New Year lockdown

Pic Anne Williams

Back to school has been a bit different this term. As a family we were lucky to enjoy some time together, walking, playing board games and sitting by the fire at Christmas but we all agreed it didn’t feel very Christmassy this year. I think- more than ever – I associate Christmas with cold weather and so when it arrived in January I wanted to savour that slow holiday feeling that comes with a break from school.

Amidst the frantic scramble to move to online teaching and learning, keep everyone safe when I am in school on the teaching rota and allay the fears of my colleagues, students and parents about what is going to happen to GCSE and A Level assessment this year, I have carved out some time to go for walks, spend time tidying the garden and cook. I’ve ordered the second load of logs of the winter (our log store is more bijou than I would like) and have a stack of books ready to read when I switch off the work computer half an hour earlier in the evening. (Let’s hope I manage that!)

The weather in Wiltshire is crisp but not snowy and our ramble along the canal towpath was a bit boggy this afternoon but it was an hour of fresh air, living in the moment with my husband, nevertheless. Now I have a lot of preparation and marking to do before tomorrow. I also have a box of seville oranges to turn into marmalade sometime soon. I think I might add the last of the Christmas spiced rum to the pot.

Balance is everything.

How are you maintaining the balance in your life whilst working from home?

Making plans for next year

I’m filling in my 2021 diary, making plans for next year – I’m an optimist- determined to bring some balance to my life.

2020 did not bring the opportunity to spring clean the attic, clear cluttter, redecorate the entire house or learn Swedish. Neither did I sit back and reevaluate during lockdown. School life, if anything was busier than usual. The box of tulip bulbs in the garden shed that has been awaiting planting since October is a testament to that.

So what of 2021? More walking, more cooking, more gardening, directing a play, more family time, home improvements maybe finally getting that part in The Archers and, God willing, everyone staying healthy. All these are going in the diary before work commitments. Today’s first step was to pot up some paperwhites (finally) and to order these fragrant beauties for the garden – two more daphnes, a Carolina allspice and a winter honeysuckle.

Aftrr all, teaching is just a job. There. I’ve said it. Probably for the first time in my life. It’s what 2020 has taught me.

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