Laura has been way better than I have at keeping the folks back home informed of what we're up to. This is the fourth installation in her "Hi From London" series. Cue Laura:
Two big pieces of news for this fortnight Friday’s email (not in any particular order):
- I have resigned.
- I have a fringe.
I guess I’ll begin with the news item that may have the biggest bearing: my resignation. Belgium and the rest of my holidays were fantastic. Probably a bit too fantastic, for as soon as I returned to work last Monday, I was reminded of the unhappiness I’d been trying to fight at school. On Wednesday I spoke to dad on the phone who reminded me of why I am here: to enjoy myself and have as many exciting experiences as I can. He had me convinced that it would be okay – necessary – to quit my job by Easter.
So, cut to the next day, Thursday, my least favourite teaching day. I had an awful morning and awful afternoon when students filing out of the room actually apologised for their class. 3.02pm and I was in the dark in my supply cupboard crying. Literally, my supply cupboard. I felt like Elliot from Scrubs. It was just awful and I knew I couldn’t keep that up. Usually no one would ever come into my classroom of an afternoon, but as something would have it, I heard voices and a lovely teacher, Hugh, had come looking for me. He opened the door to me, went “Oh,” and sent for reinforcements.
I spent the next forty minutes blubbering into my scarf (hooray for winter) and admitted to my head of department that I couldn’t continue working there and would have to leave. The conversation I’d been dreading was met with both Holly and Jackie’s amazing compassion. They were so understanding of how I felt and so generous in their praise for how well I’ve been doing. Since then, they have offered to drop classes for me or let me go part-time to convince me to stay, but I’ve decided to leave and will finish the week after Easter, when mum and dad arrive. I agonised over the decision and feel genuinely terrible after all the school has done for me.
It wasn’t that I am naïve about what a teacher does, but here, when there are so many more exciting things to be doing, it’s hard to spend so much free time working. By 3pm every Sunday, my thoughts turn to school and I end up feeling I need to get home to do work. Plus the midnight marking sessions are a killer. The kids are great at times, alright at others and really, really terrible at others. I end up yelling a great deal and being terribly angry and frustrated and it’s just so unpleasant.
Anyway, I am so happy now that I have made a decision. I will not teach over here. I am going to try something new and have started putting my resume together for personal assistant work in London. We were happy to uphold our side of the lease here on the caretaker cottage, but the school has been great there too, letting us move out when I finish. Poor dad comes half-way round the world to help one of his daughters move yet again. He’s been told to bring his ute.
We’ve had a couple of great weekends since our last communication. Some Aussie Londoner friends of ours admitted to never having really been to the country and spent the weekend with us in Billericay. We went on a genuine country stroll (kissing gates and everything) to the ruins of the 12th century Hadleigh Castle. We have some great photos of our day there where we befriended a man with dogs and we all threw balls and climbed things. We then went to Southend-on-Sea, a very cool crumbling 1950s seaside resort town.
Last weekend I punished the beginnings of a bad cold by going out and getting very messy in London. Legendary London club Turnmills is closing soon and we paid a visit until about 3am. It was an excellent night with half a dozen others, drinking and dancing. After a four-thirty bed-time, terrible chest pains ensued and I spent Sunday looking bedraggled. Silly girl. The bossy people I live with made me stay home on Monday, which was quite fabulous. Especially when I got a knock at the door from a woman holding a beautiful bunch of tulips that mum and dad had sent to give me a smile.
And I had to go out on Saturday night to celebrate my new fringe! Although I am cursed with a cow-lick, a hairdresser friend managed to disguise it and gave me a great colour and fringe to perk me up. Unless you knew me in year two, you probably wouldn’t have seen me with one, and even then it was usually offset with a side pony or vertical fountain, so I look different anyway.
Simon’s work is going well. He got his first pay cheque today for the last month and, yet again, manages to get paid more than me to do less. He was dreading telling them about all the upcoming holidays he needs to take, but they were very cool with it. We’re currently looking for a new place to live from the start of April. We’ll probably stay living with Dave and Sue and there are some great two bedroom flats in London near public transport. Tomorrow we’re going into the city again to meet up with Moogs and others for tea, then off to a show with them on Sunday. It has always been a must for me to see a play at The Globe theatre. Tickets went on sale last week and we snapped up June tickets to King Lear which I am already very excited about.
Thanks to those who’ve emailed me in the last couple of weeks; I’ve managed to keep up with some of your excellent news. If you are sitting on excellent news, then please, let me know. Hope you’re all well. Lots of love, Laura and Simon.
(Photos on Facebook, flickr and dphoto.)
P.S. Seasons are different here! And not in the obvious way. I was very excited to remind teachers at school today it was spring tomorrow and they insisted it doesn’t start until something silly like the 21st of March. Don’t we all agree that seasons change every three months?