Category Archives: Holiday

School’s Out! 


Hi everyone!! 

I’m so sorry I’ve not been around. I’ve been exam marking (more on this later) and desperately hanging onto the thought that it’s summer soon and I can finally stop and recover. It’s been a really hard year at school so I’m absolutely exhausted, like every teacher! (Fairly accurate visual representation below!) 


I was having a conversation with someone at school and I said “This year has been horrible.” Which I realise now, sounds rather flippant. It’s been difficult: workload, new GCSE, unknown grading, bright boys not wanting to work, difficult decisions that effect morale, staff leaving, new changes etc. He asked me if there’s been any good. I immediately replied with “No!” 

Now, in hindsight, that is absolutely ridiculous and I’ll freely admit I’ve been a fool here. So, I made a list of all the positives that’s happened this year. I want to share them with you all because when things are difficult, we tend to miss the good bits. If any teachers out there are feeling like myself, like they could sleep for a thousand years and that still wouldn’t be enough to feel human again, focus on what has made you happiest this year. I did and my perspective has changed. The hard work was absolutely worth it. 


Successes of 2016-2017

  • Year 11. Now I always have a love/hate relationship with Year 11. This year I’ve felt even stronger because I could physically see very bright boys struggle with the new, harder GCSEs. This meant that every success we had along the way meant even more. We were a team; they’d know I’d do anything and everything to help and support them. In return they gave me excellent lessons, where despite adversity, we still laughed and learnt ways to approach the new system. We learnt it together.
  • Prom. I always go to Prom because it is really lovely for staff and students to have a nice meal, take millions of selfies and celebrate the fact the year is over, whilst anticipating what is to come: college and results. This year was no different. I spent most of my time with my students and close colleagues. It was a really privilege to win an award from the boys: most helpful teacher. It was a night I won’t ever forget because of the people. 

  • Linked to the prom is the prom video. I work with some amazing people who make a video for the students every year. It’s the highlight at the prom as the kids see us in a different light. This means we usually dress up which is lots of fun. This year my floor dressed in the school uniform! The least said, the better. 
  • At my school we have a prize giving day where students receive awards for academic excellence and to reward those who have been a credit to our school. This year, for the first time in the school’s history (apparently) I got a personal mention. I swear my heart stopped for a second. The pride I feel every time I see prizes and celebrations is immeasurable. So, to have my own mention was such a surprise on a really important day in the school’s history. It was just a reminder that all the sleepless nights, the worry about the happiness and progress of my students was worth it. 
  • Linked to the above: “Thank you.” I’ve heard these words a bit recently and you should never underestimate how much they mean to you. The words I’ve received will stay with me for the rest of my life. I always keep cards anyway. But the ones that have hit me the most are: “I don’t think I could’ve made it if it wasn’t for you.” “You’re obviously a part of our family now.” “You’ve been an amazing teacher to me, the best I’ll ever have.” I obviously cried my eyes out when I read these messages. 
  • Strengthening relationships. I’ve only been in my current school two years now but this year I’ve really strengthened my relationships. I’m so pleased I’ve got such a good network around me. It only takes one person to change your life; I’ve managed to find a few. You may have remembered my post from my weekend away in Belgium. That really was an amazing trip with some fabulous people. 

  • Finally, I learnt a lot about myself. I’ve learnt that I will sacrifice my own happiness and time to get whatever needs to be done for my department and students. I’ve learnt that despite there being difficult times, I’ve become more resilient and I won’t let anything beat me. There have been times where I’ve just wanted to give up altogether but I didn’t. I’ve been exam marking which was particularly horrendous; the hours were relentless. Despite finishing my quota there’s still thousands of questions left to mark so I’m fairly sure I’ll mark more because that’s a child’s hopes, dreams and ambitions on that page. I don’t think I can ignore it. 

I’m sure there’s more but it’s taken me three days to get this far! I’m tired and emotional and trying to recover. I’ve got big plans for this summer. I want to read and visit new places and spend time in my beloved Stratford upon Avon. 
So, whenever you’re feeling sad or like the bad outweighs the good, spend a couple of days evaluating the full picture. There’s always good in there somewhere. We just need to keep hold of it. It’s probably one of my worst habits so I need to continue working on this really. 

Big love all xx

Advertisements

21 Comments

Filed under Holiday

A Belgium Weekend Adventure 

Hi all,

Hope you’re all good.  

Can you believe it’s December?! I can’t. I’ve no idea where November went. I feel like I blinked and missed it. (I feel like I say that every month, let’s face it.) But, last weekend I went with a group of friends on the ferry to Belgium. I’ve never been to Bruges before. It’s just so beautiful. A day there was not long enough. The autumnal trees were also rather gorgeous! 


Despite the cloud, it was still so wonderful. I felt peaceful and calm. Sometimes we just need that space and tranquility. 


So, we went exploring, did a lot of shopping, drank some beer, went to the beer museum and mooched about the Christmas market. Bliss!


This was one of my favourite shops. It had so many beautiful Christmas things in. The window above was just stunning. I’d wish to see it again, honestly. Oh and the chocolate! Mmmm. 


This has to be one of the best weekends ever. I loved it. I will be going back. Bruges, you stole my heart. 


I hope you’ve enjoyed my photos and my little weekend adventure. I sure did! Christmas is on it’s way guys, lets do this!! 

Big love xx

33 Comments

Filed under Autumn, Holiday, Photography, Places, Weekend Trips

Summer at the Seaside

Hi everyone!! 

Hope you’re having a great week so far. I just wanted to explain my slight absence, I’ve been on holiday to Paignton in Devon. I have a number of fond memories, as a child, being on holiday at various British beaches. We have a huge amount to offer; there’s always somewhere new to explore. If you remember last year, I was holidaying in Ilracombe. You can recap that here & here. This year it was time to explore a different part of Devon. 


The weather was lovely and warm, the sun was nearly always shining and I also managed to read a number of books! I was feeling a bit down about reading but this helped me to get my groove back. I’ve got a little tan too. Relief! 


I wish you all a happy, healthy and enjoyable summer. We deserve it after all! 


Big love xxx

18 Comments

Filed under Holiday, Photography, Seaside, UK

#Winning – Life Update

Morning everyone! 

  
Any teacher, who is surrounded my assessments and coursework at the moment will, I’m assuming, feel like me now we’ve reached half term. 

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean we have nothing to do. (I have sets of books to mark as well as coursework folders which are buried in the boot of my car!) But, I really don’t wish for this to turn into a post about how teachers are having a difficult time etc. I’m just personally relieved. I’m tired and in need of a break to enable me to deliver the best lessons I can on our return. My ‘half term face’ is well and truly on. 

However, I need to be realistic. I only have one week off…

  
Big love to you all! I’ll be seeing you all soon! Xx

19 Comments

Filed under Holiday

Holiday Finale 

Morning everyone! 

I’ve had an action packed yet relaxing week on holiday down in Ilfracombe, Devon. I’ve done activities and had experiences that I never thought I would. I feel really lucky. I managed to read three books as well that I will be reviewing at some stage. Also, the weather was on our side too and sunshine is always a lovely added bonus. 

St Nicholas Chapel 

 

A short climb up a hill and you reach the top where this stunning little chapel is. It still works as a lighthouse today and is regarded as one of the oldest in the country. The chapel dates back to 1321. Inside was really rather beautiful. It’s quite small, but the highlight for me were the old black and white photographs. I do like to see these pictures and look at what they are wearing and to work out what they were thinking through their facial expression. It really was a spectacular place to visit. 

Damien Hirst’s Verity

Verity lives at the end of the harbour and is currently on loan to Ilfracombe for the next 20 years. She has the reputation of being like marmite. She’s a 66ft bronze clad sculpture, showing a pregnant Verity, with her insides showing in some parts, holding a sword, standing on legal books represents truth and justice. 

The Tunnels Beaches

 

A little Victorian beach which I absolutely loved. There were separate beaches for men and women during the Victorian times, as mixed bathing was not introduced or allowed until 1905. They have some of the best rock pools here with a variety of different fish within. I’ve seen a lot of crabs and jellyfish this holiday! It’s remarkable how much this beach changes when the tide comes in! I know first hand, as I got soaked and my poor iPhone took a dip as well. 

  

The Ilfracombe Princess 

This was a massive highlight for me. I went on an 90 minute boat trip around the costal path with the hope of seeing seals. We got lucky that day and saw three!! Two sunbathing and one playing in the water. The photos aren’t very good but you can just make them out. They are so beautiful. Also, the scenery was just stunning. 

Walkers Chocolate Emporium 
 
This little piece of heaven holds huge amounts of gorgeous chocolate, a mini museum of chocolate and a section where you can see the chocolate being made. The best bit for me was the 6′ chocolate man. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to buy him! 

Capstone Hill – Katie statue

A climb up a much larger hill brought you to the top where there were the most amazing views. I actually climbed it twice because the first time was very cloudy. The second time, however, you could see right out to Wales from the sea and a panoramic view of the town. It was just breathtaking. The climb and wind was definitely worth it. This little statue is called Katie, to commemorate a young girl who fell to her death. In my opinion she has the best view. I don’t think this picture below gives it justice as to how high the hill was!   

The Harbour 

 

The harbour was lovely, with its variety of shops and restraunts, and sandy beach with different boats dotted along. I must say I loved seeing it at night as the sun was setting.  
This is just a snapshot. But, there are some beautiful places in this county, and I believe Ilfracombe is one of them. I can’t wait to go back. Hope everyone else is having a lovely summer, wherever you are! I’m looking forward to seeing your blogs about it! 

Big love x

Leave a comment

Filed under Holiday, Photography, Seaside, UK

Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside…

Morning all! 

As you know I’m on a little holiday at the moment. I started at Weston-Super-Mare and now I’m in Ilfracombe, Devon. Goodness me it is breathtaking. I really am at a loss for words. Eveyrtime I walk along the coast, I see something different that catches my eye. 

Thankfully the weather decided to clear up yesterday, with the skies clearing to a gorgeous blue. There is hope of me getting a tan yet! So, before my day on the beach with a number of books, I wanted to share with you the view from my holiday apartment. 
 

It’s really quite therapeutic hearing the waves crash against the rocks, seeing the different boats, each on their own adventures. I’m feeling very lucky to have this on my doorstep – for a little while at least. 

Have a fabulous day everyone!

BL xx 

4 Comments

Filed under Holiday, Photography, Seaside, UK