly drinking game...this involves guessing what the overall score will be and then drinking however many fingers you are out.
It was Children in Need and I wore a History Girl cape Mr Z put together for me. I realised - I was born to wear a cape. It made me feel more cheerful just putting it on.
We went out wine tasting for a leaving do.
I went to Sheffield to see Jen and attend a first aid course. I finally booked skiing for New Year with Tom and his friends. I did a bit more rejuvenating yoga and discovered that taking marking out to a cafe is a much better way of getting it done than sitting and stewing over it at home.
Tutt and I watched a lot of Strictly together and drank a lot of Prosecco. We went to the Bristol Cathedral Choir School concert in the Colston Hall, again, which was brilliant, again. I sang in our school staff choir for our Christmas concert - the alto part with Tutt, which was not easy, because the sopranos were singing so loudly.
We went out to an Italian restaurant for Tutt's leaving meal, and had a badminton tournament and another meal out after school one night. I'd never played badminton before - it was much more fun than it looks.
There's a lot of Tutt in this but then she is my bestie and she is about to move to Essex so I feel like it's about right.
I launched a History AGT group at school and a couple of CPD sessions for staff training, and planned a project for an Aspiring Leaders in Education course I am taking. As if I didn't have enough on. There was a big night out at the end of term, at the Tasting Rooms in Bath (this is the place where we went wine tasting and it is amazing, definitely go there) and then some other places.
Then, even though it was the Christmas holidays, there was a fair amount of rushing around. I can't wait for a quiet period.
Happy 2015, everyone!