Well life has felt like it has been all uphill lately.
Literally (my bike commute is giving me buns of steel and thighs like hams) and metaphorically.
The new job? Well, I would not say I don’t like it, but, well, I don’t like it.
I like things about it, but it started really badly (my classroom was chock full of the vomited contents of the library and was just emptied and cleaned moments before the girls turned up. At that point I realised )I should have packed up and brought along all my display stuff from my Prague classroom as the previous teacher in this one had taken along ALL of hers. And all the glue, scissors and stuff. And the printer was broken and there was no stock in the art room. So the teachers among you will appreciate that it really was a start that Hades himself could have orchestrated.
The problems are kind of that it is old-fashioned, things don’t work, there is no budget or IT support (that is SO annoying when you are told that there is a fund of 100 million pounds that my confederation of schools has, from which it pays for the scholarships that allow it to be classed as a charity…. I mean… this is not me!) and the parents are already shaping up to be the most difficult I have had to deal with in a long time. Here is not a feeling that they trust me to do my job. It’s weird after ALL THE OTHER YEARS of successful relationships all round to feel that snipes are being made already about a lack of clarity regarding homework (after 3 (yes, 3) )explanatory notes I have sent home.
I know this is not my first independent school, but in Thailand or Prague, you can’t easily work in a state school – language and financial barriers abound. Here there is no such reason. I don’t know if I have the energy to move on again so soon, but I need to leave the independent sector. I don’t like it. But do I like the state sector post-Gove? I think I need to try it to find out.
The girls I teach are nice, mostly, but again it isn’t an easy class. And the paperwork is making me realise I have been insanely lucky in all my previous posts with the (relatively) relaxed attitude to covering-our-every-breath-in-the-classroom with a billion levels of planning. ugh.
But! There is good news! We got to the top of another very draining ‘hill’:
We got an offer accepted on a really nice little flat, and my mortgage in principle was also accepted!
Yes, you read that right!
It is such an amazing turn-up.
We had been traipsing around all the dregs of the London housing market and it was really tiring to do with twins in tow, and the places were either awful or crammed with other buyers (all of whom you want to eff off and die, but just smile primly at – so very British). The latter always involved a bidding war and our offers (with a fairly low ceiling on a single salary) were always trumped. I was very much feeling, “What am I working like a dog for? My money is all going down the toilet and we are cold and share our rented home with furry friends! Why don’t I just resign and ask for a council flat?” But now, at last, I will be working like a dog to pay the bank back a giant chunk of its delicious cash.
There was a lot of bartering and I felt the estate agents really put in some work to get the vendor to choose us (the other offers were from investors). Then I got a bit hysterical about seeing the mortgage broker because I just had no idea what he’d find in my credit check (no actual reason to be afraid, but I was very afraid!). But he was fantastic – I mean absolutely fantastic, and he’s done it for me.
I am just crossing my fingers that nothing on that is going to go belly up. We should be in our own home by Christmas, all being well. Now I must stop compulsively searching for furniture on Ebay.
So the down is tempered by an up. That’s life!
The UK Residence card application is going to be sent this week and then perhaps I can concentrate better on my new job..?!?! More on that later.