Friday, February 27, 2009


Truthfully, I enjoy my job about two thirds of the time. The other third tends to be pretty frustrating, irritating and silly. In the non-good sense. Two-thirds enjoyment isn't bad I think.
Truthfully, however much I might enjoy it at times, it is not enough. Over Christmas, it was enough. I love meeting that many people and doing things to help them - even if it is helping them part with cash that perhaps some of them should not part with. Hmm.
Truthfully, I love tutoring. My students are fab. They make me laugh but they are also learning which is so exciting and encouraging. I was fearful for one of them quite recently. I really didn't think she was going to improve but now we are getting somewhere and I hope she will get the grade she needs to do the almost entirely non-maths course she wants to do next year.
Truthfully, this city is ok. It is very beautiful. There are some fun things to do. People are superficially friendly.
Truthfully, we do not have any proper friends here. A few of my colleagues are heading that way - they are lovely people, they just aren't quite proper friends yet.
Truthfully, I'm sick of churches. I wondered the other day if I was having a crisis of faith but I realised I'm not. It is simply a crisis of church. This is surprising to me. I have always been very pro-church. A lot of people are unsure whether church is vital to faith. I have always said yes, yes, yes! But now, I'm sick of churches. I know there are 'alternative' churches out there but they have yet to fill me with joy either. This is truthful, but perhaps not the full story, being such a small space.
Truthfully, I'd rather not be here. I would still rather be on the other side of the world. I'm sorry. I've tried. It has been a year. More than. I'd really like to be able to say "that was nice but it is over, this is now, this is good" but I can't. I'd still much rather be there. That doesn't mean it would be the right thing or indeed that we shall ever live there again. It certainly won't be the case for another six and a half years.
Truthfully, there are people I miss all over the world now. There is never going to be a place to live where I don't miss someone. And that's not a bad thing, actually.
Truthfully, I'm sick of my body. (skip this if you don't want to know...) Bleeding all the time (or what feels like all the time, there are very little gaps) is depressing. It is also tiring. It also requires me to eat more red meat than normal. And more fruit (which is a little less obvious). Cysts are no fun either. They at least don't happen quite so much of the time but they really hurt when they do. And then when they burst...that's really no fun.
Truthfully, I don't know what I'm waiting for. I've been playing at waiting for so long - waiting for Husbink to finish uni, waiting to be settled into married life, waiting for a good time, waiting for some stability. I thought I was waiting for babies now but see above, I can't pretend to be waiting for babies just at the moment. So what am I waiting for? And when I stop waiting, what is it I'm actually going to be doing? The waiting takes the ideas away and I have to stop it.
Truthfully, most of the time, I'm ok. I'm alright. I'm quite happy really. But the health stuff takes it out of me which when combined with the church stuff and the waiting stuff make it hard to pull myself together at times.
Truthfully, at moments like the end of the last paragraph, I realise how very British I am. I do believe, in one way or another, in the stiff upper lip. Pip pip!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Celebration

(There are many things to post about just now but this outranks them all. By a long, long way.)

After a bit of a lie in, I got up this morning and saw that I had just missed a call from a good friend, my phone being on silent. I'd been meaning to ring her for quite some time and so initially was very pleased. However, in the few minutes it took me to ring her back I had realised a more significant reason for a Saturday morning phone call and was not surprised when she answered sounding a little teary.

A wonderful, wonderful lady who many of you will either know personally, have met at our wedding or at least heard a lot about over the last eight years, died peacefully in her sleep this morning. She was 98. She has wanted to die ever since I've known her, she couldn't understand why the Lord wouldn't take her yet! At the same time she revelled in all the people she knew, in all the marriages and births that she witnessed, these last few years a number of small people have kept her going very well. All we ever wished really was that when the time came it would be painless and peaceful. It was, as we understand. We were a little saddened at Christmas when she moved into a home as that was something she had always wanted to avoid but all reports are that she enjoyed it and kept very lively and chatty right until Thursday this week. On Friday, she was a little sleepy.

I have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat while I write this but I know that above all, we should celebrate today the wonderful life that has passed.

A little bit of brainstorming with Husbink and Mrs SD has led to the following options for the day...
A visit to Tiger Tiger - when it opened in Leeds, she was there like a shot, enjoying sitting at the bar chatting up the barmen. The best bit was, we couldn't go at the time! It was an over 25s bar so she at 93 (or so) could enjoy it while we at 23 techinically could not!
A lot of shouting of "Come on Tim!" - she loved Wimbledon and especially our Mr Henman. We can't force a day of tennis so unseasonally so perhaps just settling for the supporting would do!
Displaying photos - her mantle and window sills were covered with wedding and baby pictures. Many of us were honoured to have our turn in pride of place after our weddings.
Bake cakes - she was very good at this, my favourite always being the lemon cake.
Eat pizza and donuts - she did like to see us well fed.

But by far and away the thing that will always remind us of her most I think will be the glasses of bucks fizz that we had in her living room to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, Easter...or any other special occasion. Raise a glass, cheers Hilda!

Friday, February 06, 2009

What constitutes "full time"?

(It was, by the way, a very good adventure. Husbink particularly took some amazing pictures of lochs with fog and wisps of cloud...I shall do them justice at another date...but for now...)
I believe in part time work, quite strenously! As well you know (if you know me), this is nothing to do with being lazy, it is to do with being healthy and happy and seeing Husbink and looking after him and all that sort of thing.
Over the past few weeks, I've been picking up more and more work. It seems that rather a few students got their GCSE mock results over the past month and there has been panic in the ranks and a need for tuition has arisen! So I refuse some and accept some. I now have five hours of tutorials a week, plus all the travelling that they bring. I might be picking up another student next week too but all seems to have gone quiet on that front so I am probably not.
Anyway. I still technically only work 25 hours a week, plus the travel. That makes 30 hours at the absolute maximum. Most full time work is at least 37 hours a week but I am doing enough - more than enough actually, I feel my time being stolen. The house is suffering a little. A couple of my outside interests are suffering. I am quite content though and with the nature of my students, I will lose them all in a few months time once exams are over and can then start again deciding how many to take on and where to "put" them.
But my point is, I keep thinking "I'm working full time now" - which I'm not, officially, but to me I am.
I know lots of you work proper full time or more than full it because you love your jobs? Or that we value our time differently? Or that I'm just quite lucky to be able to be so picky? Or a little of all of the above?
In other news, I have new glasses. Because my eye sight has improved. I'm less short sighted all of a sudden and so reading and writing and knitting (three major uses of my time) were becoming very painful.
My glasses are mostly black and a little bit orange. Not what I was expecting but I rather loved them so...(oh, and they are a lot more subtle than that sounds but I did enjoy telling Husbink over the phone that they were BLACK and ORANGE. He was afraid...)