Sunday 30 January 2022

Weeknote 3

The sharp-eyed among you will note that I did not publish this last weekend, but there was a lot going on, as you'll see if you keep reading. 


I had Monday at home for the usual exam board meeting that happens after the exams. Frustratingly, this was announced the previous Friday as starting at 2.30 and then pushed back to 3.45, so I could have potentially gone to school after all; but this is just how it is. The PGCE student taught all but one of my lessons and it meant that I got to spend a couple of hours in the morning interviewing next year's potential students alongside the university tutor, a new experience for me. It was fun. They were as hilariously naive as I was when I interviewed, when it came to presenting their lessons - oh, to be that uncynical now. 

On Friday I had an exciting email from the board, asking me to rework one of the units for which I am responsible, in response to the call for more diversity. This isn't an official project, yet, as there isn't any official change coming, but I think they're recognising that reacting only when change is announced and then racing to be the first to publish the new format does not result in a quality-first product. 

This will be a lot of work but it is essentially the reason why I wanted this exam board job in the first place, so it feels like a huge win. 

I almost kept up with the marking, but not quite. I did one short essay on Saturday and none on Friday or Sunday. I was away for the weekend, so Saturday and Sunday feel justified, but I am a bit annoyed at myself that I didn't make better use of my free lesson on Friday to do a bit then. 


I went to aquafit on Monday, found it boring; my PT on Tuesday; and then I let the resolution lapse. I was booked in to do a yoga on Wednesday but then it went Zoom only and I find online yoga classes pointless - I don't like having my camera on and inevitably find myself stopping for an illicit break and then spending the rest of the time staring at my phone. So I bunked that. Then cancelled aquafit on Thursday. Then was away all weekend. I don't feel bad about it. It was a necessary decision at the time. 


A little more Milou, though not much. 

I finished The Drowned City on the plane home. It was a slow starter but then drew me in: it employed that writing trope where the reader has most likely worked out the identity of the murderer but the main character, who is narrating the story in the first person, has not yet worked it out. So, then I had to keep reading until he figured it out too. I liked that it was set in Bristol and especially liked the descriptions of the marshy areas around the confluence of the two rivers, which are now lost until such a time as the earth decides to wrestle itself back from the concrete prison we created for it. 

Entertained by:

I finished The Coming Storm podcast and reflected that the divisions described in the Republican party sound a bit like those affecting the Labour party, although the politics is different. Some Republicans are appalled by the Q Anon crowd but they are more appalled by the though of the Democrats being in control. To those of us on the outside, it seems the right thing to do would be to fall on one's sword, split the party, spend a few years in the wilderness and come back with something better and closer to the original values. But I guess there is always the fear of which side will actually get to come back. Such is the bipartisan nature of our politics. Vive la democracy. 

I also took my first flight across the sea since December 2019 to visit Naomi in Belfast. She has a 9 month old daughter so we spent a lot of time hanging out with her, going on some walks and to some museums. We went to the Museum of Orange Heritage on Saturday and then the Museum of Ulster on Sunday, where I got to pose with an actual cannon from the actual Spanish Armada. 

The Museum of Orange Heritage was an interesting place, rich in lessons on how history is an interpretation and full of memorabilia from the Orange Order, which I had not realised grew out of Masonry but that now makes a lot of sense. 

We also went for a good walk up to Stormont and around the woodland nearby, had a roast, slept late, ate a couple of good Norn Iron breakfasts (three types of potato plus soda bread, total win for me) and generally had a very relaxing time. I appreciate anything that makes a weekend feel a week long and this was just the ticket. I was also very relieved to be able to go because I woke up on Friday with a blocked ear that felt very swollen and I was afraid I had an ear infection and shouldn't fly, but I think it must have just been wax. It's still a little blocked now but not sore. 


It was Maggie's birthday at work this week so I made a snickerdoodle cake. It was a huge hit and the whole thing was eaten in one day - this never happens, so that is high praise. 


Mostly just tired and unable to catch up with the sleep. A bit disappointed I failed in my resolutions when the going got even a little tough. I guess it is January and I should go easier on myself.

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