Sunday, 28 December 2008

It's reflection/resolution time again!

I've just had a look at what I wrote about resolutions and reflection last year. It was interesting. I had resolved to find out what to do about my blood pressure and how to lower it. Somewhat ironic, I suppose, since this year I ended up with elevated cholesterol and diabetes as well! So, just to recap, I'm recovering from cancer, I have slightly elevated blood pressure and cholesterol and, in September, I found out I was diabetic. On the plus side, my cholesterol is only .1 above normal, my blood sugar level is now under control and I have lost 11 kg since October.

Right, so my new resolution is to find out how to lower my blood pressure and how to keep all my other health issues under control. Let's hope that there aren't any more! I am resolved to keep eating properly (how does one define that!) and to exercise as much and more than I do already. I am also resolved (since I'm now a department head) to work hard at not getting stressed out at work!

Moving on from work and health, I am also resolved to continue to write. I had a look at what I had written about that and I have managed to do some of what I intended to do. I have started the book Emma and I were planning together. I have started to re-write my murder mystery and I have also started two other stories. Not bad but I still haven't finished anything! That is my resolution for this year. To finish some of these!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Finally pictures of the kittens!

Finally I have some pictures of the kittens, who are fast becoming cats! On the left is Molly and on the right, Finnigan. We called the female Molly because at first she looked so small and fragile. Of course she has turned out to be quite the opposite. In fact, she has this rather strange way of climbing the wall and then doing a back flip, rather like Donald O'Connor in Singing in the Rain. Should we change her name to O'Connor? Time will tell.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

An interesting article

Though I haven't lived in Syria for years, we still have friends there, as do Naomi and Emma so I tend to pay attention to anything that comes my way about that country. To the right, is a link to an article from the Times about the wife of the president of Syria. She was brought up in the UK and has worked in international banking. By the sounds of it, she has shaken things up a bit there. There is more to that country than the American propaganda machine would have us believe! And considering the world we live in, it's important to have more than a one dimensional view of others.

Friday, 19 December 2008

We wish you a happy holiday!

Ah yes! We wish you a happy holiday in fear of offending you by mentioning Christmas! Yes, this is what happened and how pathetic that the teacher should have felt that she had to do that. Is it the anti-Christian climate at our school? I don't know but certainly many of us feel that it is alright to talk about any religious holiday as long as it is not Christian. The majority of our parents are Christian, and those who aren't offended.

Well, in the staff room there was an oasis of Christmas, complete with Christmas scene, Christmas music, Christmas goodies and a nativity scene. It was fun and frivolity for most of the day and many a Christmas greeting and card were exchanged.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

The last day of school and where is Christmas?

Tomorrow is the last day of school before the holidays and there has been very little sign at school of the season. Alas! Anyone who read about last Christmas at my school will remember how trees and decorations popped up all over the campus. We had trees and decorations contributed by Harrod's in London. What fun it was and how festive we were. However, the head of school demanded that everything be disposed of the moment we all went off on holiday. Bah humbug!

On Wednesday, I put up my old Christmas tree (artificial of course) in the main staff room and put a sign on it, saying 'Decorate me!" I also put a box of decorations there since nothing may have happened otherwise. By 8:30 it was completely decorated and people had brought other decorations into the room. This morning more lights appeared and a CD player with a Christmas CD. I also sent out an email suggesting that we have goodies in the staff room on Friday and offered to bring orange juice and mince tarts. I wonder what will happen. I have high hopes since, at the last moment, the Christmas spirit seems to have make a recovery. The only dark cloud on the horizon is the junior choir, who will be singing 'We wish you a Merry Christmas' at the school assembly tomorrow without the word 'Christmas' in it. I'll report back on what that's like tomorrow.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The other stuff taken in hand.

It came to me the other evening that if I am paid £75 after taxes to be department head, and if I cost the value of my time at a minimum of £20 per hour, I should only be working for just under 4 hours per month. I've decided to throw in a little time for free and I will work 4 hours a month. That works out to one hour per week. I've already gone beyond the hour this week but I did just make the decision. I have also decided that I will not attend meetings that I am not directly involved with. The participants can send me minutes if they think that it's that important for me to know (though probably I will trash them). I am also going to encourage people to take responsibility for various aspects of their own work lives. When they ask me to decide about something, I'm going to say, "I think you can make that decision."

Monday, 8 December 2008

Christmas and other stuff!

I haven't made the banana chocolate breakfast bars yet but I think they might be a good Christmas gift. I haven't done much in the way of preparation for Christmas yet but I think that I will try and simplify things. Christmas dinner will consist of lots of ready prepared Marks and Spencer food. I've also ordered a turkey breast rolled, from the butcher. It should be a lot easier to cook than a full sized turkey and not take up as much space. I've done some Christmas cards but many may not make it there till afterwards. I don't think that I'll worry about that. I have the present situation under control. I think. Alas, I should have started sooner.

I have had the most stressful day today of this entire school year. I don't want to go through this again. It all comes from accepting the position of department head. Another 'alas'! This job pays me less than £80 a month extra and is taking up far too much of my time and energy. I haven't written much of anything in ages and am really suffering because of it. So, as of tomorrow I must do something. What, is the question!

Monday, 1 December 2008