My week .. the icy edition

Some weeks are just simply ones to get through and this one was one of them. The weather has been poor and it has made my morning commutes long and challenging, white knuckle drives! On Monday, flooding had closed the roundabout which links our town and others to the bigger world, the detour was so long with lots of flooded country lanes to drive down. Tuesday saw a wicked frost which had frozen the previous day’s flooding, and despite leaving at 7.10am, 2 hours forty minutes later, I finally arrived at work at 9.50am, to put into context, my normal commute is around 35 – 40 minutes. When you live in a rural, remote place you learn to live with the additional driving but it felt tough this week. We were given permission at school to leave early on one afternoon so that we did not get caught in the poor weather forecast. The ice has remained all week, although we have tried to keep to our normal routines. I have tried to inject a little warmth and sunshine into my day, and the tulips and lychees purchased on a school trip to Lidl were the perfect rays of sunshine.

On Wednesday, it was youth club and I really didn’t fancy being out for the evening. However, I reluctantly decided to go for a swim whilst my daughter was at the youth club, and it was just what was needed to reinvigorate and energise me whilst also giving me the time and space to think. It was so cold when I got out I did get a hot takeaway drink to keep me warm on the drive home.

On Saturday we didn’t parkrun and instead went to the open day of a local college to look at potential options for my daughter at 16. It is a stunning site, but it is more of an agricultural college and I’m not sure if the courses were the ones for her. She did like seeing the small animals which are kept for the small animal care course, but still seems a little lost on her future plans. In March, we are off to visit another college, which hopefully may offer better options. When we finished at the college, I noticed that after having done a bit of research the night before, we could make it to the nearby cinema to see A Man Called Otto. I loved the book, its definitely in my best books ever list, and was keen to see the film. Now my daughter is not quite 15 yet, although it is only a matter of weeks until she reaches the milestone. However, having read the book I couldn’t see what would be harmful so decided to ‘sneak’ her in. The film was beautiful and I did cry, my daughter says she didn’t cry but she did cuddle up to me at the sad parts. I love the theme of the film, to live life and one that seemed pertinent to my teen as she tries to work out what direction in life to take. The film does not have the depth of the book, its a different medium, but it is a 5 star film and the book a 5 star read.

This week, I’m hoping for milder, drier weather and the chance to start to do more. I’ve not been running in the evenings as its too icy and dangerous and need that structure to enjoy my days.

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My week .. the one with 5 star reads

And so we return to normality, although it was only a 4 day working week thanks to the additional bank holiday. The week started on January 1st and thanks to the quiet night before, we were up bright and early and off to the local Forestry Commission for a bike ride, walk and a picnic. It felt a good way to start the new year, grounded by nature.

After our return it was time to put away the decorations. I quite like this job, bringing Christmas to a close and getting organised for next year. I am very careful in putting everything away neatly, noting what needs to be replaced and ideas for next year. I have a Christmas book, which I write in and not only is it an interesting record of presents, activities and menus, but I always read the page on ideas for next year when I start my planning at October half term. Whilst I love the order and neatness post Christmas, I do miss my twinkling lights, I do have some all year round sets but I think its the outside ones which make it so sparkling.

This week I have been thinking about my 23for23, I haven’t finalised my list yet as I wanted to listen to the podcast introducing the theme which was posted on Wednesday. However, I do know that one will be less mindless online scrolling, I’ve been looking for easy alternatives and the most obvious is to read. I have a Kindle and always have a book on the go. This week, simply because they have been so brilliant, I have finished 3 books, A Heart that Works by Rob Delaney about his young son who died of brain cancer, and the two fiction works, Lessons in Chemistry and Cat Lady. Elizabeth Zott from Lessons in Chemistry is the new hero we didn’t realise we needed.

Work was good this week, a quiet couple of days training and then two really good days with my class, with swimming, shopping and cookery, all favourite activities for staff and students alike. I also went swimming whilst my daughter was at Youth club, I would have preferred running but with my injury I am still going for low impact exercise. We were the tail walkers at parkrun on Saturday and as there were no ill effects, I am hoping I will be able to reintroduce some running in the coming weeks.

Today we completed an orienteering course as practice for my daughter’s DofE award. My husband and daughter strode off very purposefully across the dunes and focused on the map, my son and I got a bit lost and spent a lot of time walking through heathers trying to catch up with them! It was a rare bright and dry hour so again good to be out and breathing in the sea air. Today was also the return of indoor cricket training, so I took my son and stayed to watch. I was impressed by his bowling tonight, some good accuracy and speed. I do like watching cricket in the warm sunshine and even being back at training brings those summer months closer.

Next week is looking quiet, I like these early weeks of the new year, prepping for the coming months and cosying up in the evenings.

My week .. the one with lots of rain and cosy nights in.

I do love the publish date button on the WordPress page, as I can write this a few days (ahem 6 days) late and still have it neatly in date. I normally write the blog on a Sunday evening but with cricket training and a school project, I didn’t manage it and then this week I’ve been busy in the evenings (despite the artic weather) This date adjustment is also useful for my photo project as I’ve discovered I can change the date, to ensure a photo per day. I have used this only once so far, January days aren’t the most enticing for photo taking and some of the interesting things I do at school I cannot take a photo as I do not have access to my mobile phone.

This last week was a hibernating week, there was no youth club and my nail appointment was postponed so every evening was spent cosy inside. I did need to have this week, there was a lot of teenage drama and we all needed time to process what was happening and stay grounded. Ted Lasso was the perfect tonic and it is one of my favourite tv series of the past few years, we are edging closer to the end of season 2 and I am mourning for the evenings to come without the wit and wisdom from Ted. I have also read The Light we Carry by Michelle Obama, again such wise and comforting words which were much needed this week.

We have been busy this weekend, with parkrun volunteering on Saturday morning. It was wet and windy but having had a few more hairier mornings in recent weeks it didn’t feel too bad. The weather then improved and we went to the country park for more orienteering, this could become our new family thing. Whilst it didn’t rain the fields were so water logged it was much more difficult and slippy than normal.

Saturday afternoon is my special time in the kitchen, and this week it was another Jamie recipe, a feta, pepper and spinach filo snake. I’ve never owned a Jamie recipe book before but I am finding some of the recipes a little fiddly, needing quite expensive ingredients and a bit faffy. They are delicious but I do like the BBC Good Food website for a good recipe. My neighbour has lent me the Lorraine Pascale book, so I may try a few of her recipes next.

Sunday was a day of family admin, we are chasing amendments to our son’s EHCP and we had a number of complaints to make. It is hard fighting every single battle as a SEN parent, there seems genuinely no care or professionalism in our county SEND team and it is so frustrating and disheartening. However we will continue to fight for what our son deserves.

January is such a dreary month and I am daydreaming at present of times to follow this year. I think a good plan helps to fill these dreams and make the winter just the little less brutal.

My week .. the twixtmas edition.

I’ve felt a real need to hibernate and simply be a homebody in the past week. 2022 was a tough year and it always seemed I needed to be somewhere or doing something. I’ve taken the last week, to watch television and films, to read, to organise my paperwork (whoop whoop, I’m due £28 from HMRC) and plan the coming months etc.. The weather was also pretty shocking, so creating a warm, cosy nest was much needed. This is not to say I haven’t been outside, I cannot cope with being indoors all day, so there have been daily walks, albeit a walk which invariably ended up at a cafe!

Boxing day was a gorgeous sunny morning, perfect conditions for the traditional swim in town. I didn’t do it, but we all, including Grandad, went down to watch the spectacle. It was a lot of fun in a lovely atmosphere and a much cherished part of the Christmas festivities in our town.

Mr S took Grandad home on Tuesday and stayed overnight as its a long return journey in one day. The children and I went for a walk in the forest and then bunkered down at home with chocolates and Christmas tv specials. The following morning, we had a little potter down town as I wanted to get something to go with my new year glasses for parkrun, I think my aqua blue wig is fabulous and perfect for future fancy dress too. On parkrun day, it was so wet and windy the hair was flying everywhere, when you have always had short hair, you don’t consider long hair problems! Despite the awful conditions, it was a fun morning barcode scanning at parkrun and my daughter and I spent the rest of the day drying out and warming up!

After seeing Matilda at the cinema last week, I was really keen to watch another film on the big screen and my daughter and I went to see the Whitney Houston biopic. We both really liked it, there were a few parts of the story I wasn’t familiar with and I warmed to Whitney much more than I expected. We went to the cinema in the county town so had a little mooch at the sales but didn’t buy anything. I was also keen to explore a vintage / antiques store I had seen advertised, which is on the outskirts of the town. In the photo montage, the warehouse is the photo of the bus, you enter as if getting on the bus, an entrance just as quirky and kitsch as the shop was! Again, we didn’t buy anything, but I will definitely return for inspiration and curiosity.

One of the tv highlights from this week was an adaptation of the book Mayflies, about two friends, one of whom has terminal cancer. It was really well done and I loved the flashbacks to the 80s. It did inspire some of my listening choices this week, I had forgotten what an amazing song Oblivious by Aztec Camera is and I’ve been rediscovering a band which was a favourite of mine when I was in Sixth form.

New Year’s eve is my least favourite night of the year, I have an irrational dislike of the night, so I was cuddled up on the sofa with a book (I wanted to finish no 42 of the year) and then went to bed before midnight. It suited me beautifully, it also meant I was fresh and happy to be out at a local country park for a walk, bike ride and picnic lunch on New Year’s day.

Next week is all about tidying up and preparing for the return to school. It has felt like a long, refreshing school holiday and its now time to get back into routines and look forward to 2023.