Tuesday 31 December 2019

2019: Part 2

April was lots of fun. It started in London with a teaching fellowship, at which I met lots of lovely people and was able to really immerse myself in the teaching of a particular topic. Loved the geeking out and the amazing input we had from academics, as well as the Caribbean food we were treated to.

From there I went to see Zoe, staying at her place for the first time (long story), going for a wander around the Tate Modern and booking a summer holiday to Malta. Then I had a few days at home before it was back up to London for flying away on a free teacher trip to Alabama - undoubtedly the freebie of the decade. The tour company who took us has launched a new trip there and wanted reviewers. It was just a quickie - Saturday to Tuesday - but we packed in loads of stuff around Birmingham and Montgomery, and I am desperate to get a school trip out there, if only I could convince the senior team that I'm not taking on too much. I knew two of the people on the trip already and the other two have become friends. It's become trite to say one is 'so blessed' but, really, I am.

I mean...this is Martin Luther King's pulpit, for crying out loud. For a history teacher, it rarely gets this good.

The month closed, as always, with another trip to Wonderwool, staying in a bunkhouse with fantastic views and hanging out with the usual lovely bunch of people, plus a few newbie lovely people.

The installation this year was gulls.

Yep, April was a good month.

The first few weeks of May were overtaken by the sprint to the exams. There were a few 'drinks after work' nights out and, in the last week of the term, some momentous news from some colleagues that they were moving on that has had a big impact on my working life this year. I waved goodbye to three teaching groups. We bought a new table and chairs at home. I managed to get somebody round to quote for building in the understairs furniture.

In half term, Mother Hand and I went back to the same spa hotel we visited the previous October, only this time I remembered to book the tour of the Bombay Sapphire distillery. It was a relaxing couple of days.

Then it was back to Bristol for a trip to the Caribbean restaurant and some cocktails. Naomi was an excellent events organiser and I miss her ability to pick a date and get everybody to agree to it. I've certainly had a lot more nights out since I started working in Bristol.

After the fun and laughter of April and May, June was a bit of a bump back down to earth, as the exam machine rolled into action. It was a lot better than 2018, I have to say, which is just as well - 2018 made me considerably greyer and I'm not convinced I could have coped with another summer like it. 2019 was my year to be completely slated by my peers on social media for asking questions they didn't like (of course they didn't know it was me, but I took to reading the comments with a large glass of wine as my evening's entertainment). I managed to get a hotel with a swimming pool for the meetings and went swimming first thing every morning, which certainly improved my mood. And I took all my assistants to see Six.

At the end of the month it was the usual school prom shenanigans and summer fayre. I invited some teachers for interview at the start of July. Naomi got a job and my role for this academic year changed accordingly - hello, head of geography. The term wound down. The year was half over.

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