Sunday, 16 July 2017

Jumping June

Well, not really jumping. Just lots happening.


June jumped away from me. It is now half way through July. Oh dear.

June began with a wonderful visit from Jonny and Adele and Matthew and family. Cooking for eight! Lovely to have a houseful.

We slept in the motorhome – it seemed the easiest option before putting up our tent in the garden. #nexttime 

Jonny hung out with Tom in a kayak, gaining an impressive sunburn. Beautiful Adele plugged diligently away at reports. My nephews, Henry and Gabriel, were good fun and delightfully well—behaved.

I went back to school after a long weekend.  #nohalfterm #butwedobreakuptwoweeksearly 

School, of course, is fairly manic in June: writing and finishing reports; INSET; creating with the children, an inaugural ‘World War II museum’ showcasing all the children’s work this term; and a clash with my senior manager. She has been VERY difficult, culminating in a week off for me with work-related stress and abnormally high blood pressure. All very ‘interesting’, but the blood pressure is now under control and I’m now on holiday, anyway.

There were some bright spots, one of which was possibly THE best afternoon of my teaching career. A ‘transition afternoon’ had been arranged for the Year 6 boys to meet their prospective Year 7 tutors: out on a fifty foot pilot cutter.

Wow. Down at St Peter Port harbour, three vintage pilot cutters motored up to the quay and we embarked. SUCH fun. It was a gloriously sunny afternoon as we sat on deck, a small jib gently moving us along. Could have done with a little more wind, quite honestly, but it was a new experience for most of the children so at least we avoided sea sickness. It was just beautiful sailing peaceably to and fro beneath the cliffs outside the harbour.

I also managed to host an almost monthly breakfast. I’m never too sure who, out of the thirty women on my email list, will manage to attend but it is always the right number of people and a wonderful, encouraging atmosphere.  I always feel as if I’ve been on a mini-retreat after just an hour and a half of chatter and laughter over a relaxed meal.

Other news in June: revelling in the flowers emerging in the garden: the hydrangeas have gone bonkers, lilies appearing from almost nowhere, a myriad of tiny wild flowers dotted among the grass on the lawn.  A blitz on hawkweed, of course, which tends to take over; and much trimming of hedges and bushes, which seem to sprout tendrils as soon as you look away from them. Not to mention the weeds... #wildflowersbyanothername.

Vegetable –wise, the potatoes have done well, the broad beans thriving, rocket providing many a meal – wilted rocket has been a particular favourite; and pumpkins and butternut squash beginning to spread across the garden.

By the back door, the herbs were thriving and lettuce had grown large enough to be picked. Sadly, I forgot to take a photo of the clematis Nellie Moser in all its glory – getting on for a hundred deep purple flowers climbing up the wall and all over the tree branches which hang over the wall. Hostas had sprung up overnight, growing so thickly that the patio is unrecognisable from its winter self.

We have been intent on clearing up in preparation for going away at the beginning of July, ready for visitors in our absence. I slowly removed ornaments, packed away precious china, acquired and organised bedlinen and towels. It took us quite some time to think through all the paperwork, writing instructions and organising someone for grass cutting and cleaning. A lot of work, but once we have done it one time, it should be easier in the future.

Phew. I thought June had gone in a blur...

And in all of that... I was privileged to be able to say goodbye to dearest Renee, privileged to be with her daughter Wendy who had come to walk her mum home...tears and laughter and loving, loving memories.  I shall miss her so much.

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