Thursday, 22 May 2014


It's not all doom and gloom!

After my initial posting of this, I thought there was a little too march 'darkness' in it, probably something to do with that old 'black dog' still luring around the periphery of my consciousness. SO, I just wanted to do a list of things I loved experiencing and/or that I am proud of.
  1. I loved Brownie & Guide camps (my mum was an ace Brown Owl) and took part in the Girl Guides 75th Anniversary International Camp with the great acronym of 'PANIC'. I loved playing ladders and broom hockey!
  2. Doing a sponsored abseil down Angle Church tower - I forget what we were raising money for - whilst in the Guides. I think I was the youngest to do it on the day - around 11 or 12 and loved it so kept going up the tower to do it again.
  3. Being a member of County Orchestra whilst at school (2nd violins) and going on a trip to The Black Forest with them.
  4. Completing my Music GCSE in my lunch breaks. Along with several others, I was quite determined to do it so the school enabled us to. We achieved 10 GCSEs while most achieved 9.
  5. Thanks to what is best described as a ruthless female drill sergeant in the ATC, I can still remember how to march and do left, right & about turns correctly. Plus I got to go up in a glider - the ones that are catapulted from a vehicle on the ground. Magic.
  6. A waterfall walk in the Breacon Beacons with The Prince's Trust where we saw the waterfall that Blue Peter used as some kind of initiation for presenters. We got to walk behind a waterfall - a girlhood dream since reading Rupert the Bear annuals. Amazing.
  7. Winning two weeks aboard The Brig Astrid, (a tall ship) aged 16, to compete in the first leg of the Cutty Sark Tall Ships race from Milford Haven to Cork. We had a training week from Weymouth to Milford Haven, we left Weymoth harbour on a hot humid day to sale straight into the most spectacular thunderstorm. We could see the pink hued lightning cleve the sky open.
  8. My first experience of live music was also at 16 - going to the Reading Festival with school mates, camping, getting covered in mud and.....and......the headliners were NIRVANA. I came back looking like a mud monster. It was exhausting and brilliant all at once.
  9. A 6th form trip to the Pelena Mountain Centre in the Black Mountains, Wales, in which I spent ALL weekend laughing and formed close friendships with Mia and Fiona that are still going strong today.
  10. in the 2nd year of Uni queueing up in the BAKING heat outside Milton Keynes bowl to make sure we were near the front of the REM 'Automatic for the People' gig. Support acts were Sleeper, The Cranberries, and Radiohead. Watching 'Everybody Hurts' at dusk, lighters flickering in the breeze, was magical.
  11. Climbing Ben Nevis and the Aonach Eagach ridge, and The Three Sisters in Glencoe wth the Uni mountaineering club. We saw a stag, a sentinal guard of The Three Sisters, whilst we clambered up, meanwhile, I could hear Clannad as the soundtrack in my head.
  12. Starting to run regularly in my lunchbreaks at Abbey National, going from zero to running 10k comfortably in 50 mins whithin a few months.
  13. Getting my mum up the Rhyd Ddu route of Snowden when she had just turned 62. She was SO chuffed to have made it she rang her dad from the peak. Incerdibly, the Welsh sky was clear, we could see for miles and miles.
  14. Completing the London Marathon in 2005 - the same year as my first ever Ofsted inspection (I mistyped that as 'infection' initially, analyse that English teachers), and just 7 months before dad died. He came to watch me run it and we met at the finish. We both looked awful - him through chemo' - me through exhaustion. I was chuffed to bits he saw me do it before he died.
  15. Caring for my dad in the last two weeks of his life, being with him as he took his last breath (then farted, true story). I did not cower or run away from it. There is nothing that could be more difficult than that - the exception being going through the same again with my mum heaven forbid.
  16. Twice entering and completing the 'Tough Guy Nettle Warrior' assault course in the July of 2010 and 2011. It is by FAR the most exhuasting thing I have EVER done. The only part of my body that did not hurt (the hurt lasting for 10 days at least) afterwards was my face. I looked and felt like I'd been in a car crash but LOVED it.
  17. Getting an 'Outstanding' observation the first time I had ever taught a) the A-Level Lang/Lit course and b) Hamlet. I know the label, like 'Required Improvement' does not define me entirely as a teacher, but it felt blooody GREAT! The class were just wonderful.
  18. My first ever tutor group who had tutored from my NQT year and their Year 7 up to Year 11 and when I left my first school. They are either happy in jobs they wanted to do or are about to graduate from Uni. Even better, they left school as great young people, warm, kind, mature, likeable. Lovely young adults.
  19. I've paid a mortage on my own for the last 11 years without a defaulted payment. I've struggled, I've lived out of my overdraft for most of the time, run up some debts but also cleared them. I now have some form of equity in my property.
  20. My Twitter Summer holiday of love last year - lots of lovely day trips and visits with just wonderful people.
  21. I had an interview today and did not let my anxiety jeopardise it - no self-sabotage this time Alex Quigley. I was calm, my 'micro-teach' went well because I adapted things as I went and I think I answered the interview questions well. Whatever the outcome, I can hold my head high. I did my best.
  22. I only gone and GOT THE JOB! *beams*

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