Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Last week's Highs and Lows

Yes, I know it's Wednesday and we're nearly half way through this week already, but I'm really aiming to make my "Highs and Lows" posts a regular series again, so I'm starting as I mean to go on! Better late than never, that's my motto!

And so on to last week...there were a few seemingly small, yet meaningful highs mixed with a couple of definite lows but, most importantly, it was a positive one overall and I ended it looking forward to the week ahead :-) . So without further ado, here's what had me beaming from ear to ear or down in the dumps last week:


  • Finding £60 I'd forgotten I had: I was looking for something,opened one of drawers and bam...there it was! A quick check with my mum later, and I established that it was definitely mine to keep spend. :-) Exactly what I needed in these tight financial times!
  • A couple of shorter (and quieter) afternoons at work: Last week, the 5 year old boy I act as support worker for had a couple of taster sessions at the school he'll be starting in September. And as his support worker, I accompanied him. The upshot of this was a happy little boy...he loved joining in with all the activities the school had to offer and was really keen to get on well with both his new classmates and the staff working there, as well as a very happy Julie! My afternoons were pretty much stress free due to his excellent behaviour (a radical departure from some days at the nursery) and the fact that I only worked half my usual hours for the two days, but was still paid for the full afternoon each time, made them even sweeter. A definite high in my book.
  • Midweek curry night and making winter plans with friends: Last Wednesday night, a few friends and I headed to our local pub for their curry night...curry with all the sides plus a free drink for a bargain price and I'm definitely in! We ate, we drank and also made tentative plans for the winter weekend away I discussed in this post. All in all, it was a lovely relaxing night, perfect for recharging our batteries midweek, and something that I hope we'll repeat sooner rather than later.
  • Baking for the first time in AGES: Over the last couple of months, my weekends have been so filled with job applications and other things to get done that any plans to bake have fallen right by the wayside. But last Saturday, with no job applications imminent, I decided to get my baking head on and made 2 batches of flapjacks; one with sultanas and cherries and the other with chocolate chips. Both were delicious (if I do say so myself!) although I don't think I added quite enough liquid to the choc chip batch as they ended up harder and more crunchy than the fruit ones; they kind of reminded of Nature Valley bars. Very tasty, but not so good for your teeth!
  • Spending time with the cutest class ever: Last Friday, I had a job interview and whilst I was at the school I had the opportunity to meet one of the classes. And oh my gosh, they were amongst the sweetest children I had ever met. Bright, friendly and full of fun, they had a knack of making me feel instantly at ease and I absolutely adored the time I spent with them. Plus I walked away with a number of pictures they'd made for me, which is always a reliable measure of a good day at school in my book!
  • A couple of long lie ins: Whilst I don't have to get up too early for work in the week, I do have to set my alarm so I really appreciated just being able to sleep until the time nature intended last weekend. After 9:30? Don't mind if I do!

  • Not getting the job: Before last Friday, I'd had 2 other job interviews this year. I was unsuccessful on both occasions, and whilst the rejection stung, I wasn't overly upset, probably because I wasn't 100% sure that the jobs or schools were right for me. Friday was different. I really wanted the job. Then I went to the school, met the children and wanted it even more. Everything just seemed to fit: the role I'd be taking on, the ethos of the school, the welcoming attitudes of everyone I met plus the fact that I thought my interview had gone reasonably well. And then I got the call (well, actually the answerphone message as I was working at the time the headteacher rang): I hadn't got it. And let me tell you, it hurt. It hurt like hell. I'd wanted it so badly and there was nothing I could do. Except cry and feel like a massive failure (which I did). And then I dusted myself down and waited for feedback (I'm still waiting now). And so the job hunting starts again...
  • My grandad going into hospital: My grandad has been in and out of the hospital over the past week and a half or so. Nothing major but after 3 hospital trips in 4 days, mainly due to minor falls, they decided to keep in him for a few days whilst they worked on his mobility. He finally came out of hospital today, and fingers crossed that, with his new mobility aids and a few adjustments that have been made at his home, he won't be making a return journey any time soon :-)
And that's pretty much it! Hope you're having a good week so far...I'm already thinking of things that can go on my next highs and lows list!!

'Til next time...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Thursday Thoughts Round 2

So, I was sat here facing a familiar predicament...I wanted to blog but I had NO idea what to write about. Then it hit me...It's Thursday! Now at this point you'll probably be thinking "Well, that's all well and good but what's that go to do with anything?" Well, I'll tell you. As it's Thursday, I can just have a complete ramble, call the resulting post "Thursday Thoughts" and feel absolutely legitimised in doing so :-). So, without further ado, here's what I'm thinking about this Thursday:

  • A Christmas or New Year getaway: Yes, you read that correctly! It may only be July but I'm already skipping forward to December! Why? Because my friends and I have decided that, instead of buying each other Christmas presents and going out for a meal as we usually do, we'll save that money and put it towards a short break together instead. We may not have even booked anything yet, but I'm still getting excited and am already dreaming of roaring log fires, meals gathered around an enormous dining table and maybe even crisp white snow.
  • A job interview: I have my third job interview of the school year tomorrow, and I'm really excited about the opportunity that this post would present me with, as well as really looking forward to meeting the children I'd be working with. If I was successful, I'd be working as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant rather than a teacher, but having enjoyed the 1 to1 and small group work I've done as a TA in the past, I think the HLTA role is one that would suit me really well :-). Wish me luck guys!!
  • All-you-can-eat ice cream and amazing live music: (Fingers crossed) this is where I'll be on July 24th: 

It's Ben and Jerry's Sundae in the Park, a fabulous sounding music festival run by Ben and Jerry's! Basically for under £20, you can go and watch some amazing bands and eat as much Ben and Jerry's ice cream as you can stomach! And if that wasn't enough, there'll also be fairground attractions and loads of other fun activities...I can't wait to ice my own cookies! :-) I won't even mind if it rains...I'll just rock my wellies and waterproofs like the best of them! :-)

  • The fact that it's Friday tomorrow: It's not as if I've had a hard working week or anything, but the thought of the weekend always makes everything feel a little better :-) I don't think I'm doing anything in particular, but that's beside the point...two days of freedom will hopefully be sheer bliss :-)
And they're my Thursday thoughts! :-) What are you thinking about today?

Till next time...xx

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Oh hi, July!!

If you'd asked me after my last post how long it'd be before I blogged again, I probably would have said a few days. Maybe even a week or two. But over two way!! But there it is in black and last post was in April and somehow I've resurfaced in July! Now at this point I'd normally apologise for being away for so long and say that it'll never happen again. But this time's going to be a little different. For one, I guess that endless apologies are probably pretty boring to read and two...well, my blogging history suggests that I will disappear again at some point! So this time I'm not apologising, but I am going to fill you in on what I've been up to...

  • I've booked and been on a wonderful holiday to Lanzarote with my friend E (aka "The Performer"). It was my first holiday for 2 years and I was really glad of the break. The weather was perfect and the island amazing. I spent my days lazing by the pool and mooching round the shops and my nights sipping cocktails at local bars or drinking wine on our apartment terrace. I returned home with lots of happy memories, probably the best tan I've ever got and possibly a few pounds heavier and I hope to be able to do it all over again, preferably sooner rather than later!!
  • Whilst on holiday, I also had some amazing experiences that were a little out of the ordinary. I visited the amazing Timanfaya National Park, rode a camel, tasted local wine and, best of all, went snorkelling! Now as for someone who professes not to like deep water, I suppose I was a little out of my comfort zone (about 5 metres to be exact!) but once I remembered to breathe, it was the most fantastic experience. The fish were beautiful and watching them was so calming...I felt really serene, almost like a mermaid and I definitely want to repeat the experience :-).
  • I've kept my job hunting up, albeit with limited success. I have had 2 interviews, both of which I found out about on the same day (seriously, they're like buses!) but unfortunately I failed to secure either post. To be honest, jobs are starting to really dry up now, so if I don't get one in the next couple of weeks, I doubt that I'll know where I'll be come September, but at least I have my nursery job to tide me over. I've still been working part time at the nursery where I started in February and, unlike schools, it's open pretty much year round meaning that at least I'll still be earning in the summer holidays which makes a very welcome change! Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be moving on at the start of the new school year as the child I'm employed to support is starting primary school, but a girl can't have everything I suppose! In other job related news, I finally got to say a proper goodbye to the staff at my last was lovely catching up with everyone and I was surprised and very moved to discover that they'd bought me cards and all clubbed together to buy me a £30 giftcard for Next, which is one of my favourite clothing retailers (after Primark of course!)
  • I've had 2 driving tests, which I've failed, and I'm awaiting my third! I'm intermittently taking driving lessons in between times (they're just too expensive to have every week :-( ) and I'm hoping that it'll be third time lucky for bank balance can't really take much more!!
  • I've performed in one musical revue with my drama group and I'm now well into rehearsals for our next. We start choreography for the first act'll be nothing too complicated but, as I'm not a dancer, wish me luck anyway!
  • I've spent many more wonderful times with my family and friends. There's been a wedding, a christening, a royal wedding barbecue and drinks in the sunshine as well as multiple meals, nights in and out and general gatherings. Words really can't express how much these people mean to me, they make even the worst times seem not quite as awful and I really am blessed to have each and every one of them!! :-)
And that's pretty much it! I was going to finish up by posting a list of things I'm looking forward to this summer and/or my summer goals, but I'm already at the risk of turning this into a real essay, so they're just going to have to wait a little longer!!

Till next time...