Episode 9

These last couple of months have exposed some significant and worrying cracks in a crucial relationship for my working and personal life. Following weeks of fraught interactions and sullen tensions, it’s time to face the truth. Technology and I are having serious difficulties.
This might come as a shock to some of you, but it will not be a bombshell for those who know me well. I am that person who tries everything (drawing from an admittedly limited range of techniques) to make a device work (turn it off, turn it on again) and then fails. Enter someone else, ANYONE else (usually one of my children, or endlessly patient school IT colleagues), and with the simplest of key-strokes, the problem disappears.  It’s maddening.  I can actually feel my blood pressure rising as the aforementioned device sniggers at me, behaving impeccably for any other user apart from me.  Anyway, in this vein, my computer and I have always endured a strained relationship which recently has tipped over the edge i…

Episode 8

My husband has bought me a hammock. Although that sounds like it should be the first line of a limerick, it isn’t, for the simple reason that nothing rhymes with hammock...  It is, in fact, my birthday present* and it is probably one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. I have already spent a solid two hours gently swaying in its gentle embrace, reading my excellent new book** (an unexpected ‘not birthday’ present, from a very lovely person) alongside engaging in some pretty intense sky-staring and thinking***.  It is such a simple thing but in this sling made of fabric and rope, I have been gifted a genuine cocoon of luxury where I can hide away and be detached and alone (no need for an ineffectual ‘post it’ note out here). The younger members of the household are also unusually on board and have even taken to bringing me snacks and drinks at regular intervals. They must have been bribed and/or blackmailed into this behaviour, but I’m enjoying the outcome so am not going to question…

Episode 7

After hitting the lockdown wall last week, I received some salient advice that in turn led to a bit of an epiphany (or, and perhaps more appropriately, what alcoholics refer to as ‘a moment of clarity’).  I realised that something had to change so, after careful consideration, I said ‘No’ to something. I’ll just pause a moment while those of you who know me pick their jaws up from the floor.
Of course, being British, I actually said something along the lines of, “I’m terribly sorry, I really can’t meet that deadline, I do hope you understand, thank you very much and sorry again”. This was a somewhat unusual step for me, but was much needed and as a result the rest of my plates have (more or less) kept spinning. It struck me that although I find it difficult to admit that I’m finding things challenging, when I do the weight that lifts allows me to carry on with everything else.
All down to wonderful advice from exceptional friends. The tea towel in the photo above, hangs up in my kitch…

Episode 6

There's a post it note on the door to our music room which has had a lot of use lately, inspired by Caroline Bowen’s  recently posted picture on Twitter.  Her sign is a bit more detailed than my effort which just says "I'm BUSY ask Dad!" but it does convey the same message to the children: I am attempting, and probably failing, to continue to work in something vaguely resembling a normal fashion. I know it’s weird for you and you don't understand what's happening, but I need you not to disturb me while I try to achieve a tiny fraction of what I would expect to do in a typical day! It's challenging to say the least, and I want to take a moment to acknowledge that. The difficulties of working (or not working) from home whilst attempting to parent* and home educate** as well, at times feel insurmountable.
As I mentioned in earlier blogs I am a part time Music Teacher as well as a Music Education Hub manager. The flexible working patterns of two jobs has alwa…

Episode 5

I've got a song that's stuck in my head - not quite as bad as the one Joe Simpson had in Touching the Void* but it's not far off... it's also not really a typical ear worm and it's not the whole song. It begins "Where do we go from here, this isn't where we intended to be..."

As I'm sure you’ll all recognise, it's the opening line from You Must Love Me from Evita. Later it continues: "Certainties disappear, what do we do for our dreams to survive? How do we keep all our passions alive as we used to do?" Although strangely fitting, the lyrics are staying with me almost constantly which is less than ideal, and to paraphrase Ms. Minogue, I can't get them out of my head! Luckily, my permanent internal soundtrack has coincided with the locating of my missing headphones so I am at least able to block it out for a bit most days.
The lyrics have got me thinking though about the journey that we're on, this unending road to nowhere. Howe…

Noted - Episode 3 & 4

We're all facing difficulties just now, but it’s important we keep things in perspective. Some of us are seriously suffering. Like me. Because I've lost my headphones. This is causing all kinds of havoc as they are vital to my concentration levels while working from home and is doubly irritating as I know they are somewhere in the house! I actually know this to be undeniably true as I had them in the house last week and, given the current state of affairs, no-one has left the homestead until a couple of days ago. Which is when I realised I couldn't find them. They have to be here somewhere. This rising tide of eye-twitching frustration is something I’m familiar with as I'm no stranger to losing things, but in one sense I am grateful as it has given me a brainwave for this week’s blog.

Still attempting not to mention the un-mentionable* (which is becoming increasingly challenging, when it is all anyone else seems to be talking about) I am veering away slightly from the m…