Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Home Alone

I am home alone. Andy left yesterday lunchtime to travel to Telford (again. I am beginning to think there is some incredibly exciting sci-fi book shop in Telford that is drawing him in) to attend a one day course on assertiveness. He was feeling slightly fractious in the days before he left because the company running the course had failed to send him any paperwork about it.
'Perhaps,' he said, 'the first test of my assertiveness is to phone them and demand the missing paperwork.'
'Maybe,' I said. 'But I think it is more likely to be incompetence. Theirs, not yours.'

I am feeling slightly peeved that Andy is being sent on this course because I don't think it is an essential life skill to be assertive and if one is naturally non-assertive and it has never been a bother to one's life, one should be left alone to sit happily on the passive sideline of conflict. The only benefit I can conceive of Andy going on this course is that the next time he is told to attend such a pointless thing he can turn around and say, 'No!'

So off Andy went yesterday, and this morning I received a text saying, 'Off to be assertive!' He sounded very chirpy, like a man who had just availed himself in the biggest possible way of a full English breakfast with Continental top up.

And after he has been assertively trained, he is off to Birmingham to attend the BSAVA annual conference, where he gets to fall asleep in warm lecture halls, collect biros/soft toys/ cat food samples from eager sales reps, meet up with old colleagues whose names he can't quite remember and spend food vouchers on what I suspect will be mostly junk food and ne'er a vegetable in sight.

Which means I am home alone.

Which means I get to practise my French very loudly without fear of being giggled at for my appalling accent which is fast turning a beautiful language into something I am already calling 'Manglais,' as I mangle my vowels and fail to roll any 'rrrrrrrs.' So whilst I am getting pretty good at reading and writing French, I still sound like some cockney barrow boy.

And I can watch the kind of rubbish reality TV shows that make Andy cringe in a similar way to how Doctor Who makes me cringe.

I went to work this morning - Easter Holiday GCSE revision sessions - and when I got home there was a book waiting for me in the post. Entitled 'Start and Run a Sandwich and Coffee Shop' I hope to have read it thoroughly by the time Andy returns on Sunday. And when he asks me things like, 'So what are the financial advantages/ disadvantages of leasing against purchasing,' I shall be able to say,'Read this book, dearest - it is ALL in there. Voila!'

And I have been exploring the possibility of taking a qualification in TEFL. TEFL is Teaching English as a Foreign Language. I am a teacher. I teach English. And, to be honest, sometimes it feels like I am teaching it as a foreign language to native English children innit bruv? However, I have been engaged as a tutor for two youngsters from Afghanistan, and whilst they are not wholly without English, they know very little. Having said that, I was very impressed when, during a miming 'n' drawing session where I sketch cartoons very badly and flail about in a dramatic way a la charades, my impression of 'the wind' was translated by one of my tutees as 'the tsunami.' And he spelled it correctly!

One can take internationally recognised TEFL courses on line for a very reasonable fee. One can get a certificate. One is thinking this might be a good idea. One doesn't quite know why yet, but one has the urge. (One is not pretending to the Queen.)

So there we go. I am reading lots, writing a bit (because the muse has temporarily faded). I am shivering in the cold wind. I have an irritating pimple on my tongue. I am sewing a bit (did you see the new BBC sewing programme last night - brilliant!). Je parle un peu de Francais mauvais.

I am home alone.


rusty duck said...

Having total control of the TV remote is the thing I most enjoy about being home alone. That and a blissful night's sleep, undisturbed by snoring. I order an extra Pinot from Waitrose to avoid discrepancies in the bottle count and Bob's your Auntie.

How are you going to cope with a more assertive Andy?

Denise said...

I don't think there is anything to fear, Jessica...when he phoned this evening, he didn't sound assertive at all. Just his usual, jovial self!

I think he should ask for his money back!

Anonymous said...

No full English breakfast at the Telford International!i had grapefruit! I'm being anonymous because I'm paranoid that the strathallan hotel wifi will steal passwords.

Denise said...

You mustn't have grapefruit with your blood pressure pills! Aaaaaaaarghh......

Promise me no more grapefruit.

Good grief...

Anonymous said...

Ok just full English for the next 4 days!