Monday, 27 August 2012

Where did the summer go?

This summer has been a weird one; nothing really went to plan for me.  Instead of leaving in July to live for a year in America, I learnt I would be staying in Leicester and so I packed my bags for a holiday in South Africa instead.  The trip was a good one, but any visit to South Africa is too fraught with familial, historical, emotional and political tensions to be truly relaxing.  Since getting back to the UK a couple of weeks ago I've been busy hunting down bargains, reading a lot, spending too much time in the pub, hiking, biking, festival-going and all the other pastimes that I enjoy so much.  The summer holidays are my chance to truly be myself; to be 'Janet' instead of 'Ms Brown'.  Don't get me wrong, I (kind of, sometimes) love my job, and eight years of teaching has been a revelation, giving me the kind of respectable, steady life that my parent's probably despaired of me ever having.  BUT it does feel good to remind myself every July and August just who and what I am beneath the veneer of responsibility!

This time last year I was making a list of new school year resolutions, which I failed almost completely to keep, and beginning my 'Not buying it' experiment, which I succeeded at.  For those of you who weren't readers last year, I basically spent the whole of my first half term back at school last year buying nothing apart from the essentials (which I defined as petrol, food, drink and The Guardian newspaper).  In the spirit of 'new (school) year, new start', I'm going to be beginning a new spending experiment tomorrow, of which more later.  For now, though, I want to remind myself of the ten item 'To-do' list I compiled in July:

1. Appreciate and enjoy my city.  I haven't spent much time in Leicester this summer, but I was so glad to come home after my time in South Africa, so I guess that counts as appreciating my city?
2. Appreciate and enjoy my country.  I did intend to go on some day and overnight trips, but time and money ran out on me.  So still need to work on this one.
3. Appreciate and enjoy Europe.  See above!

4. Get my house in order.  I've finally had the shelves put up in my living room, and I love them.  Add to which a painted garden fence (a long overdue job, that one) and some new shelves in the kitchen.  There's still lots to do but I'm getting there...
5. Buy a bike and ride it.  Not yet.
6. Take more photographs.  I tried really hard to take lots of photographs when I was away, but since coming home I've been less good.  I have been carrying my camera around with me, it just never comes out of my bag!
7. Work less, live more.  I can't wait to start my nine days a fortnight timetable at work!
8. Be a better teacher.  Hmm, we shall see how this one goes in the next few weeks.
9. Get a new tattoo.  Not yet, mainly because I still don't know what I want.
10. Try and work out where to go next.  A work in progress, shall we say?


  1. I'm doing some getting my house in order this week - so far, the mould has gone from around the bath and... eh... that's it... um...

    Take more photographs? *starts scheming projects for you* (sorry, it's a bad habit)

  2. Ooh please DO scheme a project for me, I really need the push!

    1. Hmm... I'm sure we can come up with something! A friend and I used to have a joint blog where we each took photos on the same theme each week - it ended up getting a bit overwhelming, but maybe some sort of linked thing...

  3. This is genius! I am going to do a list of goals tonight! I doubt I will follow up on them, though.

    Nice blog, too :)