Monthly Archives: July 2011

Back where I belong

.. on the sofa, in the sitting room! Which is such a treat after a week or so camped out in the kitchen! I am, however, grateful I could move most of the furniture from the sitting room in to the kitchen, it made dealing with the sitting room so much easier – furniture that’s too large for the room it occupies is a pain.

I’ve even gardened today. Grass cutting and general tidying rather than real gardening, but I was still working in the garden. Not bad going, considering I was wanting to leave it until Tuesday (one of my two non-paid working days next week) and was doing my very best to talk myself out of it.

All this energy is very splendid, especially as  it’s been a long, long time in hiding. It also has me querying a few things about work. It may have been with so much going on in my own life that all I’ve had energy for has been work, which I’ve not liked one little bit. Or it may be that in term time work is so full-on I’ve no energy for anything other than work, anyway, regardless of what is going on in my own life. And, is that what I want my life to be? I think not.

It could just be that doing this painting and decorating has made here feel that little bit more like home, and as several friends have remarked recently, I’ve really needed this bit of time to settle down and feel somewhere is home, rather than knowing I’m going to be on the move again within months.

But, for now, I’m enjoying a delightul work/life balance, even if it’s going to be financially tight for a month or so, and really appreciating the fruits of my labours.

I’d forgotten…

  • how much I enjoy working with bright, articulate mature teenagers. I do love my awkward, difficult, inarticulate, immature ones as well, I get a real kick out of seeing them become less awkward, difficult, inarticulate and immature. They are the ones I do work with best, but, oh, it’s been so restful this week to have some decent conversation as I’ve worked.
  • how much I can get done when I’m motivated.
  • how much more easily I can get on with those tasks I dislike when there’s more of the of the tasks I like on the go.

Mind you, I said I was doing the morning’s worth of odd bits of painting five days ago, Life, and a nasty 24 hour bug got in the way of that plan, (I’ve stopped feeling weak and feeble now, thank you) and and I’ve just finished it now. So, I am pondering, once I’ve had my lunch, taking myself off to get some library books, and a trip to the cinema in – or would I enjoy those more tomorrow, when I’ve done the clean up properly in those two rooms, and got the next room ready for painting.

Decisions, decisions. I’d not forgotten how bad I can be at those, though!!

Still on target!

The plan has been a room a week and, so far this I have achieved!!

The kitchen has had some interesting challenges – mostly it’s painted brick work. It’s got a rustic feel, but boy, it is a pain and a half to paint. Add in the bright supposedly natural wood masking the stairway, and over when a fireplace or boiler was once upon a time, and some painted wood halfway up one wall. But, it’s all one colour where it’s painted, so I’ve not had to be precise with the cutting in and when painting the ceiling.

It’s almost all completed, and a morning’s work tomorrow will see it done. It’s certainly looking much cleaner, which was the original aim.

So, next week will be the sitting room.

Didn’t that year go by quickly?

It occurred to me, as I was perched on a chair, reaching to paint the ceiling in the tricky little corner of the room (do not, I beg of you, inquire why I’m standing on chairs to do this task when step ladders would be safer.) that it was a Significant Date. This time last year, I was awaiting the arrival of the official paperwork indicating that life really had changed. But, I was so not convinced it was going to get to me with any rapidity, that I nearly threw the blessed envelope which contained the official document in the paper recycling bag, along with the advertising mail it had come wrapped in!

So, today, not only have I acknowledged this significant date, which also happened to be a significant date anyway, (it’s kind of neat and tidy that it’s all on the same date) I have completed another academic year, I have registered the first of my three bestest friends have gone over the numeric border into the next decade. (I have another four years to go….) and plans for the summer are looking good. Work hours are flexible, as long as I complete them before the end of the financial year. Which means I could cut down on travel costs, and bunch days together to make it work getting a travel card, rather than single tickets.

Loads of things have shifted mentally  – for which I am truly grateful.

Church continues to be a hard place to be, but I’m making far more sense of what it is about.

And, now the only thing I need to decide on is in which order the room decorating is going to proceed.

After a lazy evening, and the remains of the team meeting buffet lunch food!



The Decorating Adventures begin…

quite unexpectedly, really.

I had intended just to get the paint and needful items today, but not to get started! Plan A had been to shop at local DIY store, then have the rest of the day off, but I had to come up with Plan B, which was to do the shopping at the DIY store near to work, then go on to a work meeting. However, the meeting was cancelled, so I was back to Plan A, and thus at home  all day instead.  Somehow, I think the lack of energetic activity at work over the last few weeks (it’s been lots of admin, or sitting with students helping them through the last labour pains of getting final assignments in) plus the fact I’ve been walking less, added up to a need to do something more energetic.

So, I cleared my bedroom, got everything together and got started! So far, it’s looking good, first coat of paint on all walls, and ready to go on the ceiling tomorrow. In fact, this may be  the only coat of paint on the walls, it was looking remarkably OK when I left it a couple of hours ago. Judgement will be reserved until the morning, and daylight!

What I am utterly delighted about is how much fitter I am. Last time I did a considerable amount of painting and decorating, I was seriously unfit, and it nearly finished me off! Now, I’m not claiming great things in the fitness department, but climbing up and down step ladders is no longer something I dread. I’m just pleasantly achy, rather than completely wiped out after a day of physical activity. Obviously my normal commute of train and walking, combined with quite a bit of activity at work over the last two years is proving more beneficial than I’d realised.

So, tomorrow will be ceiling day… oh heck.

Things I have learnt this week

I am having a break from the train commute and travelling by car instead.

I have explored different routes to and from work – mostly, I’ve done the standard recommended trip in the morning, but it involves the frightening cross city main roads, one lot of roadworks, and I’m a wuss about driving through the tunnels even when it’s fairly quiet and calm!

So, I’ve tried variations on the route in the evenings if I’ve been working up to and beyond 4.00 p.m. Tackling that route home in rush hour is definitely not my idea of fun. I’ve enjoyed them, and whilst they are definitely slower, there isn’t that feeling of deep, impending doom that I will be in a never-ending rush hour traffic jam.

This is also my opportunity to stock up on the shopping that is do-able by public transport, but so much simpler with a car – no, I’ve not quite bought a year’s supply of toilet rolls, dried goods, drinks and washing powder tablets, (nowhere to store that much!)  but it was tempting.

As a result, I’ve seen the recycling bins in the supermarket car park, and lo! there is one for bras. I will not inform friend who has been known to be somewhat rude about my underwear (it’s functional, no-one sees it, I’ve got best stuff for going to the doctors) as I’m certain she will suggest I make use of it and get myself some new ones.

Despite my antipathy to anything paperwork related, I seem to have developed a reputation for being excellent with detail, and with a good working knowledge of a wide range of all that goes on in our working environment, and more importantly,an almost unsurpassed knowledge of those who provide us with our work. Though, after a day dealing with forms, and phoning back for clarifications, missing answers, and the inability of the teenager to be coherent first thing in the morning, I’m grateful it’s only been one day this week, and unlikely to be much more until mid August.

It doesn’t matter  how often I repeat myself, some lessons do not sink in. I was seen with my head on the desk at one point, almost weeping at the lack of capital letters or basic punctuation in the application forms. I know those lessons have been taught, I know they are capable of remembering when it suits them…

I am quite happy with a three/four day week until mid September. I have plenty to occupy me on the home front, and a break from normal routine is being much appreciated.

Filling in job application forms is mind-numbingly boring. (I do, however, have capital letters and correct punctuation. I know to re-read them, and get a friend to do so as well.)

I still wake up at 5.30 a.m. when there is No Need.