Thursday, 28 June 2012

Another Reason For Loving My Job

Another week another student another amazing operatunity.
This is just going to be quick! Today I'm taking Marc to Arundel Castle we'll do a quiz and I'll set a sort of treasure hunt for him to do. If the weather is good, we'll take a trip on the river. All in a day's work for an English language teacher.
And tomorrow?

My student's Godfather is connected to Glyndebourne and we're going to see Rossini's La Cenerentola (Cinderella)as he has got us two tickets. So tomorrow will be taken up with preparing a suitable picnic and discussing the themes of Cinerella and it's relevence to modern society. Well, that's what the lesson plan will say.

Cheerio, I'm off to polish my opera glasses and shine my glass slippers, now where did I put my carriage?


Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Welcome to another WOYWW or should that be WOYBFW? The picture below might give you a clue as to the new acronym
During the summer I have to move my craft things to the bedroom and, when I have to make something, I usually use the bedroom floor!
What you can see is a Teresa Collins paper pack which I bought from Create & Craft a couple of weeks ago. Also a Martha Stewart score board and some paper pads which my niece got for me in America. All I need now is some time!
Can't wait to rip into this!
We have a new student now and he has settled in nicely, well apart from over sleeping on the first day and then getting up at 4.30 the next.
The last thing I want to share with you is a picture of a cake my son made at school. I am thinking that maybe the ability to cook is genetic!
If you want to have a look at some more workspaces, hop over to Julia's blog for a shufty.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Wave Goodbye Say Hello

So, Anton left on Saturday and I had approximately 24 hours before the arrival of the next student!
I took him to the airport and left him in the care of the airline representative and went for a coffee and bun at Costa. When children fly as unaccompanied minors, you have to wait until the flight has departed before you can leave. This is in case there are any problems with the flight as you are responsible for them until they depart these shores! I was so frustrated though, I'd taken a book which I thought would keep me busy but it was not to be. Have you noticed these days that publishers aren't happy with merely providing you with something to read they have to provide you with questions to ask at book clubs and the first chapter of the author's next book? Well, it's flipping frustrating when you think you've got loads of book to read when in actual fact there's only a few pages of the story to complete!
Anyway, I amused myself for a little while until I received a text from Anton, in perfect English of course, telling me that he was on the plane! Hooray, I could leave!
My husband and youngest son were at the pub and my eldest was out with a friend so I had the house to myself for half an hour! Bliss. Do you know what I discovered in the student's room? Receipts totalling £834.78. Can you imagine being 12 years old and being able to spend that much on exactly what you want to? Madness.
We treated ourself to a curry and had a lovely evening just the four of us.
The next day was spent frantically cleaning, hoovering and shopping for the next visitor. Marc arrived around 2pm and seems to have brought the sunshine with him. We went to the pier for a little while just to give him some fresh air and a taste of the British seaside.
He spent the afternoon bonding with the children over a spot of mindless violence and killing (xbox!) then we had a big roast dinner. Another convert to Yorkshire puddings and gravy! You have no idea how hard some things are to explain to people!
Luckily, Marc likes football and wanted England to win last night. Unluckily, his wish wasn't granted so let's hope Spain do well in the semi finals.
So far so good this summer with the students. Last year was awful with 2 students out of four being awful! Looking forward to 7th July when I have a week off.
I'll leave you with another flower as I haven't got anything interesting to show you! This is the lavender in my garden and I was given the instructions on how to make lavender sugar yesterday. I'm going to give it a try and then make lavender scones and biscuits. Hopefully the snail spit will have gone by then!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Why I Love my Job (sometimes!)

I haven't always been an English teacher. When I left school in 1979 I went to work in the Midland Bank in Brighton. I went on to have a very successful career and would probably still be there if my first husband hadn't decided that he didn't love me anymore!
As my whole life had fallen apart I decided to make a complete break and left my well paid job and moved to Turkey, a little bit like Shirley Valentine. Before I went I paid £120 to do a weekend TEFL course, thinking that I could teach English whilst I was there. Well I had a very eventful time there and, when I have time, I will write a novel about it! I did do a little teaching while I was there, even though I now know I wasn't even remotely qualified to.
When I came back to the UK I eventually got a job at Gatwick Airport and on my days off I earnt £15 per hour teaching my mum's Japanese student English, finally earning back the money I'd paid out on the course.
Time passed, I met my husband and we settled down and had two children and I continued working at the airport. Then one day I was in a local park and got chatting to an Italian au pair and I offered my services as an English teacher. Whilst we were chatting she told me about homestudy teaching. I hadn't heard of it before, I knew about hosting foreign students whilst they studied at language schools but not about hosting students and teaching them yourself. 
This chance meeting not only made me a new friend but also set me on my new career path. That year I signed up for a TEFL course at a local college and the rest, as they say, is history.
And the reason I love my job? I'll let the pictures tell their own story.
 Playing a game practising the use of 'will' for decisions
The outdoor classroom

The view from my desk
This was Wednesday's lesson.
On Thursday we went to London as my student loves Paddington Bear and he wanted to see Paddington station. I was also taking him to see Horrible Histories at the Garrick Theatre. Before the trip Anton had prepared a presentation on Paddington Bear, he'd also prepared some activities for me to do including a quiz! During our trip we had some wonderful discussions about security, terrorism and the differences in our two countries. All this whilst being paid handsomely!
Seriously, if you've ever thought of changing your career, I would urge you to consider teaching English. You meet the most wonderful people along the way and get to share our history and culture and learn more about life in other countries.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Another very quick post for WOYWW

One of the bonuses of working from home is that you can be spontaneous, so today I am taking my student out for his English lesson! We will go to a garden centre where he can help me choose plants then we are going to a local garden to do some activities in the sunshine then we will come home and after lunch he can help me plant my tubs! It's called 'Functional English'

If you want to see some more crafty desks, head over to the stamping ground for a quick nosey!

Quick before the sun goes in

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A Quick One

Quick, I have to collect my son in 18 minutes to take him to the podiatrist! He has had an infected ingrowing toenail since March. It is so gross! Unfortunately, he has inherited the 'Morris' toes, nothing to do with my side of the family of course.

So, what have I been up to? Well, on Saturday I saw something which I have never seen before. No, not the bottom of the washing basket, the Trooping of the Colour ceremony.
How wonderful it was seeing the pomp and ceremony we are so good at.

I saw the Queen, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton,Prince Andrew, Beatrice, Eugene and Claire Balding!
All followed by a 42 gun salute and a fly past.
Sunday was Father's Day and we all went to my mother-in-law's where she laid on a full cooked breakfast for 14 people, she is a marvel. Then it was back home to cook rib eye roast beef for my Dad. It was good to see him as he'd been away in America for 4 weeks visiting my sister. 
Here is the card I made him

That has to be the quickest ever post! Sorry for any typos as I don't have time to check it's 13.51 and I have to be at school at 2

Friday, 15 June 2012

The Positive Side of the Internet

We hear so many negative stories about the internet that I thought I'd share something positive which happened to me last night.

In December I ordered a package from October Afternoon, yes this is a wonderful side of the internet, the ability to shop anywhere in the world at any time but this is not want I want to share with you. When the package arrived there was some things in there that I didn't quite know what to do with, so I posted a question on the October Afternoon Facebook page. I received an answer from an American lady and she suggested adding her as a friend so that I could see what she had made with the products.
Anyway, time passed and we made the odd comments on each other's statuses and photos, she has recently started a little furniture business and I really wished I could buy some of her things as they are beautiful. I suggested it would be a good idea to start a blog as a way to expand, I gave her the link to my blog just to give her an idea.
Then last night, after 24 internet free hours, I logged into Facebook and read this wonderful message from her:

My dear UK friend (whom I've never met, but thru an October Afternoon kinship have bonded with)

'I read your blog tonight and, oh my goodness. You are a strong, talented and tough woman! I've had a lot of really bad luck the last year, and sat around and felt horribly depressed for the longest time. But, during my depression, I always looked forward to your status. ........
You are an inspiration, and I am looking forward to reading your next blog. Keep your chin up, there is happiness to come.
From your friend across the pond.

I hope you don't think me conceited for publishing this, but it really made me feel good inside to know that I can touch someone, or amuse someone, whom I've never met.
Maybe that's the secret!
I'll leave you with a photo of my new swimming pool.

Friday, 8 June 2012


Here I am! Thank you all so much for your kind comments on my last post. I'm feeling a little cheerier as I think the medication is starting to work.
So, what's been going on?
I had a traumatic week last week, my eldest son was sick in the night, a very rare occurrence for him, so I had a mainly sleepless night. The following morning he had a major epileptic fit and I had to dial 999, we then spent a few hours in A&E with him being monitored as he was dehydrated.

The following night I was up and down with my youngest as he felt unwell! So in two nights I had four hours sleep. Come Friday they were both fit and well but I was suffering from sleep deprivation but a trip to the beach soon perked me up 
It's amazing what the sea air can do for you.

This is only going to be a quick post as I'm supposed to be working! I had a 12 year old Russian boy arrive on Sunday, he's staying with me for three weeks. Luckily, he's a very nice boy and my children get on well with him. We had a rather awful Russian student last year and I had been worried that this was going to be a nightmare too!
Take care and I'll leave you with a little flower