Feb 24, 2013

Time flies

I am starting off showing my week as per Project Life but then I am going to do individual photos.

Where did the week go to? That seems to be a common refrain because the other teachers at school are all saying the same thing. I thought this week would be quieter after the "busy-ness" of last week - not a chance! This week consisted of three meetings with parents, our weekly grade meeting, a swimming gala, a higher order thinking workshop for the whole of Friday afternoon  followed by a family braai back at school. Chez fetched me from the Workshop, we drove home then I took the car and headed straight back to school. On top of that I went back to school on Saturday afternoon to mark books.

It was not all work though, because on Thursday I met up with my friend, Lynne. She started off as a  parent at our school. I taught her daughter, Amy (who is the same age as Caelen) when she was in Grade 1. Then we parted ways when the children moved on. Years later Lynne got the job as secretary at our school and the friendship grew from there. We have had many fun "gatherings" over the years - not as many as we would like but great when they do happen! Chez and I housesat for her and Charles several years ago when they went overseas. After Lynne left Chelsea we continue to meet  from time to time. Lynne is a lovely lady and we really enjoy our chats when we do get together. Thank you Lynne for treating me to my first experience of the Beverley Hills. It was fabulous - a memory to treasure. The setting was beautiful. You just feel important sitting there. For us it is a special treat, for others it is a way of life. We started off with scones and cappucino (delicioous) and ended up with a cocktail - Lynne had a Cosmopolitan and I had a Strawberry Diaquiri - I think I got the better deal!!!

The road leading to The Beverley Hills goes past our old flat.

The beautiful bar area downstairs where we had our cocktails

Lynne perusing the cocktail menu and getting some assistance from the friendly barman

Then today Di came and fetched me at 09:00 am to go to The Wonder Market. This is a market held once a month in an open park area near Gateway (our huge shopping centre). I had mentioned once before that I had never been to the market so she said next time it was on we would go together. We have been to the I Heart market at Moses Mabida (Emma, you remember that?) and I really liked the stuff they had on sale. This one was very similar to that. The goods are high quality and made by local crafts people. There is some lovely stuff on sale - you have to be quite careful or you could get carried away!

This is what you see as you walk  in - then you have to decide what route you are going to take. This was still early so it was fairly quiet - it was a lot more crowded later on....

I particularly liked this sign - I think we need one of these for school!!!!

 Look who we met there - it's Jude and Bevan. Jude teaches with us at Chelsea.

Always on the look out for a good bargain.

Such a pretty setting

Entertainment for the kiddies - he had these two little girls enthralled.

Pink Flamingo - drinks for the grown ups. We just loved the look of this stand.

The ingredients looking very tempting...

Mixing up a batch of Pimms - so pretty!

2 Pimms coming up .............

2 happy ladies having some R&R after shopping!

Feb 17, 2013

Half way

The school term is now officially half way - half over or half left? Both actually, which means I only have 5 weeks left of teaching in South Africa. I heard that my application for early retirement has been approved . I haven't seen it in writing but did speak to Mr Govindsamy in the Education Department and he confirmed that I can leave at the end of March as he had seen the letter with confirmation my application had been approved. How do I feel? Excited but also a bit sad. Excited because a new chapter is beginning and I will be close to my family which is something I have wanted for a long time. Sad because I will be leaving the school where I have taught for the past 20 + years plus friends who have known me for a long time.

All I know is that I must focus on the positives and look to the future, not the past. Yes, there are things I will miss but I can live without them. I am really excited about being with all the family. I have missed not being part of so many occasions and to be able to be closer to my parents, especially now with all that has happened to dad, is very important. Now to book tickets for Caelen and myself  will be the next step. Until I knew that I had approval,I couldn't book the tickets. The next two months are going to be busy.......slight understatement, I think!

Sam, the IT teacher,  helping Debbie get set up

Talking of busy, this week has been exactly that. In fact, every week is busy when you teach. I have had meetings with teachers or parents Monday through to Thursday. Then there are the demands of the classroom. I love teaching this age group but boy, are they demanding! At the end of the day you feel exhausted. Tuesday night was Book Club and I did Edu Admin training on Thursday and Friday. I must admit, I really enjoyed the training. We were learning how to set up computerized reports for the school. This is something that the Intermediate Phase were already doing but we, in the Foundation Phase had not yet put into place. I have been keen for a long time but there was some resistance, however, we need to keep up with change and at last they agreed to go ahead. What Debbie and I had to do was build packages and format the reports so that the codes and information was in place for the teachers to be able to work on their reports. It was very different to what I am used to doing but it was challenging and enjoyable. There were 4 of us with the facilitator, Jay, who came down from Johannesburg to do the training. Hats off to Jay, he was really patient and it was a pleasure working with him. We were only working on the first term report but Debbie and I managed to do the second term report for Grades 1 and 2 as well. Our next step will be showing the staff what to do - that could be fun!

Debbie and myself 

Sam and Sandy hard at work

The ever patient Jay guiding us through the various stages

After I had finished on Friday I popped down to watch some of our Grade 3 cricketers playing a match. As part of my HOD duties I go to support various sports teams when they are playing matches. 

Some of the team watching the game waiting for their turn to go in to bat
Vanessa, the teacher in charge who also does the scoring

Cricket match in progress

After watching the cricket for a bit I moved on to my next stop - Nails on St Andrews. I haven't done this in years but was given a voucher so decided it would be a nice treat. The young lady who did my nails was very nice and did a really good job. They look very natural - and the gel layer is not too thick. I was very happy with the results.

Before                                                  After
On Saturday Chez and I took a drive to Umdloti. We went to see a flat that Chez had seen advertised. With Caelen and I going to the UK Chez and Ciaran need to find somewhere else to live. Much as we love it here the rental is too much for them on their own so they are looking for a cheaper place that has 2 bedrooms. Unfortunately it was not suitable. It was very small and only had a hand held shower. Our family are shower people and a decent shower is a definite requirement. 

The block of flats

Getting directions

The view

Last night we decided to go out for dinner. It was just Chez, Ciaran and myself  because Caelen is away playing in a golf tournament in Harrismith. He goes every year with some friends, leaving early on Friday morning and coming back on Sunday afternoon. Ciaran booked for us and we took a walk to Angelos in the nearby Granada Centre. I had a very nice ribeye steak and vegetables, Ciaran had chicken Panacotta and Chez had Peri-Peri chicken. It was lovely sitting chatting together over a glass of red wine for us and beer for Ciaran. Before we left we took a few photos. One thing about doing Project Life is that you do take photos at every opportunity. Now I need to get some of us with Caelen in them - not so easy because he does not like being in photos!

Chez and myself
Ciaran and myself

That's it for this week. I need to finish Week 7 of Project Life now. All the photos are in place. I just need to do my journal cards. Shouldn't take too long. Have a good week.

Feb 10, 2013

Never enough hours in the day!

Gosh! Can't believe it's been so long since I last posted.I have been trying to keep up with schoolwork, housework and Project Life. In addition it has been really hot so in the evenings I find I am too tired so I go to bed early then I wake up in the early hours of the morning and can't go back to sleep. I really need to get my body back in sync! I thought I'd just post my Project Life posts. I have skipped week 3 and intend getting back to it later. I thought I'd try to keep up with the rest rather than fall further behind. I have been keeping a weekly journal - it started out being a daily journal but since I went back to school I have been doing a weekly review. I am also trying to find a system that works for me as far as organizing my photos etc goes. Getting there..........

 Week 4 of my Digital Project Life

Week 5 of my Digital Project Life

Week 6 of my Digital project Life

I am still finding my "style" for Project Life so am keeping it fairly simple . I would like to add a few digital downloads to my stash as it is very sparse just now but that will come in time. I do know I don't want it to be over fussy. For now I just want to document what is happening in my life in 2013. There are going to be lots of changes so I think it will be interesting to look back and see how things work out.

This is all I'm doing for now but I will add more detail later. I have another busy week coming up so won't be short of material for a while. All that remains is for me to document it! So far, although not great, I have been better than in the past, so that's the good news. let's hope it stays like that!