Ahead of the game

For the first time in a long time I feel ahead of myself. I finally got an email regarding my teaching on Monday and I’ve been able to put together my lesson plan for both morning and afternoon. I’m not actually sure I am required to produce a lesson plan for my afternoon teaching but I do find it helps me to be more focussed and tailor my lessons. The only things I have objected to about the lesson plans is the way they have been imposed and the fact that I get paid the same as I was before the fascists decided we all had to do them. They’re quite a useful tool in making sure you are prepared. I did them before, in less details but just for myself.

So my lesson plans are in my folder; all the stuff I need to photocopy is there ready. What could possibly go wrong????

Out for the count…

or so I hope to be very shortly.

After yet another morning of chaos, I’m home and lunched and ready to keel over for a few hours.

I planned to do that yesterday afternoon but a phone call stopped that. I had a call from friends I’d not seen since 1998 (I think) and they came over. It was wonderful to see them. But I didn’t get my snooze.

I’d hoped to have some information about what classes I’m going to get next week as I have also some extra lessons to teach in the afternoons, of two hours each. Despite two emails begging for a clue as to how many and what level, I’ve not had a single reply and so the possible window for planning at least for Monday is closing very fast. I’m working till 9.30pm on Sunday so any planning will have to be done either today or tomorrow or else I just have to try and plan when I get home from 13+ hours trogging round London.

I think the nap is the best thing for me right now, don’t you?  It’s a pity you can’t store sleep somewhere in the body, the way the liver stores glycogen for later use as glucose when it’s needed. There’s another design flaw in the human body God never ironed out…

Being a carrot



There’s days when I feel little more than a human vegetable and on one such day, Retired Eagle posted a few thoughts that tickled me. If you go to: http://retiredeagle.wordpress.com/ and scroll down till you find the article called On being a Happy carrot.

It tickled me because immediately I started thinking can you be an UNhappy carrot. I play with words a lot (small things for small minds) and the idea of either was beautifully absurd and I began to ponder the meaning for me.

I played with the idea of the interim state of awakening and becoming alive and aware and that stage being the unhappy, the uneasy carrot.

To be honest, I think maybe I have a sadistic streak somewhere, because I have no interest in Happy Carrots at all. It’s the unhappy ones that draw me. I have a friend I work with sometimes. The first year I knew him he was in the unhappy carrot camp and I felt strongly drawn to him, almost as a mentor. He was showing signs of seeking deeper and more real experiences both in life and in his spiritual journey. We were quite close, I guess. Then, the second year of our relationship, he began to go back to sleep and a year ago, more or less, he did a number of things that made me take notice. Things I couldn’t imagine him doing a year before, at least not without a great deal of angst afterwards. I began to withdraw, since any conversation we had began very quickly to bore me.

This year, I’ve hardly had an contact with him. He’s now nailed his life down and that’s it, now as far as he’s concerned. He’s got his career sorted, he’s bought a house, he’s got engaged to someone who he was dumped by a few years back, and he’s got some position at his church.

It’s rather sad. He had potential. And now he’s asleep again.

Here’s the rub for me, though. He’s also very, very boring.

Oh well.

Sleepless in a hospital bed

Before anyone panics, I wrote this about 3 and a half years ago when my emergency rescue by air ambulance landed me in Derby Royal Infirmary and no one knew for a while what the matter was. It turned out to be an unusual form of appendicitis. I did indeed write it while sleepless in a hospital bed

I’m posting this for someone I hope might pop over here; he’ll know who he is and he’ll know when he reads the line about Occam’s razor!

Sleepless in a hospital bed
My world has shrunk:
Bordered by weakness,
Walled with pain,
Curtained by wakefulness.
My world has shrunk
To this one bed,
This room, this ward;
My leash, an IV drip.
I'm anchored not by hope
But by stubborness,
A sheer bloody-mindedness
That stops me escaping in sleep.
Determined to live
Each uncomfortable second
Each awkward moment,
Each pang of pain or fear
Holds me tight as arms.
I'm safe, I know;
My fears are fools
With louder voices
Than my common sense
Whispering of Occam's razor
And going home well again.
But the whispers are drowned
By the night noises of the ward:
The crying in the next room
Of a confused distressed old person
Going apparently unanswered;
The bleeps and clicks
Made by machines
Surrounding us-
And the traffic slowing
But never stopping.
I watch the curtains
Billow softly around me
In the night wind
Blowing warm from heaters
And finally let myself
Begin to drift
Into the safe painless

Harbour of sleep

New Shoes

I have proved beyond any reasonable doubt today that I am female to the core. I am not sure if any of you had doubts about it but I sometimes do. Not the whole gender dysmorphia thing but more a kind of existential nagging worry that somehow I don’t quite measure up as a woman.

You’ll have guessed from the title what has cleared my mind of such doubts. I got new shoes. After all the doom and gloom of the last few days, a parcel arrived filled with such perfection I cannot begin to get over it. For Christmas I was given some money that I earmarked for something a bit nice and different and last summer I found a stall on a craft market in Cambridge that made shoes. I tried a pair on that were lovely but I didn’t have the money then so I took a leaflet and in April I made contact asking about what colours she might use etc. Well after much to-ing and fro-ing(and one false start) my shoes have just arrived and I am delighted. They are the shiny purple of blackcurrants dusted with icing sugar and they are a perfect fit. I have trouble uploading photos here or I’d show you all; plus my camera is in my workbag, locked in a classroom!

Anyway, if you go to www.pilgrimshoes.co.uk you can see examples of her work and very nice it is to. If you thought handmade shoes were a luxury you can’t really afford, well, mine cost about the same as a similar pair from Clarke’s.

My problem now is NOT ordering another six pairs in every colour I can think of. I’m considering turquoise right now…or maybe bubble gum pink.

There, I said it proved it, that I’m a woman. If you have a look at the site, it’ll also tell you I’m a sensible woman who wants shoes that feel good and I can walk in, but the day I start going on about Jimmy Choo’s and high heels is the day you know my body has been invaded by an alien entity. The last time I tried to walk in high heels I fell over.

but….NEW SHOES….*goes off squeaking*

Spider as totem update, a dream

Bizarrely one of my posts that gets regular traffic but rarely any comments is one entitled Spider as Totem. This comes via various search engines and I can only hope that those who read it find it useful in some way.

I’ve begun dreaming about spiders lately. To sum up what having spider as totem means: weaving, and the weaving especially of words. Grandmother Spider is the creatrix of the world in some Native American creation stories and is also credited with the invention of the first alphabet. I often see spiders in the shadowy penumbra of sleep, but until a few nights ago I’d not dreamed about them.

In this dream I saw an immense spider, a tarantula of some sort or even the famous bird eating spider emerge from under a gate and begin to scuttle around. Now, as my brother for many years kept tarantulas, I’m not scared of them as such because I know how fragile they actually are, so in the dream I sought to capture the beast with a glass. The spider was so strong that even with a large glass tumbler over it, it kept on moving taking the glass with it like a kind of protective shell and after a short while I lost sight of it completely. Then I caught a glimpse of it around my legs somewhere and became inexplicably afraid. I wanted to scream and panic but I didn’t. In the dream I told myself the spider was more afraid of me and I relaxed and waited for it to begin to climb up me. I woke then, feeling disturbed but not actually afraid.

Now for me, the Spider is a powerful ally and one I’ve been struggling with for the last few years as though my writing is vital to my well being, I’ve been reluctant to really get stuck into projects due to all sorts of good reasons, not least of which is finding a real outlet(ie publishing). I’m reluctant to give birth to more of my special children if the world doesn’t want them.

I don’t know precisely what the dream is telling me but if one thing I can read into this, the spider I saw was bigger than any I’ve ever seen, either belonging to my brother or anywhere else, and that tells me the real importance of honouring this totem.

Just how I do this is unclear right now.

A lovely blog


I added this blog to my blogroll a while back but I’d like to recommend it now, for all to see. It’s a nature blog written by a very talented lady, who sees beauty and wonder in things and has a fine knack of capturing the mood of a scene on camera as well as the simple images.

It helps that some of the places she photographs and writes about are places I’m very fond of, but even if you’ve never been there, the beauty is there to see. Go and expand your horizons!


Who’s in charge??



Don’t blame me, blame Jonathon over at Of Course I Could be Wrong… http://revjph.blogspot.com/

 I just nicked it from him. It seems doubly apposite for my current work situation…



All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was the one in charge.

‘I should be in charge,’ said the brain, ‘because I run all the body’s systems, so without me nothing would happen.’

‘I should be in charge,’ said the blood, ‘because I circulate oxygen all over so without me you’d all waste away.’

‘I should be in charge,’ said the stomach, ‘because I process food and give all of you energy.’

‘I should be in charge,’ said the legs, ‘because I carry the body wherever it needs to go.’

‘I should be in charge,’ said the eyes, ‘because I allow the body to see where it goes.’

‘I should be in charge,’ said the rectum, ‘because I’m responsible for waste removal.’

All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight.

Within a few days,the brain had a terrible headache,the stomach was bloated,the legs got wobbly, the eyes got watery, and the blood was toxic. They all decided that the rectum should be the boss.

The Moral of the story?

The ass hole is usually the one in charge!

The Vampire

I thought that given the recent subject matter, now would be a good time to resurrect(haha) this poem…

The Vampire

I'm a vampire, you know.
No tricks with blood:
That's so outdated.
Have you ever sat down
Suddenly ambushed
By exhaustion in a mall?
That was me,
Siphoning off your energy.
I eat garlic daily:
It's good for the heart.
I even wear a cross
And walk around in daylight.
Your best defence?
Knowing I am here.
I can see you now,
Glancing round uneasily.
I'd wave, but-
You might spill your drink.
What a waste.
You're not in any danger.
I just wanted you to know-
I'm watching you.


Energy Vampires


I was having a little scout around and I found this interesting article on a blog. I’ve had trouble with this phenomenon before many times and it’s strangely reassuring that it’s not just me imagining it. Someone I work with eats people up and spits them out; those who have been sampled, drained and discarded are at a greater remove from the poor saps who are lured into the magic circle to be fed upon at length.

I didn’t watch the videos this blog supplies but maybe you will, and let me know, but as I found the article balanced, I suspect the videos may be too.