Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Not about work

Because I don't want this whole blog to become about how much my job sucks...

We went out and about on Saturday afternoon to try and get some Christmas presents sorted and while we were out we vistied Hyde Park. Unfortunately we got there a bit late (read: 3.30pm) and the light was already getting sucky and I'm not super impressed by my photos, but here are a couple so you can see Hyde Park in Autumn.

Fallen Leaves and Autumn Trees

Across the Serpentine

So you can see how much the sun has set before its even 4pm.

(click on the pictures to see them bigger)

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Working out Work

I ended up having the rest of the week off last week, as in I only went in on Monday. I saw the doctor on Thursday and he gave me that great news you always love to hear when you feel like rubbish - its a virus and there's nothing you can do but stay hydrated and take some ibuprofen/paracetomol.

So I spent 4 days at home, making my Butter Menthols last as long as possible and very slowly recovering. It gave me lots of time to think and as I got better, the idea of going back to work did not make me happy. I've realised this is the first job I've EVER had where I wake up EVERY morning and wish I didn't have to go. I mean, every job has its bad days, the shifts or classes you'd rather avoid, but nothing has made me feel like this. I am still trying to determine for myself exactly what it is that is making this an unhappy experience, partly so I can decide exactly what I should/could be doing to change it, mostly because I want to give them a really good reason when I quit. Because thats how I'm feeling right now - like I'd be better off working in a supermarket.

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Wednesday, 15 November 2006

One advantage to being sick...

...is I can actually take some photos during daylight hours. I have a killer sore throat, a bad cough and have lost my voice, so I didn't go to work yesterday or today. This morning we went to get ourselves sorted with the doctors so I could hopefully see someone, but they have a half-day today and only one doctor, so they couldn't fit me in. See, you have to register with a local doctor here in order to get treated under the NHS (national health service, i think). We knew this already, but since we both work during the hours the local surgery (about 100m down the road) is open, we hadn't sorted it out yet. So before Graeme went to work, we went and registered. As I walked back, I noticed the squirrels were out in the park across the road, scavenging in the early morning sun (OK, so it was like 8.30, but the sun was still rising), so I went inside, grabbed my camera and went to take some photos.

Unlike the squirrels in Hyde Park, who will come right up to you looking for food, these guys usually run away at the sight of a human, dog or even bird that comes too close. But this one was up in the tree, scavenging the seeds or something and was totally happy for me to be close(ish - i did use my biggest lense).

And I just wanted to show you how great my husband is. He went and found a London-based Australian grocery shop so he could get me some Butter Menthols and Eucalyptus drops in his lunch time yesterday. He's so awesome. He also brought home a couple of Freddos and a bag of Clinkers.
Please excuse the dodgy photo - I had planned on cropping it, but I'm too lazy.

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Sunday, 12 November 2006


Suddenly, since the cold snap last week, its starting to look how I expected autumn here to look. I took this photo as we walked home this afternoon - I only took the one, but I need to go out and try and capture autumn on 'film' - maybe another trip to Hyde Park is in order.

I also wanted to show you a picture that I took of my office door, but I realised it has the name of the school on the school rules (which the students don't seem to follow all that often) and I can't be bothered editing it right now. As much as I complain about my work, I don't want them named and shamed for all to see... The main reason I wanted to show it is that it now has a piece of home on it - while cleaning up the store room, the DT technician found a picture of the Twelve Apostles which I promptly attached to the door. It still had the price on it of $4.95 and it intrigues me as to who it was that bought something like that for it to end up where it did...

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Thursday, 9 November 2006

No creative title

So where have I been?

We went to Athens over half-term (there are only 3 school terms here and there is a single week break halfway through each of them). It was nice to get away from school and go somewhere a bit warmer for a few days. I would direct you to our website, but since I haven't had time to upload any photos or anything, its probably not all that interesting...

School started back last Monday. I REALLY didn't want to go, for various reasons combined. Then, on Wednesday, we found out that the school was going to get inspected this week. One of the side effects of the British love of paperwork is that everyone is held accountable for everything, even stuff they have no control over. So there is this company/ organization/ government-department/ i-have-no-idea-what-they-actually-are that go around and inspect schools and say how good they are at various things then give them an overall rank. Then their report and every statistic under the sun is available to the general public, which basically means the good schools get better as the competition for places gets harder and the bad schools get worse as good students and teachers go elsewhere. Anyway, the inspectors have been and gone and our school, which was struggling, is on the improve and has been OKed. Not that I really care, but the British teachers sure do, so everyone spent a week stressed out and on-edge about the blooming inspection and everything else got put aside or on hold. I lost my afternoons for the week and spent most of the weekend in bed with the flu. I knew I was getting sick, but stupidly went out with Graeme and his brother to Windsor and got hit hard on Saturday afternoon. So a tonne of stuff that I was planning on doing never happened - the school musical is in like 4 weeks and there are a bunch of set pieces and costumes to make that aren't even started yet...

So basically, what that probably incoherent paragraph said is that I have been sick and busy. And the weather took a sudden cold turn and the sun sets at like 4.30 and its miserable and depressing. So obviously I'm loving being in London right now... NOT.

On the plus side, some of the teachers I am working with are awesome and a couple of the other Aussies (and one American chick) and I had a great laugh at how serious everyone suddenly became when they found out about the inspection. They keep me sane. And a couple of my classes are super (like 3 out of the 11) and help me to remember why I put up with the kids I want to kill. Like my year 9 class I had this morning. I taught them for 2 hours (a double lesson) this morning and it was the first time in ages I hadn't had to raise my voice during a lesson, well, other than to tell them that I wasn't joking when I told them they needed to pack up - they were so into their projects they didn't want to stop and that made my day. And they're producing top quality work, which is ace.

So now I've babbled on for ages - hopefully I've given some insight into whats been going on. If it makes no sense, I will just choose to blame the fact that I'm still sick, OK?

Here's a pretty picture I took of the last rose of the season outside our living room window (that's it in the background). I'm on a mission to take more photos and get better at doing so, so I will try and post some more often.

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