Sunday, 30 November 2008

My Diet

And by that, I don't mean that I'm trying to loose weight. I am talking about my new way of eating for health and whatever else. It seems to be going well and I only have the occasional craving for something from my old diet. I'm going to try and put any new recipes I come up with in my other blog. In fact I recently found a recipe for hommus which doesn't use sesame seeds, which would make it less fattening. It uses roasted red peppers. Sounds great. I haven't tried it yet so I would like to hear some feedback.

(more later)

Friday, 28 November 2008

A Crazy Week at School

Yes, it has been a crazy week. One would have thought that things would have quieted down after the accreditation team left but our principals decided that, exhausted as we were, we still had a meeting left in us. I don't mind the occasional meeting if it is carried out efficiently and productively. This one wasn't and why would I have expected it to be so. There were 25 minutes of information at the beginning that could have been given in advance by email. Furthermore, if we had had more details on the other agenda items, we could have shortened the meeting even further. However, no matter what it was a waste of time since it was obvious that no one was listening to our input. Much better then that all of it had been an email and then no one would have been frustrated.

Many of us were ill, students and teachers alike. For the last three days, I have barely taught due to the most terrible of colds. Yesterday, I only had two students in my last period class. I had thought of staying home but if possible I like to keep sick days for stress relief.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Four hour work week

For some the economy is so dire that they will be lucky to work at all during this recession. However, for me The Four Hour Work Week is a rather inspirational book and website. The idea behind both is to do what it is you want to (which of course might be continuing to do what you are doing but if not...) and to have the income to allow you to do it. What I find particularly interesting are the author's ideas for streamlining your work life. So, for me, it has meant reducing the number of times I check my emails for a start. Each time you check email, it takes almost a minute to get back on track to what you were doing beforehand. Now I check twice a day and have an automated message that lets people know and encourages them to phone if their is an emergency.

I have also started to re-evaluate the role I have recently taken on, as department head for Modern Language at my school. (It is somewhat ironic that I found the website and book because of my interest in finding a more efficient way of teaching and/or learning a language.) I am now going to out source jobs to other members of the department, which should be theirs anyway. At my school, the administration always looks to the department head to make sure that everyone does their appointed task. I don't get paid enough to do this. If they don't do it they can explain that to the admin team. I've also decided that all meetings will be 20 minutes long. I will send the relevant information and I will just take questions at the meeting. All 'other business' must be submitted in advance or it will not discuss it. I probably won't be able to keep to 20 minutes but I will! I don't know how long I will last at this job but for the moment someone has to do it and no one else is up to it. And some could be quite dangerous.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

On being a grand-mother.

I really can't write all that much about the practicalities of being a grand-mother yet. I suppose the role is still to evolve. However, I can examine how I am feeling about the new role. I'm not sure. I'm so excited for Naomi and James. I'm in awe of the amazing job Naomi did in carrying through with her home, birthing pool delivery. Imagine having a baby who is over 11 pounds and being able to go through that without major pain killers and with little tearing. Naomi is amazing but so were the mid-wives by the sound of it and it is probably due to their expertise that all turned out so well. Noah is beautiful as are all babies to their family (but really, he is beautiful!). And that's where I am at the moment.

Emma has decided that I should be called Moogie, a nickname she gave me a few years ago. (A prize to those who know the origin...and no that doesn't include you, Mary Jane!) Cliff likes 'pops'. I think Andy Hardy (another prize for anyone who remembers who that is) used to call his father that, but the name also has an honorable television and film history. So, we have new names, an evolving role and lots of photographs. Life goes on in Surrey as it did before but the birth has thrown another element into the question of where do I go from here.

Monday, 17 November 2008

A new Member of the Family!

Here are the first photographs of the new addition to our family:

Four generations! GB (my mother), me, Naomi and Noah Thomas!
Naomi, Noah and I!
Cliff and Noah.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Waiting for a baby to appear

Naomi went off to see the midwife yesterday (she is one week overdue) and was told that she is at 1cm. Not much yet but they did some sort of procedure, described as tickling the uterus. Naomi assured me that it was nothing like tickling! In 80% of cases this usually starts labour off but as my mother pointed out, how many would have started anyway. We shall see! Cliff, Emma and I are off to Swansea on Saturday, hoping that there will be a baby to see but if not, I'm sure that Naomi will appreciate the distraction! I have bought 200 daffodil and tulip bulbs and will spend part of Saturday afternoon planting them in the front garden.

For those who are waiting with bated with breath for me to write more about the books I read during the retreat. Sorry but I've been so busy with reports and much nonsense at school that I don't have the energy, mental that is, to think about them. That has to change since by blood sugar is fluctuating despite the fact that I'm eating basically the same things. I thought I would do this as en experiment to see the environmental factor as well as the food factors involved in this situation. I'm sure I don't have enough data yet but I think I am seeing a trend. Well, that's all for now. More news should a baby appear!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Well, and now back to the books!

As I was saying a few posts ago, I came across two books during my week off, one called Finding Sanctuary and the other, the Four Hour Work Week. I said that there were similarities between them which might seem odd since one is about monastic steps for everyday life, and the other about escaping the 9-5 world. However, both have in common a philosophy for simplifying our lifestyles in order to decrease stress and get greater satisfaction from our lives.

When Cliff and I first went to Othona it was to get away from it all with a vague nod to spirituality. We were both very stressed out. It was very easy to blame it on our jobs and the lifestyle here in southern England but in Finding Sanctuary, Abbot Jamison asks the question, 'Why have you allowed yourself to get into this state.' It's very easy to dismiss that question. How could it be me? I don't want to live like this. Then again, I do and did have choices and I can find another way to live and yes, I suppose after much denial, I have to admit that I got in this mess all by myself!

(To be continued!)

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Three Cheers

Three cheers! Tonight, I finally hit 4.3 on my blood sugar level. Nothing else to say really. I do intend to write more about the two books that I read over my break. I'll also write about my two new cats!