Saturday, 4 January 2014

The January 2014 newsletter

It is so hard to know where to start when so many things have gone well!

I’ve got a new job for starters. After Easter I’m going to be teaching A level Chemistry and GCSE Triple Science at a private school about 20 minutes away from home. So I’m not at the FE college after all. My visit to the college didn’t always go smoothly. The strangest part was that at no point in the 2 hours I was there was I asked to prove that I had any aptitude for teaching or even any interest in being a lecturer. They wanted to see my degree certificate and they wanted me to agree to doing teacher training once I had started work but they didn't seem to care at all how I would cope on day 1 having not taught before. It all felt that I was just going to be a cog in some enormous machine and that was rather unpleasant. The interview panel managed to sound desperate that I should take the job but of course all that did was make me wonder what they hadn't managed to appoint somebody via two previous adverts. The interview itself went well - right up to the point when they asked if I had any questions. The numbers of hours I was to be teaching didn't make sense. The total weekly hours and the hours to be spent teaching chemistry didn't match, not even close and they would not tell me what I would be doing the rest of the time. It was bonkers, all that did was make the Head of Department look incompetent and/or sinister, so I withdrew my application straight away. I might be stupid but I'm not that stupid!!

I was walking back towards reception when one of the panel - the member of the College Corporation so basically like a school governor - ran (literally) after me and invited me to attend an interview to teach chemistry at the school where he was Chair of Governors. On Monday, 9th December I attended - they liked me and I liked them and I was offered the job. It will be for an Easter 2014 start date with the summer term shadowing the existing post-holder who retires in July 2014.  Slightly more money but far more holidays and so less childcare to pay for so in real terms a pay rise.

Ella’s new job is going fine. Three days a week at the law practice pays 80% of what she got full time working for BBL so allowing for less childcare and the reduced commuting cost she is on about the same money. She enjoys looking after Nicola and Alice on her own: at least at the moment!

Saving the best for last. Magda and Didi are back together as of December 26th! It was all quite dramatic and romantic with Magda arriving unannounced at the South Wales bash to talk to Didi. There were lots of tears and laughter and a happy ending. I like happy endings!

Our Christmas “open house” went well mainly due to the hard work done by a whole host of people plus the generosity of others. In joint top place must be Chris and Mark who spent ages acting as an unpaid taxi service for those of you without transport. As happened last year hiring a minibus was the right decision and thank you to Colin, our neighbour, who negotiated a special price for us. Chris and Mark added Ludlow to the pick-up points and dropped Kidderminster - which seemed to match what people had said before the event. Then the two from Ludlow got a lift with the Church Stretton group and Ludlow was dropped as well.

All the usual suspects were there. It was especially nice to see Zulu, HelenaP and SimpleNotSimon who had a longish drive to be with us. Just as nice were the phone calls and text messages from our friends scattered all over the place. Two provisional attenders dropped out on the 23rd. Alice N had to work an extra shift at the Childrens’ Home where many of us have lived at different times and GraceT had “projectile vomiting” so stayed away.

I had hoped to have the reports on the Blackpool and Barry events here so I could send them out with this newsletter. But no luck – hint, hint! I will send them out when they arrive.

Love to you all.
Eve and Ella XXX

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