Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Last days... there is always something nostalgic about last days, even when one is pleased to be moving on.

Today was my last official work day at my current school, but it's been a slow wind-down as I had little to do. However, I've already started doing work for the new school. I have several units of work to prepare, and my lab is in DIRE need of a clear out. I doubt my predecessor, nor hers, has done a proper spring clean, so we're talking about more than a decade's worth of accumulated junk... joy. Not. Sigh!

I had my first proper exit interview today. Previous schools have done something on a more informal basis, which I doubt had any effect. I hope today's interview has an impact. By the end of the interview, I was surprised by how much I've picked up about the running of the school in just 6 months - things that, it would appear, the senior management are not aware of; things that seriously need to change. (That is not to imply that the school is poorly run, or that I am glad to see the back of it - merely that no institution is perfect and there are always things that can be improved upon.)

I am sad to leave. Apart from a handful of horrid boys in my register class, I really liked the boys, and I really loved the staff. I made some good friends in my short time there, and I will miss them next year - one in particular. Since I was a young girl I always wished for a sister. I love my brothers dearly, but I always wanted a sister. I think I may have found her in the person of Paola - the most dear, wonderful, amazing, inspiring woman. I will miss her tremendously.

But in the midst of all this work related stuff, life has been mad. My birthday passed in a quiet fashion with a handful of friends popping over for drinks (which was actually quite raucous at one point). Nellie's birthday, however, spanned several events. Firstly there was the family tea with Graeme's family (which was also a celebration of my birthday), then the birthday tea at nursery with her classmates, then there was the dinner with the grandparents, and finally the party with the cousins and extended family. Sjoe! Marathon. She's still singing happy birthday to herself, so I think she's got the idea that she has a birthday month, not just a birthday week, or birthday! Hmm... shall have to work on this concept for my birthday....

We've also had major stress about her eating habits at home (or lack thereof), only to realise that all toddlers go through something like this, and that since she's grown 2.5cm in 3 months, we're doing something right. So - deep breath - I think we can relax a bit on this issue and stop beating ourselves up about it.

And so one chapter closes and another begins. The Christmas Mania. God knows how we're going to manage this every year. The birthday madness followed immediately by the Christmas madness. I think my brother has the right idea - buy a farm and disappear to it for the entire holidays. This year was going to be more stressful, I thought, but it's actually working out ok (so far!), which is saying something given that there are 3 families to accommodate (my folks are both remarried), plus it's Graeme's birthday on Christmas Eve, plus both our mothers have their birthdays around New Year (one on the 30th, one on the 1st), plus the various in-laws don't seem to get on with each other very well, plus it's our first Christmas at home in YEARS, with the first grandchild being in attendance. So - only mildly stressful.

But surprise, surprise - I actually think it's all going to work out ok. Graeme's doing a birthday tea for his family on the 23rd, his family are coming to us on Christmas day, one set of my parents aren't doing Christmas this year - they're joining my brother on the farm - so we'll see the other lot on Christmas Eve (and celebrate G's birthday with them then). Sjoe! That was easily handled, I thought. If only everything in life was that simple.

And things for next year are already looking more complicated. It seems that news of my business is already spreading - I'm not even fully into production yet, and I'm already getting queries about stocking my stuff in baby boutiques in other provinces!!! I'm thrilled, but it has rather upped the ante. So, I've taken the plunge and I've booked a stand at the Baba Indaba baby show in Cape Town in July 2008. It's costing me an arm and a leg, but I think the exposure will be good. Plus, I think having a deadline to work towards will help me a lot. (But it does mean that I will not be getting 6 weeks of holiday this summer, or 3 weeks over Easter next year!)
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