My week … the one with Easter holiday week 2

And so this a week and a bit of Easter. My last entry took us up to Maundy Thursday, before the big 90th celebrations which I have written about in a separate post. In the run up to the birthday I was cautious on what we did to ensure that no one caught Covid to scupper our plans, so the first week of the holiday was lots of walks and outdoor activities, whilst after the celebrations we enjoyed bigger, busier activities.

I did have some pretty blue nails done for the celebration with a little flower to match my navy dress patterned with small spring flowers, I do like a coordinated look.

On Good Friday, we enjoyed a really, hot, sunny day and ,wow, town was busy with visitors coming for a seaside trip. The children went down twice to get fresh hot cross buns from the bakers and both batches sold out before they arrived. It was a bit of a shock not to have my favourite Easter treat, next year I’ll go down at opening time. As Easter weekend was going to be busy, we decided to do the Easter egg hunt on Friday afternoon, I had all the Catholic guilt at doing the hunt at 3pm, for so many years I’ve been in church for the most holiest and solemn of services at that time. However, it was fun and nice to have the afternoon in the garden and just relax as little family of four before a busy weekend.

I have written of our 90th birthday weekend but it was so special to have such a lovely weekend. There is nothing more satisfying than all the hard work and planning coming together to create a memorable and happy family time. We had some fantastic photographs taken by my talented brother in law and I have already printed and framed my favourite, it makes me smile every time I see it.

Following the celebrations, it was about the big, fun activities for the children, we did Splashdown which is the indoor pool with lots of fancy slides, the cinema, meeting up with friends, ringos on the dry ski slope etc.. It was a lot of driving and on occasion waiting around, so I did a fair bit of reading. I loved Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Daisy Jones and the 6, her previous book was a brilliant read and this didn’t disappoint either, it was exactly the type of book I needed, a fun and engaging read, perfect for the holidays. I also watched episode 2 of the final series of Derry girls, I thought episode 1 would be hard to beat, but episode 2 surpassed it with sass. Its definitely the best thing on tv by far.

The week ended with Saturday parkrun and then on Sunday, old friends of Mr S were in town on a break so we met up in the morning before going off to the classic car show in town for my son in the afternoon. It was a good way to end the week and I felt ready to go back to school after what had seemed a long and enjoyable break.

My week … the one with craft projects

So its not a weekly catch up this time, but ten days, as it offered a little more variety and interest to the weekly version which was very work focused. We are now on the Easter holiday and after a term of Covid, storms and Ofsted, this holiday feels very much needed. On Monday morning, my daughter had a two hour session at the farm so I made use of this time to catch up on the really urgent work tasks so I can focus on the 90th birthday plans this week.

The craft projects of this title are some Easter decorations and table decorations for my father in law’s 90th party. The table decorations are something I’ve done for a few big birthdays, my Dad’s 70th, my husband’s 50th where I colour copy old family photos, cut and laminate and stick them, double sided on a straw which are then grouped on the table in glass vases. I’ve done nearly 40 photos for Sunday and there’s some lovely images included. Its a great conversation starter to smile and talk about happy times with those present and those no longer with us. Our other project is decorating a MDF egg and rabbit for our Easter celebrations, we have done the base coat today and plan to paint dainty little flowers on them tomorrow, I’m doing this with my daughter whilst my son painted a sun catcher of a little chick. I have put up most of our Easter decorations this week but would like to add a few more fresh flowers to finish it nicely.

As its the holidays, I have been busy reading, one is an absolutely outstanding read and another in which the writer came across as arrogant, selfish and so self obsessed. The 5 star read, is Lisa Faulkner’s book Meant to Be about her infertility and adoption journey. I really was in tears as I read it, as so much of her journey reflected my own experiences and I found it a very honest and therapeutic read. I’ve never found a book which really expressed the whole experience and this was written so beautifully it actually helped me feel at peace. In contrast, Louis Theroux’s Lockdown Diary was so full of self pity that I felt quite contemptuous of him by the end. As someone who worked onsite everyday of the lockdown and faced Covid on many times in this period, I found I couldn’t really relate to his experience, so many people in all walks of life had such a challenging times that his just simply didn’t compare which seemed to simply be summed up as Joe Wicks, computer games, alcohol and family arguments.

I had a nice mum and son day on Sunday, we needed to go and get a smart outfit for Grandad’s 90th birthday party and he is so much easier and laid back than his sister on the fashion stakes. We were done in the first shop with smart navy trousers and a blue polo top, so we also picked up a few other things for him too, its rare to get him in a clothes shop so I made sure we had some summer essentials. We then went to the picturesque and lively quay area for a walk, to admire all the very expensive boats at the marina and some lunch. It was a really nice, chilled time together.

I had been really proud of my son on Saturday when he and Mr S decided to walk their first parkrun. They had come to watch us girls, but one of the organisers persuaded them to have a go too, cue me frantically registering them when I had finished so they could get a time recorded. We then went on a long family walk and I had done 20k+ steps before lunch!

One of the highlights of my week was the return of the comedy, Derry Girls. Sadly, its the last series, hey they can’t be school girls forever, but it was pure class and is one of those rare comedies I want to watch again now just to catch every last laugh. The 90s theme track suits the mood brilliantly.

I am on party countdown, aka please , please no-one catch Covid this week and I’m doing all the last minute prep I really enjoy. Easter weekend will look a little different, it feels wrong but I think the Easter egg hunt will need to be on Good Friday so we can focus on the birthday celebrations on Saturday and Sunday and both children think its too long to wait until Monday for their traditional chocolate fest.

Enjoy Easter.

My week … the one with the girls’ road trip

After the surprise Ofsted inspection last week this was a time to simply reflect and process all that has happened in the past few weeks. I am an organised person and like to know what is in my dairy and plan accordingly, so the unexpected can throw me a little. Interestingly it never happens at the time, I take it all in my stride and am cool and confident, its after that I feel wobbly!

It was nice to have my day off this week, its been a while. It was a day to catch up on family admin and Mr S and I had an online appointment for one of the children. I also packed my and my daughters’ bags for our weekend away at my parents. The boys also were away, they went to my father in law’s to help him with some jobs and visit Castle Combe for the cars. They actually got away earlier than expected, as Covid has closed my son’s class for a few days so they took advantage of this and got to spend more time with Grandad. I did leave work early on Friday, well not really early, I didn’t do a couple of overtime hours which I normally do, so I was able to pick up my daughter en route at the end of her school day. We managed to avoid rush hour traffic and made it to my parents just after 5, which was impressive. By arriving early it just seemed to make the weekend feel like a proper mini break.

Our big day was Saturday, I was keen for a bit of parkrun tourism and visited the parkrun in Clevedon. I had hoped to run the new one in Weston Super Mare but the high tides cancelled it. Anyone who knows WSM knows that the sea is rarely in and it is normally so far away from the prom that there was a certain irony of the cancellation. I’ll do it next time I’m down but I really enjoyed Clevedon, its a lovely course around the park and up to the prom and to the pier. An added bonus was unexpectedly and without trying I got a parkrun PB by 30 seconds. Since starting parkrun, I have managed to knock 5 minutes off my parkrun PB. However, in a very telling statistic of how tough our new home parkrun is, I was 9 minutes quicker than my previous Saturday’s time on the brutally, hilly course.

Following the parkrun and quick shower and change, we headed off to the big shopping mall with our lists. It was an experience … it was quite hard to find something for my daughter to wear to a 90th birthday lunch but we have a jumpsuit which seemed a fair compromise. We also had to get some new underwear and I had arranged an appointment at M&S, that’s a maelstrom of teen angst and anxiety on a Saturday afternoon, fair play to the M&S lingerie assistants for making the teen girls feel better about their changing bodies. I did well on my lists, but oh my goodness the queues in shops, they simply didn’t have the staff. We did get an amazing tea from M&S for Saturday night an Indian feast with all the trimmings, I love sitting around a table with good food, good company and witty conversation.

I added a couple of photos not mentioned so far in this post. On my walk to work this week, I noticed the blue and yellow flowers for Ukraine at the beach, On my parkrun, I also passed a peace tree decorated with blue and yellow knitted hearts and crochet flowers, both displays were beautiful and moving to see.

I have also started to wear a few summer dresses, although this week, layered up with jumpers. Last week’s sunshine is a distant memory, its been a very cold week. I am loving a Celia Birtwell print dress I have bought in Next. Its a cheesecloth 70s style maxi dress and is gorgeous, its my new go to dress.

We’re still at school this week, well sort of my son has a few more days off for the Covid class closure and then an Inset day so he has a very short week. My daughter and I have our normal week and then its Easter! We’re at home for the holiday but family are visiting to celebrate my father-in-law’s 90th, so I have a few creative activities to do this week ready to dress the house for the celebrations.

My weeks …. the ones with lots of running and flowers.

This is one of my fortnightly catch ups instead of my preferred weekly posts. Last week I wanted to wait to the half marathon on Sunday to write up my race, but feeling tired I chose to wait until Monday night. We then got the Ofsted call on Monday at work and my whole week was changed.

So much has happened in the past two weeks, I don’t really know where to start. My professional life was particularly busy on both weeks, there’s a lot going on at present and its an important period of my career, change is ahead… The Ofsted inspection was a bit of a surprise (we were working on it being a bit later due to pandemic delays) and it also coincided with a Covid outbreak at work. Our town is now in the black rating for Covid, the worst on the chart. This made for a very different style of inspection as my first one leading the education department. However it was a positive experience and I was so proud of my team and students. I have been given 4 bunches of flowers in the past few days, one from my children for mothers day which is today and the others for my work on the inspection. Its lovely to be appreciated.

It has also been a busy running period. I love my parkruns but until last weekend the closest was 20 miles away, however one has now opened in our town, less than a mile from home which is much more convenient and eco friendly, no more car journeys. For the first week, we all went to help the set up and the girls ran whilst the boys cheered us on. I hadn’t been expecting to run this Saturday but a Covid cancellation of our planned activity (not us) meant I could run. Its a stunning but brutal course, 4 hills and possibly the hilliest parkrun in the country. I’m loving it, its hard but as it is only 5k manageable. Next week, I’m visiting my parents and planning on doing their local parkrun, its flat and fast, quite a contrast. In addition to the parkruns, I also managed to tick off one of the items on my 22for2022 list, run a half marathon last Sunday. It was extremely well organised and the first half was delightful, flat, a mix of the prom and country park in spring bloom, but the second half was definitely much harder with a few steep hills. I was so pleased to have completed it, especially as its only five months following my foot operation. My next running challenge is to complete 50 parkruns and then I’ll need to think of a new goal. I do like a little running challenge.

Family time has been quite limited in the past fortnight, I worked late this week due to Ofsted and my son has been away on scout camp this weekend. However last Saturday we all made pizzas from scratch. We have a different theme each Saturday as our special meal of the week. The pizzas were fun to make and delicious and simply quality family time. This week with my son away we did Chinese as he’s not keen in it and we love it.

Unusually, we’re not together next weekend either as we’re off to our parents separately, the boys are off to Grandad’s to see a special car show and do some jobs for him and the girls are off to my parents for shopping and a catch up. Then we’ll be back together for lots of family time, especially during the Easter holiday.

This week I’m looking forward to a quiet, non eventful week, i need one!

My weeks … with a few too many tough times.

Sometimes, life just doesn’t work out how we would like it to and I’m feeling a bit sad at present. Its not one thing, just a perfect storm at home of teenage angst, sibling rivalry and jealousy and whilst I try to compartmentalise my life, work is pretty horrible too. I am looking for a new job but working in such a niche position means that this is challenging. I did have an interview this week but despite positive feedback was told that I needed a greater breadth of experience in my field. I am finding that looking for a job is very time consuming, preparing a stand out application form and then all the work to prepare for the interview. I am still a bit bruised from my experience last week and have another interview tomorrow. However, Mr S is really good at not only comforting me but offering a sense of perspective and encouragement and I feel ready for the next interview.

It was pancake this past fortnight and for the first time ever, I had a total fail at pancakes. I have no idea what happened, I make them as a treat throughout the year and have never had a problem, yet this Shrove Tuesday, they stuck to the pan (regardless of the quantity of oil) It just seemed to sum up my week, but in fairness we all laughed it off and I’ve promised to practice again soon.

With all the focus on work, there’s not been much time for other things. I have been burning my fancy candle to enjoy little pleasures on challenging days. I have escaped into books, I’ve never seen the film Wonder, and was keen to read the story which was wonderful, a five star read. I’m around half way through The Light We Lost, which is very readable. I’m finding that I don’t have the desire to sit through any of the gritty dramas or thrillers on tv at present, the one programme I am watching is The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, I love the fashion and style of the drama which is full of brilliant characters.

When things get you down its always good to recognise the nice bits in life. On my way to school one morning this week, I saw a group of women in the sea jumping the waves, their laughter filled the bay and their happiness was infectious. I also took the children to the swimming pool as they were keen to return to the inflatables they had done in the half term and their enjoyment helped me too. I did miss parkrun one Saturday but returned this week, the best prescription for a tough week. One of the presenters of my favourite podcast, With Me Now had visited one of our local parkruns and I really enjoyed listening to the podcast as his report did reflect its great setting and friendly feel. Its a big week for me running wise next week, a secret venue on Saturday and then my first half marathon race for well over a decade on Sunday. I think my time as a 48 year old won’t quite reflect my PB as a 36 year old but my aim is to run every step and enjoy it. Given all the issues I had with my foot, I am so pleased to be able to even start a half marathon 5 months after my operation.

I am hoping for a good week, fingers crossed everything works out.

My week … the one with half term.

If I was to create a chart of school holidays, I’m afraid February half term would be at the bottom. The weather’s a bit grey and dreary, outside activities are subject to the changing elements and there’s no big event to celebrate. However it is also a much needed holiday and as this past half term has been tough, it was appreciated.

I feel I completed half term bingo this week. During the last half term in October, I was recovering from my operation and house bound and Christmas was all about keeping Covid safe so we could visit family. This meant that this holiday became about doing things and having fun. There have been lots of missed trips due to the pandemic over the past two years and it was good to catch up.

At the start of the week, my daughter spent two nights with her aunt, so my son and I enjoyed ten pin bowling and the cinema. I much prefer the new set up at the bowling with individual booths and balls. In addition to the bowling, we also played in the arcade, its a not a trip to an arcade without a game of air hockey. At the cinema, we saw Unchartered an Indiana Jones type film which was fun and pure escapism. En route to pick up my daughter, we stopped at a military museum for my son as this is his big interest. It was interesting although given the Russian invasion of Ukraine this week, it did make you wonder what history has taught us all about democracy. It is a very worrying time at present and one hopes that given the universal condemnation and sanctions on Russia that the conflict may be quickly resolved, however I fear not. One of the exhibits at the museum was Hitler’s desk, a strange addition to the museum but it actually made me stone cold and quite sick realising what documents could have been signed there. It was also difficult not to make comparisons between Hitler and Putin. The children have both been asking questions about Ukraine and I’ve been answering as honestly as I can, I’m impressed by their analysis and opinions of the conflict.

With us all back together on Wednesday, we went out to play crazy golf, with a pirate theme. It was great fun and I won! My son and I have an ongoing competition and my win meant I only trail 3-2 now. The children also did an inflatable session at the swimming pool. I did enjoy the inflatables as after lots of driving and doing the activities, I got a little time to myself. I had a lovely cake and coffee and sat with my new book, Rachel Again by Marian Keyes watching the children play from the café window. The book was brilliant, I finished it in tears but was really happy with the ending. There was a personal history to one of the themes in the book and whilst I was sad reading it, it actually left me with a sense of calm and peace.

On Friday, we went to the artificial ski slope for ringos, big tyres which you sit in and slide down the slopes. The ringos at the artificial ski slope were very well received and the children are now keen to return to try snow boarding too. The morning at the ski slope was stunning with bright blue skies and warm sunshine, such a change to the previous week’s storms.

Whilst there was not much time to myself this week, I genuinely treasure this busy half term because as my two are both nearly teenagers there may not be be the opportunity to have half terms like this in future years. However, I did manage to put aside a few hours to do my half marathon training long run of over 12 miles, I was relieved and now believe that I can do the half on March 20th, I’m still full of nerves though! I did my parkrun on Saturday and was privileged to meet the founder of parkrun, Paul Sinton Hewitt who was running at my local parkrun. I am quite shy but did go up and thank him, he was lovely.

Its back to school tomorrow for all three of us who are at school. I have a lot happening professionally and personally in the next few weeks but am pretty organised and ready. I do appreciate the half term week for the chance to have some fun but also plan ahead.

My week … the one with red hearts and a red storm warning.

There is a bit of a colour theme to this week’s entry, red hearts for Valentines day and a red storm warning which meant the children both got an extra day off, starting half term a day early.

It is unusual to have Valentines day in term-time, so I made sure I celebrated the school day for my two with a Valentines day themed packed lunch, heart shaped sandwiches, doodles and notes and some kisses and heart sweets as a special treat. I also treated the classes in my department to a box of hearts and kisses to give the day a little sparkle. I took the approach that Valentines day is for sharing and celebrating all types of love. Little Miss got her first real Valentines card and presents from her boyfriend (belated as he was off with Covid) The teddy is as big as she is and she also got lots of chocolate. They are very sweet together, although I am hyper vigilant! My gift to Mr S was expensive socks, he has been complaining about the holes in his socks which were bought fairly recently so he got a set of new socks, I hope the price reflects the quality. I’m still waiting for my present … TBH, after 23 Valentines day its not really a day we celebrate, we have other significant dates, Halloween (the night we first met) and our wedding anniversary.

It was another week on the Covid roulette, our daughter finished her 7 day testing following cases in her friendship group and our son then had to start his 7 days on the day she finished as there was a case in his class. All clear so far but I do feel its going to catch up with us one day soon. I was out with friends and one has recently had Covid whilst the other had her class all sent home because of the number of cases. Given its prevalence, I find it hard that it is has been suggested that from next week, there will be no self isolation period for Covid.

The Thursday dinner with friends was lovely, we’re still meeting in the garden summer house of a friend and its become our routine to have a meal and lots of treats. I had Thursday off work, so I prepared a veggie lasagne and the host made fresh garlic bread in their garden pizza oven, along with the lightly dressed salad, it was perfect. I love these evenings, although having gone to bed around 12.30, the 5.30 alarm call was a tough one on storm day!

The storm day was a strange one. Everybody seemed really well organised and prepared for the potential disruption and damage but we seemed to have got away quite lightly with it. The wind was incredible at times, with speeds of 90+ mph but amazingly the worse damage at work was a broken roof tile and nothing at home. The high tide was before the strongest winds so the flooding was avoided. I have travelled through the county this weekend and I did see lots of broken trees so there was damage but we were incredibly lucky.

I’ve done a lot of driving this week, nothing in our rural location is near! On Tuesday for work I had a couple of appointments in big town. One of my visits was brilliant and I ended up on the driving range playing golf with some of our students. My job is quite demanding and tough at present, so a half hour of fun was so needed. On Thursday I drove my daughter over to a medical appointment we’ve been waiting for. It was an initial session but it went well and hopefully we will have a follow up in the next month or so. We were early so stopped off at a Costa for a cheeky second breakfast, it helped calm the nerves and relax us both.

This week is finally half term, it was a long time coming. Our daughter is off to stay with her aunt for a couple of days ( and her cousin who is in her early 20s and just the height of coolness and sophistication to her) In her absence, I’ve organised a few treats for my son, with tomorrow being the cinema and bowling. Its a stay at home week as I am exhausted at work and need to be at home and simply catching up on life. We’ve big plans for the next 3 holidays so I’m appreciating the quiet nature of the week.

My week … the one with little pleasures.

An alternative title for this week’s entry would be the one with the Covid roulette! Our daughter’s friends have Covid and there is a sort of inevitability that she’ll come down with it next, we’ve been doing daily tests since Wednesday but she’s still testing negative. Whilst the restrictions seem set to be stopped soon, there does appear to be a lot of Covid in our community at present (my night out got postponed due to Covid this week) and it’ll be interesting to see how things develop in the coming months, is this finally the end?

Its been a quiet week as with the close proximity she’s been to Covid, Little Miss didn’t go to Youth Club on Wednesday and Little Man didn’t go to Scouts on Monday as he had a very late night on Sunday (he loved the football game and whole experience) and coupled with a school trip this week it just seemed too much. I was relieved he didn’t go to Scouts as their night hike took nearly an hour longer in some pretty horrible weather. Little Man is a little under the weather today, its been a long half term and I think he’s tired. However, as has become typical on the first sign of illness, his Covid test is negative too.

This week has been a bit of a home making week. I have updated our bathroom with some new, bright towels in cornflower blue and a new laundry basket, just small changes but ones which have perked up the room. I am also taking real care of my pot plants, its one of my #22for 2022, and one I’m taking pretty seriously, I’ve never bought or used plant food before, let alone researched the best plant care.

My half marathon plan went to schedule this week, with my long run of 10 miles being done on Thursday morning. I was joined by Little Miss on my Tuesday night run and enjoyed a sociable parkrun this morning. I was impressed that I was not achy the day after the long run, and with no ill effects and a feeling that I could have run further I’m feeling hopeful about the half in 5 weeks time. This week is a ‘rest’ week from long runs with my longest run being 6 miles, before a return to two weeks of high mileage.

With being in most evenings this week, I have watched more tv than normal. One evening, Mr S watched the Shane Warne film, and I watched bits too. We were actually at the match in Melbourne where he got his 700th wicket, which is featured and we did get to reminisce about an amazing holiday. I also caught up with the Marian Keyes Imagine documentary. I love Marian Keyes, she is a brilliant writer and her interviews and Twitter feed are so witty and always worth a read or listen. The follow up to Rachel’s Holiday is out next week and I have it on pre order ready to land on my Kindle on its release.

Its the final school week before half term and it feels like such a long half term. Monday is Valentines day so I have a surprise for the children in their lunch boxes and a special treat for our children at school too. Its not a day I generally celebrate but to add a little sparkle to people’s lives in a grey and dreary month seems a worthwhile task.

My week .. the one with a virtual win.

Its been so good to have a quieter week and a little more time to think, breathe and relax. It was a week of simple pleasures and one which I think has helped me to rebalance after recent busy and challenging times.

My highlight this week was completing the virtual Lands End to John O’Groats running challenge. I had planned to run the 874 miles in one calendar year (and was on target) but my operation meant I had 8 weeks of no running and then had to return slowly and carefully. The company organising the challenge were very sympathetic and I was given those 8 weeks back to complete the challenge which I have now done in 50 weeks, thus achieving it within the year. I am proud that I managed to complete the challenge, I’ve never done anything like it before and am now onto my next one, the South West coastal path. Although this too is a virtual challenge, I will be able to combine it with some real life running too as I live on part of the route. Its nice to have a little running challenge which isn’t a race or run every day month challenge.

As I have had some time in the evenings, I have been catching up on my reading as I have several unfinished books at present. I did finish Make Time this week, an engaging read, but I felt it would be have been more effective as a long article or short book. It is written in a nice, friendly style and contains good advice. I’ve been reading and sipping my herbal teas in the evenings. My Pukka advent calendar has made me a huge Pukka fan and the evening ritual of a herbal cup of tea when everything has been done, is one I am continuing with relish this year. I discovered the Love blend a couple of weeks ago and its made it to my number 1 tea slot!

On Saturday afternoon, my son and I went to our local cinema to see the new Spiderman movie. They have started doing matinees and its so easy to walk the 5 minutes into town and enjoy a film. I’m not a big super hero fan, that’s my son’s speciality, but I really enjoyed the film especially the bit (spoiler alert) when the three spidermen reunited. It was genuinely touching. It reminded me of my early teaching years when Tobey McGuire was the preferred pin up of my pupils and I got to learn lots about him. I used to teach French and German and it was always a task to describe people and their hobbies / job etc.. Tobey was a popular choice. It was interesting to read after, that he no longer acts and hasn’t done for more than 10 years. It was also quite scary to think those pupils who introduced me to Tobey McGuire are now in their 30s!

Despite it being quiet, lots still happened in family life. My daughter went ice skating with the youth club, that was a very late night and some tired peeps the next morning which was a school day. I accompanied my son to Scouts, it was quite a fun night watching them complete the Lego challenge, but it was a cold night outside and took me a while to thaw after! I also got up to date with life admin this week, cards ordered for the coming month, hair and nails done. I like weeks like this when I feel organised and in control.

My weeks … the ones off balance.

These last few weeks were always going to be tough, as my work bestie, confidante, all round top person and job share partner for more than a decade left work on Friday. She’s been such a part of my daily life, we’ve gone through personal and professional highs and lows together and I’m not quite sure how I’ll cope without her come Monday. These last few weeks have been building up to the big goodbye and its been emotional, she’s such an amazing person loved by everybody. We were determined that we would walk out together for the last time on Friday afternoon, we always laughed we would drive out a la Thelma and Louise (obviously without the final act) but instead we walked together sobbing and hugging. The crazy thing is that whilst we won’t see each other daily, she is one of my closest friends and will always be in my life. My leaving gift to her was a print from the movie Thelma and Louise with the words ‘No matter what happens, I’m glad I came with you.’ I ended her leaving speech with this line. With a little creative thinking, we were able to hold a leaving celebration. We chose an outdoors event for Covid safety as we couldn’t risk have our whole team off! One of our local beauty attractions is holding an illuminated trail so we went there after school to do the trail and cake and hot drinks. It was beautiful and such a lovely way to spend time with our team.

Friday was quite simply the crescendo in what has been a crazy fortnight. Both my friend and I have decided to leave the company we work for, the values and ethos are not ones we can share or promote. However as the sole earner in our house, I need to stay in position until I have a new job. I did apply and have an interview for a new position this week but did not get it. It actually came as a relief, as I had misgivings at the interview, something didn’t quite sit right and I have learnt that your gut feeling is probably correct. It was quite a different role to what I am in at present and I think I need to work to my experience and strengths. I am an extremely prepared person and had spent all of last weekend preparing for the interview, pages of notes and research all neatly written and mock questions answered. I also needed to dress for an interview as I had not had one in 17.5 years. A smart outfit was more of a challenge than expected as there were no blazers in stock when I went shopping on Friday! Fortunately the Next next day delivery service came to my rescue and the outfit was sorted. I also needed a pair of court shoes as I didn’t think trainers or Converse pumps would suit the look. I had tried to buy some heels for Christmas but my foot was still swollen from the operation so I was a bit nervous about finding a suitable pair now. The manager in Clarks could not have been more helpful, bringing me so many pairs to try and we did find a pair that fitted. It is so nice to be wearing heels again. My foot has been so bad for around the past 5 years that heels were not an option, so it really is a novelty and one I intend to enjoy lots.

There has been so much going on this fortnight, parents evenings, medical appointments, ill time car break down etc.. that it has felt overwhelming and I know that I’m off kilter. I watched an episode of This Is Us last night and one of the characters talked about being off balance and that is me at present, emotionally I’m a bit all over the place whilst trying to portray the professional and parental front that everything is good. I know I’m wobbling but have simply tried to do the basics, eat healthily, keep up my running and get to bed on time which seems to have kept me on an even keel. Fortunately life has calmed for the moment and its time to look after myself.

This weekend its been lovely to have family times. We went to the local forestry commission, where the girls did the parkrun. It was a slightly different course to the one I did there in October and it was beautiful through the forest and around the lake, a one lapper! It might be my favourite parkrun course I’ve run, although the mild morning and bright sunshine helped too. We then hired bikes and cycled for the rest of the morning before a picnic. Life is all about simple pleasures.

Next week is about fresh starts and looking after myself and my little family. Sometimes you cannot avoid mad, crazy times, but its good when they finish and you can relax a little.