I have made a half-term resolution to blog more often. This is bad news for whoever still bothers to read this (blah blah blah), but a positive effort on my part, to try and maintain the cheery mood that has lingered for the last couple of weeks.
School is going reasonably well. I have had two 'good' inspections; one from OFSTED and the other from Westminster LEA. I am up to date with my marking. I am keeping my head down and trying not to get involved with the gossiping networks that pervade all staffrooms across the UK. I have not been stabbed or happy slapped, yet. I have only made two children cry. And it is only seven weeks until the Christmas hols.
Last week James and I had a much-needed city break in Berlin. It is, without doubt, the coolest place I have ever been in my life. Everything there just works. For a place with such a troubled and tragic history it is the most tolerant and 'together' city that I have encountered (in my, I admit, somewhat limited travelling portfolio). We stayed in a tongue-in-cheek DDR retro hostel in East Berlin, amongst the rows and rows of identical towering grey apartment blocks. It looked bleak, but felt quite cosy. We tried to fit as much into our trip as possible, leaving room for beer drinking and sausage eating, but I was most impressed by a visit to the Stasi headquarters. It's quite a way off the main tourist drag, and barely signposted, but an utterly fascinating and terrifying testimony to a ludicrous regime. I took some photos of the mental surveillance equipment that they used, and will hopefully post them as soon as I work out how to get them out of my dad's digital camera.
I haven't felt like lying down and switching off, or rampaging through Oxford Street with my Solo card for a few months now. The routine and stability of my home and my job has evened me out marvellously. The only problem now is that I find myself occasionally terrified of losing everything that I have worked so hard for, especially James, who made it all possible.
The new flat is really starting to feel like home. I love coming home to the suburbs every night and almost forgetting I live in London. I am currently hoarding items and cultivating a Moomin themed bathroom.
What else? Oooh, yes. I am VERY excited about going to Westfields Mall as it is very close to my school. I will try and drag my workmate Andraya there this week and take a few snaps of it's shiny newness.
Just read this back. It sounds very rushed and rusty. Ah well. I can't be arsed to rewrite it.