June flew by, yet was packed with both challenges and delights.
The first delight was Roseanne and Chris’s wedding, in Scotland, by Zoom. Rosie is Renee Cowan’s delightful granddaughter: very clever, highly capable, high achiever – a CEO of several prestigious companies and charities before she was 40 – and an absolutely sweet, wonderful person. We celebrated with friends, dressing up and enjoying afternoon tea with bubbles.
My time at school entailed much clearing up and clearing out, as I prepared to vacate my classroom and gather planning and resources for the coming year: a day and a half of teaching R.E. (It had also been referred to as a ‘weekly activity’ rather than a part-time position!) Still, it was very satisfying cleaning out cupboards and drawers, and taking cards and posters off the wall around my desk. I photographed most of the little messages which I had kept from the children over the years...I suspect I will find more squirreled away at home, once I embark on The Great Big Tidy Up in September....
Lots of little admin jobs, too: I won’t miss THAT aspect of class teaching. I even had to organise the hoodie order, where the children were each given a hoodie at the end of their time in Year 6. Hardly comes into the realm of teaching responsibilities...
June also saw us spend a LOT of time in the garden. Quite challenging to keep up with all the growth – plants seemed to explode. I’d barely cut one hedge before it sprouted up, inconsiderately, all over again. While Richard was busy heaving 35kg concrete blocks around to create hardstanding for the motorhome, I took over lawn trimming and hedge cutting... or perhaps lawn cutting and hedge trimming. In any event, the cables for the power tools have survived so far: I think I might have cut the hedge trimmer cable about four times in the last few years. At least Richard had the foresight to install RCD sockets outside.
|Found in the bush I chopped down. We replaced the bush with a jasmine: went to buy a Clematis montana only to find there were none to be had! Still, a jasmine has proved to be a welcome addition to the patio...|
Hedges which border the road in Guernsey have to be cut, by law, between June 1st and June 15th. We were comfortably within that but there was still much frantic activity in the days just before and after the final date, landowners relying on the inability of the constables to get round the lanes quickly enough to catch them out. One afternoon, my journey home was completely blocked by a tractor busily cutting, but more than compensated by the sight of swallows swooping and diving over the hedge, intent on insects, while a large dragon fly escorted me down the lane.
I always think that hedge cutting, though necessary for safety (cycling down some lanes has been rather like entering an underwater tunnel, and quite scary at times as there is no knowing when a vehicle might suddenly appear from the opposite direction), is rather a shame: the profusion of wild flowers is quite incredible. Wild daisies cover the banks with white, replacing the yellow brassicas which have shouted from the field borders over the last couple of months. Pink campion is everywhere; valerian shoots dark pink blossoms from the most unlikely of crevices; and the St PeterPort daisies bloom profusely.
That is just the wildflowers: this year, osteospernum and mesembryanthemum almost hurt the eyes with their brightness, particularly the luminous quality of mesembryanthemum.
Meanwhile, we were busy at home preparing to go away next month and leave the house for guests: quite a mammoth undertaking. It’s a great chance to declutter and springclean, requiring quite a lot of organisation. This year, I was very proud of my ‘changeover’ system, leaving linen, towel, etc particularly neatly organised in boxes, stacked high, for Beth to put out.
Richard was particularly busy, preparing the motorhome and repairing a toilet which had gone out of order. The latter took a great deal of hard work and several days... but at least the hardstanding will take a break until we return in September and there is less pressure to get it finished quickly. All really, really hard work.
Meanwhile: term accelerated to a close. We caught bad colds/sore throats., which meant ringing the Covid helpline, having a PCR test and then waiting for the results. The end of the month. I crawled back into school on July 1st...