A different corner

It is 36 years ago to the day Kevin and I got engaged. Time has flown by!

Tonight we watched 'Freedom' the George Michael documentary, and I feel quite sad about such a talented man who appeared to have enjoyed only fleeting glimpses of happiness in his personal life.

A voice of such depth, and soulfulness that could evoke tears of joy and sadness in equal measure.

So many of his songs have a place in my journey in life from the early eighties onwards. His premature death almost 10 months ago, still feels unreal, but his music, as I listen to it now, lives on.

😔

One of my favourites was A Different Corner, underrated in my opinion and Chris Martin sang it earlier this year and it closed the documentary. A poignant moment for me.

I felt like crying, but after a few philosophical words with Joe, I have overcome that and appreciate that I have what I have.

Good night xxx

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Two weeks in

Well that's two weeks of the Academic year gone

Time just goes so quickly. The start is always frenetic, but this year with the sixth form building project 5 weeks overdue, and possibly another 5 week delay, it's even more so.
Balls in the air trying to ensure all is in place, whilst preparing for a HR audit, a GDPR audit and the ICE visit.

Satisfyingly, things are taking shape, and I feel a real sense of pride. I have had such great support from a Governor, who has been with me every step of the way: we had a shared vision and it has been a delight!

Today provided another boost to my mood with a visit to a brand designer. It is such a fillip to meet people so energised, so full of ideas, a passion for change and to feel 'yes, that hits the nail on the head'!

I walked back to work from the meeting, full of hope, it was a lovely sunny morning, and a dear colleague, celebrating her birthday, had left a cupcake on my desk

Yummy!

We have student art work on the walls and this is being updated and I particularly like one which is in the style of Katherine Jebb. So wonderful to enjoy their talents and achievements.

All in all a great start and long may the positivity remain!

Life changes

On Sunday we drove to Bristol to our niece's new home, to surprise Kevin's sister on the eve of a momentous birthday.
I'd been nearby, actually having lunch at the above pub earlier this year, and after a very early start we arrived before the birthday girl.

Viv was suitably surprised and pleased at the gathering of family in the garden.

There were bubbles and beer, lots of chatter, laughter, (thank you Lizzie),and also talk of the family wedding in 2018. Victoria asked Georgina to be one of her bridesmaids, which meant tears of happiness.


Andy and Victoria's neighbour enjoys taking a photo or two, so he popped round and these are a fantastic reminder of the day.

Viv retired from work on the Thursday and her and Don have some great plans to bring to fruition, plus time to spend with the beautiful Bella.

Viv isn't one to speak at occasions, usually beavering away, but today she did, briefly. She thanked people for coming, and then the tears started. She continued and thanked Don in his support of her retiring early: it was so touching. Viv has a serenity about her and it is obvious that she is loved and cherished by all who know her.

I wish Viv a long, healthy and happy retirement, to enjoy the times ahead, and the memories to be made! (And that I can follow suit as soon as possible😉)

Another year rolls by

Another Academic year ends tomorrow, with more goodbyes with the prospect of hellos in September. Changes to roles and new students about to embark on their next destination of the journey of lifelong learning.


It’s been a year full of highs and lows and on Monday I return to a student free school with a list as long as my arm of things to do.

Fingers crossed the new sixth form facilities will be complete and ready for the students. Our students have had the very best education with committed, outstanding teaching, despite being housed in a corridor and a former students area. This new flagship facility will inspire and energise them further! 

I for one, can’t wait, but there is still a fair way to go. 

Cricket ย England v South Africa

The reason behind our trip was the cricket match today, and we awoke to get skies and drizzle. 

Breakfast and getting ready took precedence and the drizzle became heavy showers ๐Ÿ˜ž 

As we wiped away 40 minutes a break in the clouds, and the rain stopped so we walked to Cardiff bay station.


We had a lovely walk to Sophia gardens, but on arrival found we were 2 1/2 hours early! 


Once in the SWALEC ground we had a tea and chatted to other spectators.


AB de Villiers won the toss and England into bat. Behind where we were sitting I spied Mike Phillips, a Welsh rugby player, and had to take a cheeky snap


England batted well, with Dawid Malan hitting an impressive 78 on his debut. They got 181 runs from their 20 overs, so a chase was on.

Very few would know all of the players on both sides, but we were treated to a feisty display both with bat and in the field. SA lost the key wicket of AB de Villiers and SA were 19 runs short. England won the series 2-1.

We stayed for the celebrations and presentations.


We had failed to find the time of the last train to Cardiff Bay, so went for a bus, but had to call a taxi in the end.


We picked up a bottle of fizz, some pasta and cheesecake and enjoyed a mini feast.it has been another lovely sojourn with laughter, nature and sport. 

When’s the next one? โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Education and what it can mean

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit another Catholic school in East London. The journey from Chelmsford was a real trip back to the past especially when we drove through Ilford, Manor Park and Forest Gate. Road names remain but so much has changed. 

We passed my old secondary school, the entrance door still familiar and the wall that cocooned us girls from the outside world still in tact.

We continued to drive down a road that I used to walk to the tennis courts, and to the Church where we celebrated many a Mass.


All this made me realise how fortunate I had been to have had a top class education, that despite my humble beginnings, my parents gave me the best start they could. I loved school and in the main,  academia suited me. This was a springboard for me and most days I am thankful for my language skills, my mathematical ability and my knowledge of the world and history.

Not everyone has these opportunities, or the support to make the most of them. For some, school and to conform, are not happy bed fellows, but we need to find a way to engage, support and encourage these as they deserve. 

One of my favourite songs is ‘different corner’ by George Michael, and I often reflect on the choices that my parents, myself and my husband have made. My life could have been very different but I have been lucky and I appreciate all that has been done for me.


The school I visited faces so many challenges: gang culture, poverty, immigrants, and inner city anxieties, but there was such a positive vibe within the school, a real determination to achieve and be the best you can be. It was a delight, but it’s tough I’m sure. 


I returned home and we all went to the polling station together to vote, and I recanted about my day and my journey, appreciation of where my family live, the opportunities that they have had and continue to have! 

Getting older…

Over the last few months, probably three years, I have struggled with fatigue, weight gain, changes in vision, and most recently tinnitus. 


I have had medication for high blood pressure for 18 years and for an under active thyroid for 7 years.


A few weeks ago I decided to make changes. A trip to the doctor means a blood test today-joy!


More frightening has been BP readings twice a day for a week. Erratic and too high. These have been given to the doctor  so with the blood test results should give a clearer picture.

Opticians and dentist yesterday and my eyes may be being effected by my medical conditions! Tishbapoo!


I have started to monitor what I’m eating and a conscious effort to walk more. This can’t be a fair weather change either. So far I’ve lost 6lbs, but a fairway still to go to feel comfortable. 

This getting older is a state of mind and I will do all I can to keep me healthy and to enjoy my life as I reach the grand age of 56! Although the morning aches and pains take longer to dissipate, I intend to grab what is ahead of me and enjoy to the fullest! Making small changes can make a big difference. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Homeward bound

After a night in a warm room we were woken at 8:32 this morning. This left little time for showers etc and as it was miserable outside, we made our way to breakfast, which was again, very good! 

A meander through the streets of Bakewell meant buying cheese, beer and treats for home!

We returned to the hotel, packed and we were on our way.


The scenery we have seen on this trip has been so beautiful to behold, even in โ˜”๏ธ. There are so many more places to see, we have just skirted round and through them!


Our final stop just had to be a cake shop, Patisserie Valerie, at Cambridge services. One last hurrah for us both. Satiated, we carried on and Debbie dropped me off at home at 980 miles from when the journey began.

Joe was just leaving as we arrived, but a window tap and bibib attracted his attention to turn round. Hugs all round then Debbie left to get home too.

I unpacked, watered the garden and took some photos

This last week has been so good,so good,so good (sweet Caroline), I’ve been inclined …. to drink too much, eat far too much, and laugh (you can never laugh too much!).  I am blessed with great family and friends and I am lucky to have the opportunity to do things like this, and the means too.

Wonderful memories made and also a wanderlust to visit more of our beautiful ‘green and pleasant land’

Final Dayย 

The ultimate goal of our road trip was to attend the Final today at Murrayfield, and so it was, Saracens v Clermont Auvergne. 

I even purchased a rugby top for the occasion! 

The weather forecast was poor and we left North Berwick on foot to catch the train to Edinburgh Haymarket. Drizzle became quite heavy rain, the first for 6 weeks.

We decided to have lunch at a favourite of ours Omar Khayyam and it didn’t disappoint.

Whilst eating the cloud broke and blue sky was seen! A walk to the stadium ensued where we met a variety of fans along the way. There were the French, Irish, Scots and English. I have always thought of Rugby fans as more convivial than football but today that perception was shaken. 


Match underway and it swung from looking tight, to a Sarries romp, then back again. There was very flowery language from a particular young lady behind us and I can’t quite get my head round why people pay so much to be rude about other teams and just not enjoy the spectacle. A possible red card was discounted and some missed kicks and all square again. Just before half time though, a full cup of beer ‘fell’ from above onto primarily a Warriors fan,  the lady was drenched, and other people beside and in fronted her too. Very poor show! 


The second half had a few thrills and spills and a nervy time led to final whistle on a Saracen win 17-28! Hugs all round amongst the staunch fans at another final. 

We watched the presentations and commiserated with Clermont and their fans. We then took our leave to return home, and to celebrate with tea and biscuits!!


Tomorrow we pack again and make our way to Bakewell as we approach the final leg of our journey! 

Day 5 to North Berwick

Miles completed yesterday  over 140. After our comfortable stay at Ugiebrae in Seahouses, where nothing was too much trouble, we enjoyed our pre ordered breakfast. Poached eggs on toast and creamy mushrooms on brioche: another wonderful breakfast.

A stop at Bamburg Castle for a photo or two and we continued on our way

A couple of other stops but the weather began to close in!


We arrived in North Berwick in good time, enjoyed a cuppa then a light lunch of cheese, pate and crackers. 

A quick shower and titivate and we left for the station. We arrived in Edinburgh Waverley where a stiff walk up the Royal Mile to our meal destination. Over 30 Saracen fans were to break bread and enjoy the delights of middle eastern food: falafel, bone leaves,kebabs and flatbreads. All washed down with a variety of alcoholic imbibements. Dessert was Turkish delight and baklava, really sweet treats!

Cabs were summoned to take us to Murrayfield to watch the EPR Challenge Cup Final between Gloucester and Stade Francais. To be honest a lacklustre game with the French team winning 17-25. At least I saw Sergio Parisse score a try though! 


A good journey home on a dreech night, a cup of warm milk and some neurofen as I’m not feeling brilliant and hoping for a Saracen win tomorrow, especially as I have my new shirt to wear!