I’m calling yoooooouuuuu

baby doll

I lost a large part of the night to Nelson Eddie calling Jeanette McDonald – a solo bird calling in search of a mate; an Australian Love Call, so to speak. Nelson was lucky that I could neither pin which tree he was serenading from and that my throwing arm is not what it was (if it ever was!); or stones may have flown. Instead, I lay awake envision him in someone’s Sunday stew pot.

Sunday morning, I felt like I was hungover without any previous enjoyment. Tired and emotional, I wrote what I hope is my final word on the student issue – still unresolved, and no doubt will remain so as the students are not willing to be honest. Of course, the fact that they caused mayhem in the library and made a rude finger gesture towards me has been lost in all the pretend issues, but I refuse to give them more power and so will no longer sign anything. My parting comment is that they have learnt behaviour that works for them and now they will use it towards other teachers.  I am finished.

baking 1

So, what to do when I am feeling tired and emotional? Bake a second dried fruit Christmas Cake. It emptied the Brandy bottle! This cake will fly with me to Perth. I was allowed to use brown sugar in the second cake, instead of the rice syrup that Daughter 1 asked for in my first baking. Daughter2 is of the mind that Christmas cakes should not be messed with, a child after my own heart. The texture and taste were superior in my mind, but the proof will be in the eating.

Mr FD calls nightly. Poor Uncle has real mind and body issues, and it appears that the family has to set in place the power of attorney to protect his interests. He’s 91 and has faired well until the last couple of years, but this year in particular he has declined. The problem is he lives alone, having never married. He had a farm manager couple who assist him, but you can’t allow the manager to run the properties without oversight. So this week, Mr FD and his cousin will be visiting the lawyer and the health authorities to gather help and support for Uncle. Even though Uncle has set all this in place, he will be very difficult to gain cooperation from.

The problem when they slip in and out of dementia is that they don’t consider there is anything wrong with them. We have been through this too many times now, with both my parents; Mr FD’s to a lesser degree and now Uncle. Expertise in a field we don’t desire.

Petite Fille, hopefully is coming to visit next weekend. If the weather is hot, I will roll out the water slide for her, and we shall slide down our hill under the sprays. Now that’s something to look forward too!

Attack of the killer moths

Moth 1

Well, maybe they aren’t killer moths, but they are jolly huge. At least 10 centimetres (4 inches) from wing tip to wing tip. They hover outside the screen door, peak time being the early morning. A soon, as we open the screen door to allow Augie out to his yard they zoom through the opening. One busy morning, four of the beasties made it through the portal.

This morning I found one trying to hide in the kitchen sink! It was despatched with insect spray. No mercy to any insect that enters my castle!

If left to their own devices they crash and bash about the room, gradually building in confidence until they commence dive-bombing victims.

Once sent to that great moth heaven in the sky, we have to race with pan and brush to deliver to the bin, before Augie decides to make them a new toy or an after breakfast delight.

Moth 1

That said, despite their kamikaze tendencies and lack of  “pretty” colourings, the patterns on their wings are quite intricate and rather delicate. A thing of beauty.

They just need to stay where The Big Whatever meant them to be – not in my house!

 

 

My cathedral

In need of restoration from the work week, I stood on our patio and soaked in the elements of a private cathedral, our garden. Filled with scents, colours and bird song, it is more religion to me than any man made structure of bricks and mortar, or declaration of man.

Augie Dog by my side, relaxed under the influence of our garden, sank,  stretching out, as the magic of nature entwined us. Restored us.

Saturday morning, the rains have come. Mr FD is away, caring for his old Uncle who can no longer be left alone, and yet will not accept help. I feel sorry for Uncle, who is suffering the loss of his life to dementia, but also for Mr FD who has to deal with resistant, anger and denial every minute he is trying to assist Uncle.

Another tough week. School is more like a war zone these days. Students kick holes in walls, and another of our couches has been cut. Teachers with decades of experience working with children have declared this present cohort of students, particularly the years 7 and 8, as some of the most destructive and ill-behaved of their careers. Not a proud branding.

New gardens were constructed to soften and beautify the grounds and just days into the plantings, students are not only crashing through the gardens, but actively pulling the plants out. Why would they even bother? What unruly anger is within these young people? Such self centred, disrespect.

Parents who do not respect, are growing children who do not respect. Then add the ingredient of the influence of social media and young people feeling the pressure to out perform, one up, to achieve constant attention. Self absorbed is their middle name. Mobile phones in school are weapons of destruction.

My personal battle was added to this week. A male student who was asked not to enter the library as we had no space left and as he had stated he didn’t need to use the library for study or assessment, he merely wanted to “chill out”. Within minutes he was on the mobile phone to his mother declaring he was barred from the Library. Returning from class I was informed Mummy had rang to complain. Of course her precious son had told the truth!

Mothers, do not enter into every issue your child has. Let them own their own behaviour, suffer their own consequences and learn resilience. The energy that these selfish student mistruths suck from teachers, means that students who have real issues, urgent needs, sometimes life and death issues, have to wait longer for assistance. Remember the mantra, “Don’t sweat the small stuff?” Well, apply it to your children and let us do our real jobs. Do your job as parent.

Then maybe I can enjoy my cathedral for its beauty and no just for its healing.

Always pack the pearls

vinatge lady 1

I rose in the morning, wore the three strand pearl necklace, the red shoes and I faced the day. I made it a better day. We laughed Minerva and I.

A colleague walked into the Library and declared “You two are having fun again!” and she smiled too. I hadn’t realised how our gloom had dulled our laughter, for we laugh a lot in our library. It is the one thing that everyone comments on; the laughter.

The issues with the students are still unresolved and it looks as though they never will be, unless they confess their lies. The best that will be said is that we choose to disagree. Not satisfactory, not at all. Life is full of injustices that have to be borne. The best I can hope for is that they stay away from the Library unless accompanied by another teacher!

So, I wore the pearls and the red shoes; and it was a better day.

Except the red shoes rubbed and now I have a sore heel. Life is like that too, even on good days.

words can not say

flat

Not a good day. A number of our more challenging students came into the library, causing a variety of issues. Then we were graced in both breaks by the presence of the girls who have made the false allegations. Minerva instantly called for backup from a nearby male teacher and we presented as a pair, so no more lies could be told.

I didn’t want to think it, and really tried to deny the thought, but Minerva voiced my fear. “Do you think you are being targeted?”  I had to admit that I agreed. They haven’t recounted, they haven’t experienced any consequences and now they feel untouchable. Twelve and thirteen year old girls in full formation for open hunting season.

By the end of second break, I was close to just walking out the gate for my own survival, for it is so difficult second guessing everything I say and do.  Instead, I had to go and teach a class. Thankfully, they were seniors and into examination revision, so I was able to gather my frayed nerves and take a slow breath.

I have reported the incident, but without any expectation of a speedy solution. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t go against me in some way! The male colleague said he will be back with me tomorrow in case they return, bless him. These girls have rarely been to the library this year and now they appear all too often.

There have been terrible bullying issues between students in that year level, but to see them acting this way against a teacher is unbelievable. It is not like I play a major role in their lives!

I am not a weak person, I don’t cave easily, but the helplessness I feel is just escalating the longer this issue is unresolved. I have to follow someone else’s agenda. I feel like I want to explode.

Jupiterimages

Mind, body and spirit are out of kilter this past week or two. The false student allegation, though not believed by administration has sent me reeling.

There is such a process of interviews and meetings when these types of conflicts happen that it takes on a life of its own, parallel and yet utterly intertwined with the usual day to day processes of living.

I have had a meeting with Principal and a Deputy, plus my legal support. All agree that there are so many holes in the girls allegations, and more than a slight whiff of collusion that any intelligent person can see that their allegations are false. However, procedures must be followed and hence the human cost.

At the same time I have applied for a job in another school. Not actually prompted by what has happened, except for the fact that if Admin don’t put a lid on this type of student behaviour then there will be open season on teachers at the school. No, the school where I applied for a position is just a nine minute drive from my garage, through The Village, to the school’s staff car park. 9 minutes versus 40 minutes. Time saver, car saver, tiredness saver – and less chance of a car accident, as no highway driving, especially when tired. Feeling very mixed emotions, but it is just an application, that does not mean a job offer.

Mr FD decided to take me out for a sightseeing trip yesterday, as we have been doing the last few weeks, but I found no joy in it. Often, and for no particular reason, I felt almost as if I wasn’t in my own body, and very close to tears. It was a short trip, no stop for coffee.

Sometimes, I wonder if I am causing myself to have these thoughts and emotions. Am I doing it to myself? Then again, and I can’t put this into accurate words, even if I am doing it to myself, is that not a symptom of something? I am worrying me.

Perhaps, the summer vacation, just four weeks away, will give me a break. A few weeks in Perth, welcoming our new Grandbaby, Peppercorn, hopefully will be just the tonic I need to get my Flamingo Dancer mojo back into service.  Peppercorn may arrive earlier than expected as Daughter2, now 33 weeks, was diagnosed with high blood pressure and has had to cease work immediately, after planning to work another three weeks. I wish I wasn’t so far from her, especially as her husband is a FIFO (fly in, fly out) mining engineer and not there for four nights a week, during which time she is without any real support. I just told her to phone the ambulance if anything concerns her and not to worry about feeling silly if it turns out to be something inconsequential. Lives matter more. Not making me feel any better though.

So sorry, if I have rained on any parades today. It’s Monday and I suspect few parades today anyway. Just letting you know that I wandering a little aimlessly right now. Hang with me, please.

 

Thank you.

 

 

Being a bird brain may be okay

bird brain 1

Mr FD spent an amusing twenty minutes watching three baby birds play in our garden.

One chick would roll itself into a fluffy ball and roll about the lawn. Another was a little more creative, throwing itself onto its back, legs ramrod straight, and played dead; until its siblings came near to investigate and then it would jump at them! A jokester in every family!

Mother Bird tolerated the later behaviour for several minutes until she reached her limit and gave Chick a nudge to behave.

Kids are the same, nature over, and so are mothers. There’s a deal of comfort in that thought.

All go in the Village.

chick chickMore than once I have heard people say, “It must be so dull living in the country!” Boring?

This morning I passed a husband and wife out on their tricycles, cycling down the main street of the Village. She followed behind, coated in a bright yellow high visibility safety vest, with L plates front and back on the trike. I guess she could always fall off her seat…

On the other side of town, a man was walking by the side of the road, dressed in dark pants, a camouflage tee-shirt, and a khaki hat sporting camouflage netting; enough to cover his face and neck. It was 6.30 am. Perhaps on his way home from a night of twitching?

I often follow an Armaguard vehicle delivering money to local banks and business. Most times I have to resist the urge to race up close behind in my car and pretend that I am tailing them with intent. The only thing that restrains me is the knowledge that they carry guns.

All go in the Village.