Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The View from a New Decade

I woke up this morning to a new decade. No, I haven't suddenly learned to time-travel. As of 9:21 a.m., I am no longer twenty-something. But to be honest, I don't really feel that different. Perhaps if I wasn't so "settled" in my personal life, I'd feel differently, but the fact is that turning 30 hasn't caused me to have an identity crisis or an emotional breakdown. In fact, I look forward to my thirties. I'd never want to repeat my awkward teenage years, and though I had some good times in my twenties and experienced some of life's milestones (highlights being, of course, graduating from college and graduate school, meeting and marrying The Other Half, and giving birth to my first child) overall I was far too self-concious. At 30, I feel much more confident in myself. Perhaps I'll feel differently in another 10 years, but right now the view from a new decade looks pretty good.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Other Jersey

It's been a busy couple of weeks here finishing off the school term and preparing for our upcoming trip to the States, so, needless to say, once again I have been neglectful of the blog. Sometimes it's hard to believe I've made it through my first year back in the classroom; other times, it feels like it's been three years. But before the onslaught of reports and other end-of-term chaos ensued, I was able to enjoy four days on the island of Jersey -- if you can call chaperoning a group of seventh grade students "enjoyment." I survived three nights away from home (my first since Crumpet was born) and was so busy I didn't even have time to suffer any of the separation anxiety I had been dreading since agreeing to go on the trip back in April.

Jersey, which is the largest of the Channel Isles, is home to the famous Jersey cows, Jersey royal potatoes, and a number of off-shore banks. There are no Tescos, Asdas, or other major UK chains, and with less than 100,000 permanent residents the island really retains it continental charm. Luckily, we didn't encounter any major problems, which is always a risk on school trips, and instead were able to enjoy many of the sights and activities that Jersey has to offer. We played mini-golf on the best course I have played on since my childhood visits to Florida and went bowling, which I haven't done in years (and I can honestly say that age has not improved my game). The students kayaked and surfed. If it had been a tad warmer, I would have joined them in kayaking, but I stayed on dry land and enjoyed the views from the beach. We even managed to fit in a couple of history lessons by visiting the Jersey War Tunnels and Mont Orgueil (a.k.a. Gorey Castle), both of which I highly recommend.

This little trip was simply a teaser and has certainly made me want to return and explore more of the island, as well as neighboring Guernsey and Sark (which is car-free), with The Other Half and Crumpet. Somehow, my list of ideal holidays keeps growing and growing. If only my bank account would keep growing with it....

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Packing for One

I am off tomorrow on a 4-day school trip to Jersey (the one in the Channel Isles, not the one on the east coast of the USA), so today I have been running around doing laundry, printing itineraries, and organizing Crumpet's food and clothes to make things easier for Daddy in my absence (although, to be fair, I know I shouldn't worry too much because he's sometimes better at the daily rituals than I am; he does have lots of practice as the "primary carer"). The thing I'm finding hardest (apart from the impending separation anxiety I'm sure I'll experience) is remembering that I only have to pack for myself. What's that like? I'm so used to packing the house that it's weird realizing I do have room for an extra pair of shoes (even though I know I shouldn't pack them because I probably won't wear them). I must remind myself that I don't need to pack nappies, wipes, or distracting toys. Although the latter might come in handy for some of the 13-year-olds I'll be chaperoning.