Sunday, 5 June 2011


It's been a funny old week. Full of beginnings and endings, of moments when the Life Police pull you over to the side of the road and ask you if a) you know where you are going because your driving has been a bit erratic, b) have you been drinking because you don't seem wholly in control of your brain at the moment and c) did you know there is a speed limit in life and it's not a race to get to the next one.

One of my students died on Monday. He was out with his mates, down by the river, playing on a rope swing. The rope swing snapped and into the river he went. According to reports, he resurfaced once, but he couldn't swim and that was that. I heard about it on the local lunchtime news on Tuesday. I was stopped in my tracks. He was twelve years old.

On Tuesday, I met an old friend and colleague for dinner. Haven't seen her for ages but it was a good evening - lots of chat about family and work, and wonderings about what the future might hold. And how much control we actually have over our future, given we both have families and homes and jobs which occupy our time to a greater degree. We have to factor these people and houses and jobs into the equation. We made them happen, we have responsibilities to them. But what if our rope swing snaps tomorrow?

On Wednesday I finally completed my job applications. There's nothing like revamping your CV to make you realise how much you've actually done with your life and how much of it is irrelevant to potential employers. But then I think if someone is going to employ you, then you should tell them as much good stuff as possible. After all, it's all about transferable skills these days, isn't it? And if I can stay calm amidst a swarm of bees, and get them resettled into new hives with no obvious ill-effects, then doesn't that hint I can be calm in a classroom crisis - swarm of bees, swarm of children, it's all becoming the same to me.

And as I looked at various jobs and their application forms and what schools expect these days, it put me in mind that as I love English and I'm good at English and English is my passion, then I should think about doing a Masters Degree. I have the requisite Honours Degree. I looked at a couple of syllabi on-line and spent yesterday studying Byron's 'Don Juan' as it seems a poem that is popular at post-graduate level. Initial investigations of aforesaid and mammothly epically ENORMOUS poem suggest a certain barkingess to Byron's character, but I was hooked! Also, the Masters idea was initiated by the friend I had dinner with on Tuesday, who is part way through hers and seemed unsure about what to do with it, given various time constraints. And my message is, 'You know who you are, M! Just get on with it!!! It will 'open doors'!

Thursday, Andy tore a muscle in his shoulder. He is in big pain. He can't sleep. He is living on painkillers. He can do nothing but rest his shoulder until it has repaired itself. He even succumbed to me doing some healing on it, so it must be bad. He thought he could do a Masters, too, and we could open a cats only veterinary practice with cattery attached.

'Then we could do doctorates,' I said, getting caught up in the lunacy of the moment. 'And in the morning I could say, 'Good morning, Doctor Hunt, and you'd reply 'Good Morning to you, too, Doctor Hunt, and my how we'd laugh!'
'You reckon?' said Andy.
'Probably not,' said I.

And now, here I sit, with a grand-daughter on my lap, a grand-daughter who is very keen to learn about typing and blogging and who is trying to wrestle the kepboard from me.

I'll let her have the last say...

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