Quite possibly over the edge

What makes a glamorous, divine woman of a certain age, start to sing “zip-a-dee-doo-day” as she walks through the main gate to school, on a Tuesday morning?

I’ve been asking myself that very question ever since I started singing the tune to myself yesterday. Delirium? Insanity? Certainly nothing to be dee-dooing about in my life.


When outside and inside is all inside.

sleep pink

I simply can not quieten my mind.

No matter what I do, or what I tell myself; the whirling, twirling, tangle of thinking just keeps rolling through like a train that has zoomed nonstop through all stations.

I guess it is the hyper adrenalin residue of a term of teaching, but it just seems like a massive waste of limited vacation time. And that thought doesn’t help in anyway!

It would be tolerable if there was a attaching burst of energy, but there isn’t. I am exhausted.  I try to sleep, but the head is on busy business. Damn.

The Big Whatever is playing games with me, I just know it.

truth to tell

mac flamingo I kind of lied this morning. I didn’t actually feel unbridled happiness; more tired, bitter and twisted. Bone wrenching exhaustion accompanied me as I limped across the finish line, but I got there!

Today was a day of farewells to a couple of long standing staff members, both of whom are spectacular teachers who gave more than a 110% to their students and their colleagues, but neither could find peace with the new regime and so have chosen to move on. They will be missed. More than a few other teachers are feeling the same.

I don’t feel that I want to move on, and to be honest we in our fifties don’t find it easy to find new employment these days, if we ever did. I am not unhappy, just a little frustrated that things have become so governed by the rule book. That said, it is far better than the last regime – they were cruel and inhumane in their treatment of individuals and I was so glad to see them exit.

So, obviously I need this short break to recharge and regain my mojo.

Mr FD has been away the last couple of days. He and his sister have gone south to visit their aged uncle. I never enjoy the trip, so I am grateful that they decided to go while I was still working. It has been very enjoyable having the bed to myself for a night or two, however. I dare say they may arrive back tomorrow as Uncle is not the easiest of people to spend time with, but duty calls!

Next month Mr FD is having his knee replaced. A week in hospital and then he has elected to go to rehab for a couple of days before returning home. I dare say, he will enjoy the nurses fussing over him, despite the pain of the operation. He is having the operation in the same city that I teach in, so I can just run to the hospital after work each day. Joy. Not looking forward to the recovery period at home, as Mr FD can be very “needy” at such times. It will be nice though, to have him walking about again, and not in pain after as little as 10 steps! Maybe he will start taking Augie for walks – they are both a little overweight from lack of exercise!

I may sleep in tomorrow, in fact, I feel a pyjama day coming on – and I think there is rain forecast. Perfect winter holiday! carol landis

The moon in June and other blues

winter socks

June arrived with a shiver. We have been living foggy, 4C dawns. Rising at 5am is never a thrill, but there is no potential for joy on a cold, dark, winter’s morning. Mr FD stokes the fire before he retires for the night and the last couple of mornings I have risen to a not so harsh 17C within our double cavity brick home. Yeah for brick and wood!

Yesterday, as I drove down the hill, I was gifted a view of the setting moon, just above the horizon. So elegant, so silent. I carried the joy until I saw the first student walk into the library.

Minerva and I had a deep conversation about how physically and emotionally exhausting the present crop of students are to work with. Minerva has been at the school over ten years, and so has more experience with the demographic, but the narcissism and sense of entitlement that we are battered with each day is just wearing us all down. One teacher who has been at the school 17 years  and elsewhere before that, has declared one year level the worst in her long career.

I started writing report comments this week. You know, those things that we send to parents where we aren’t allowed to tell any truths. As frustrating as it is, spending hours to choose sentences from a small, restricted comment bank that never suits the student in need of the comment, it does mean that semester break is only three weeks away.

winter break

Two weeks winter vacation. No plans, no commitments. I shall stay in my pjs the entire time (I have multiple pairs, I will shower and change), except for when visiting Petite Fille.

Long weekend approaching. Invite to a first birthday party for the wee baby born prematurely last year. She has passed all her milestones and is a glorious little girl, now crawling (chronological age 12 months, but she was born three months early). Petite Fille will be attending as a cousin. If their Mummies are first cousins, what does that make the little girls? Third cousins? First cousins twice removed; though that is more an American description, I think? Playmates? Friends. Mates.

The most pressing thought is what does one wear to a First Birthday party? Machine washable?

birthday fashion

it is just a step to the left… or was that right?


I prefer to think it is exhaustion and stress, and not the ageing process or something nastier. Yes, I lost my coffee cup only to find it behind the open screen of my laptop and yes, I lost by detention pad only to find I was holding it.

I thought I had hit the trifecta when I arrived at work, picked up my mobile from the passenger seat and realised that it wasn’t mine. I had picked up Mr FD’s.

That’s ok, I thought. I have a mobile, and he will have mine for the day. No problem. Except another look at the passenger seat and I spy my mobile as well. Oh dear.

I went into my office and sent Mr FD an email telling him not to panic I had his mobile. Next stop was the staff room where I regaled colleagues with my unconscious slight of hand trick that had seen me leave the house with two mobile phones.

Minerva, my erstwhile library assistant, just shook her head. She shakes her head a lot in reference to me. She has made me promise that if I ever leave for another school that I take her with me. I think I make feel better about her own life.

I was a little worried though that I could have lifted an extra mobile without actually being conscious of it, and was wondering if I should book myself into somewhere quiet and sunny for a bit, when I returned to my office and found an email reply from Mr FD.

You don’t have my mobile, you have Son’s. He left it in your car last night when he borrowed your car.

So, I haven’t lost my mind, yet, though it did seem a nice place to be for a moment or two.

up hill, down dale and a bit of hurdy-gurdy


Perhaps it was not the wisest way to end the type of chaotic, exhausting week I have just lived through, by going to Aldi to grocery shop with Mr FD, but I did, and we did and now the groceries are packed away in the pantry. My nerves are on end and my muscles feel so tight I could snap any moment, but the week is done.

Too much being nice, too many long work days, too much work and too many demands, ending in a crash and burn Friday when I felt very unwell and huddled in my bed for  the day.

Such is the modern woman’s life. Well, the modern person’s life, really.


Next week we are visiting our financial advisor to start kick start our ” transition to retirement ” but my retirement is years away if nothing changes the status quo. Mr FD is already retired due to health issues. Nothing is as we had hoped and planned, but rarely does life ever go according to hopes and plans. Not saying it has all been bad, we have been rather fortunate in many ways and many times, but I do think we have had enough “character building” knocks to make us “grateful for the good times”! The quotes are Mr FD’s mother’s comments repeated many time over the year, so often I wanted to rip her arms and legs off in the end. She is dead and gone now, residing for the rest of eternity as a little box of ashes in a brick wall, so it matters not what she said now does it?

High point of the week: receiving an email on the the weekend from a student who wanted to tell me how much she had enjoyed a book from the school library. She read another book during the week and made a point of telling me it was a winner too. If only they were all like that!

High point: After my “show and tell” release of our LibGuides I was inundated with compliments, appreciation and requests for resource support, thus proving, once again, that Teacher Librarians are indeed necessary in 21st century high schools. Nice too, after all the nights I sat up to eleven o’clock or later, at home, building our lib guide pages and guides. More than one night, Mr FD had to come in and lecture me to go to bed, but I have reached a point where it is a relevant resource now.

And you? Still breathing?


pissing down



rain thongExtreme wet weather in our area of Queensland today, worsening tonight, but hopefully clearing tomorrow. It meant a chaotic day at school, as wet soaking students tried to shelter in the library during breaks.

Most schools in Queensland do not have their various classrooms connected, so when it is time for students to change classrooms they have to brave the elements. According to our city planning and government considerations, if we build covered walkways between buildings, it gets counted as “classroom area” and impacts on an future building allowances. Crazy.

It was Minerva’s rostered day off and I should have had support for half the day, but the poor staff member was ill and left after the first two periods, so I was solo all day.

So, trying to run the library, and as our Open Day is on Sunday, trying to prepare the Library and set up displays, while supervising students was exhausting . I even had to go outside to scream at students to stop sliding on the wet tiles outside the library doors. It is galling to explain that they risk a brain injury if they fall, while thinking that they probably don’t possess a brain in the first place.

But why don’t parents make their children take an umbrella to school when they know that severe weather conditions are expected? No doubt they will all complain about their wet child, but not think they should have sent them off with at least an umbrella.

It has been a long week all around. Yesterday I had a student suspended for two days for calling poor Minerva a “dog”. I had refused to allow him to borrow a calculator for various reasons, mainly his rudeness, and when he approached Minerva trying to get her to weaken and she refused, he called her a dog. Thank heavens he wasn’t at school during the wet weather today, because he would have been more trouble than all the others put together.

We have to work Sunday for no overtime or time in lieu for Open Day – voluntarily compulsory we are calling it. Yeah, teachers have a lot of holidays… and work 60 hour weeks for a 30 hour week wage.

Then, we get to enjoy the thrill of parent-teacher, excuse me, parent-teacher-student interviews next week. Students are expected to attend with parents. That will be more than a 12 hour day.

Same timing for these events every year, and by the end of the week Teachers start to get sick from over work and exhaustion.

Oh yeah, and we got our flu vaccinations yesterday too.

Not feeling the joy this week.

Rain ~ Alexandra Kokinova

Rain ~ Alexandra Kokinova

a very good Friday

easter happy

Rain falling, lying in bed with Mr FD beside me and our tall trees visible through the open window, is almost a decadent way of starting my Easter break.

Two weeks before the new term starts and time to nurture my commitment to my teaching. Two weeks to forget how much I want to beat some children, and even more so their parents.

Happy Easter

neither here nor there, now or then

green trees

I had a thought, a really great thought. So, I asked to meet with The Principal and one of the Assistant Principals.

The problem is, that is has taken ten days to find a time when we can meet, and now I have kind of forgotten my thought. Well, not forgotten, but the genius part of my brain has decided to go slow and work to rules.

And then one of the APs has had to take family leave and another has had to accompany students on a camp, so it will be just the Principal and I, which is okay, but not quite what I was hoping for.

I think I may just go lie between the book stacks for awhile.

thoughts 1