Sunday, 26 January 2014

Things That Have Been Good

It's been another busy couple of weeks in Sally-Land.

Work is generally good.  The kids aren't where I wish they were in terms of behaviour (lord knows what they were doing from Sept-Dec), but new strategies are gradually coming together and there is improvement.  For instance, this week I finally found the trick to get them tidying up to a level I find to be acceptable.  This coming week, it's nailing down on a group of boys who will do no work all afternoon unless I breathe down their necks the whole time.  They aren't maliciously NOT doing it.  It's just a case of 6-year-old boy-itus.  They WILL be trained to my whims!


Things That Have Been Good -

  • After watching the recent season 3 of 'Sherlock' on BBC1.  I've now been working through the earlier seasons and wondering why on earth I didn't watch them previously?  They are clever, witty, funny, intelligent.  And Benedict Cumberbatch is insanely hot.  ;)
  • I am STILL working my way through 'Winter Of The World' and am now just passed the half-way mark.  It's huge, over 900 pages of dense type.  I am still enjoying it a lot, but am increasingly ready to read something else.
  • A while ago now, the new Dan Brown book 'Inferno' was realised in hard-back.  Say what you like about him, but I LOVE his books.  Nope, they aren't particularly high-brow, he plays rather fast and loose with the truth, but they are a darn good read.  Now, when it was released, I thought I'd be frugal and wait for the paperback.  Why pay £9 at Tesco, when I could pay £3 at Tesco in a few months?  Well, months and months have passed, I keep checking online, and there is NO indication that 'Inferno' is going to be released on paperback any time soon.  So I have caved in and paid £7 for a secondhand copy from Amazon...  The intention was there, at least.  I can't wait to read it, but am going to hold of until I'm finished with WOTW.
  • Since September, I have been actively documenting all the surveys/product tests I do.  I don't think I've talked about them previously, but since then, I've made about £140 in vouchers, and perhaps another £30 in physical products.  Then when you add that to the £400 I've made doing my once-a-week tutoring, it's not to be sniffed at.  There isn't really a need for me to be doing any of this, but it adds up and has sort of morphed into my "treats" fund. 
  • Currently, the tutoring is showing no signs of coming to an end.  And while it is still worth it to me, I'm not going to be the one to end it.  It's 10 minutes prep and a very easy/quick hour of tutoring.  If would be stupid of me to say "I don't think there is any more I can do".  And when this deal comes to a natural end, I will actively look for another client.  Who'd have thought I would ever end up making money as a private maths tutor?  Certainly not me!  But perhaps me, as someone to whom maths never came naturally, but now has a teacher qualification, is actually the perfect tutor.  Because I understand just what it is like to NOT get it, and have the necessary patience to really break it down?
  • I've been enjoying Pinterest a lot lately.  You can check out my account here:

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Hello there, blog.  How's things?

Things round here, are busy.  The new job ticks along and I am getting into a routine.  There always seems to be an awful lot to do.  That "to do list" never seems to quite get down to zero, but I guess it's all about trying to prioritise what needs to be done right now, and what can wait a week or two.

Ummm...  I haven't really done anything this weekend...  I've read a lot of "Winter Of The World" by Ken Follett.  It's one of those massive paperbacks, that are almost too big to hold comfortably.  It's the second in a trilogy.  I didn't love the first one, but this one was so cheap (£3 in Tesco) that I thought I'd try it, and so far, I'm enjoying it a lot more than the first in the series.  I do like a big book that I can get stuck into.


So...  I read a lot of that...  I watched a LoveFilm disc that I've had hanging around since pre-Christmas, which was stupid of me.  It was 'Salmon Fishing In The Yemen' and was on my list as just a "might be okay to watch sometime" film, and when it was delivered, I was never really in the mood to watch a film I was only "blah" about seeing at all.  Anyway, yesterday, I resolved that I'd watch half an hour to see if it grabbed me, and then send it back in the post today.  In the end, I watched the whole thing, and enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
I really must get better with LoveFilm.  It costs me £8 a month, and if I'm on the ball, I can get through 1 a week, with turn around times.  But I go through phases of being into it, and watching a lot of films, and other phases of being completely not-thrilled.  Which is weird, because actually watching a film is a fantastic relaxation/wind-down activity for me, and with a hectic, pressurized job, I should make better use of the relaxation techniques I know work for me.  And I know what films I like.  I like comedies and dramas.  I don't like horror or sci-fi.


I had a text earlier from my NQT partner teacher, saying she was poorly and probably won't be in tomorrow. 
We alternate who teaches what, on what days, so I've had to make sure that her class have something to do tomorrow, in case she doesn't provide anything.  I mean, she's sensible so probably will, but I don't want to be scrabbling around at 8am tomorrow morning in case she doesn't.  Anyway, I didn't really need that at 6pm on a Sunday night.


I got given an iPad from school before Christmas.  Loving it!  It's too nice being able to lie in bed to catch up with my YouTube subscriptions, or to have access to the web in a matter of seconds, as opposed to a 5-minute desk top boot-up.  It's also great for answering those sudden random questions you have in the middle of a TV programme.  For instance, shortly into the new year, I had a sudden desire to know how old someone on the telly was, who happened to be in a programme I was then watching.  The iPad gave me the answer in less than a minute.
I've also used it a couple of times to hook into YouTube at bed-time for some relaxation music/guided meditation tracks.  I used them on my iPod sometimes, when I was having all the saga at Berkshire school, and still use them intermittently when my mental to-do list won't stop rattling round my head.  And now, with my newly-upgraded unlimited internet, and the iPad, I can lie it on the bed next to me and find a suitable track on YouTube, of which there are LOTS.  Very useful.


My mate Louise contacted me yesterday to ask if I wanted to do a spa afternoon at Rushton Hall with her in February.  I had an afternoon tea there early last year and was very impressed with the place, so I've agreed to go to that, which will be nice.
I still need to re-arrange my trip to Cambridge with Laura...  But keep putting off actually setting a date.  I'm still kind of anxious at the thought of it, which really annoys me!  I was actually thinking about my accident yesterday evening.  I don't know what triggered it, but it put me in a right bad mood.  It was the first time in weeks that I'd thought about it, to be honest.


Let's finish with a funny video. 
I've got a lot of time for Ricky Gervais.  Many people hate him, but I find him hysterical.