I have been ill. not just ill, but reeeaaallyy ill! Only I can go to frickin' Nepal and come back with bronchitis! Bronchitis! Err, isn't that what old people get, OMG am I old???? Anyway my energy levels have been on a go slow, I haven't even managed to drag my sorry arse to the gym, and that is saying something! I love the gym and I'm missing my fellow class girlies - but I am very grateful for the sympathies they have sent me! I have still been going to work though, it would have been worse if I had taken to my sick bed as the work doesn't stop piling up if you're not there, although in hindsight that is probably why I still feel like crap a whole month on...... Work has been a bitch, I almost felt that I might die if there was any more piled on, but I am nearly out the other side and that's a good feeling! well,.ummm, apart from the 23 folios I have to organise over the next couple of weeks at 2 hours each of 121 meetings! All of you lovely people who feel inspired enough to want to teach on the back of my blog and regularly mail me, yep it is the best job in the world and the students are great (mine are the best ever), but the workload is immense, and you never get a week night or a weekend to yourself in term time, so please be prepared for this! Over the last 3 weeks I have..... written 40 end of term reviews - each take at least 1/2 hour to write, sometimes more, started mentoring a prospective student teacher, read, re-read and advised on 30+ personal statements for the same amount of UCAS applications, marked a whole pile of project work, encouraged 7 terrified fashion students to take part in our version of Dragon's Den, and coughed my way through the subsequent presentations to the point of almost vomiting (sorry girls), re-written and delivered two new project briefs, as well as the accompanying Powerpoints and props, organised (ON. MY. OWN.) a trip to London for 50 students and 5 staff to see some amazing lecturers by some amazing arts practitioners (the promise of which was what kept me going) at the London Institute of Education, which included squeezing 30 quid (no mean feat), a medical form and a code of conduct form out of all of them, compiling a contact list for the whole lot, typed by hand because I couldn't work out to do it the way our old secretaries would, filled in a whole pile of risk assessments and then encourage 3 separate managers to also sign their names to them, and then deliver them to the right place so that they could be held on file and then have a meltdown when I discovered I had only managed to actually sell 48 places, leaving a deficit of £60, so college wouldn't pay the lecture organisers in advance (as requested) without the assurance that said deficit could be met, meaning that I had to go direct to the holder of the purse strings and collect a cheque so that I could take it by hand so we would get let in!. To add to my stress, on the morning of the trip the coach didn't turn up on time either because a car had hit it. Safe to say that me organising another trip is a loooooong way off! And on top of all this, we, as a department, had a round of observed lessons - marvellous. This means that we were given a window of 3 days during which one of our mangers could turn up and observe our teaching relatively unannounced, so effectively we were planning an average of 9 lessons each, and of course your natural instinct is to devise sessions which are perhaps a little more dynamic than they might ordinarily be, and as all of your intentions have to be spelt out on official lesson plan forms too, this generates a great deal more work which prevents you from getting on with other things, not ideal when work is already coming out of your ears...... So of course mine turned out to be on the last day of my window time, at 8.50 in the morning and with someone who is not, by their own admission, creative. Brilliant. Out of 23 students only 4 were there on time and this was probably the least interesting lesson I had planned - wouldn't you just know it.... Oh, and did I mention that I had bronchitis.....
I have done some nice things too though, if i hadn't I would have been really fed up! So I have been to the theatre to see Soul sister (about Tina and Ike Turner), started my Christmas shopping with a lovely day out with my Mum, and done my first Christmas market - 3 more to go, but sadly I was too ill to do the one I was most looking forward too, - so I didn't get to gossip with the lovely ivy black chat http://ivyandruby.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/prints-charming.html - gutted.
I am now on my second lot of antibiotics, keep yer fingers crossed that these ones work! I have also resorted to desperate measures to get rid of my debilitating cough, including drinking the syrup made from sliced onion and brown sugar! It actually isn't that bad! Didn't work though, but thanks Mary for the recipe!
Onion and sugar syrup, mmmmmm!
Dragon's Den - the girls did well!
Trina - wedding planner extraordinaire!
The cakes went down well!
Jenny - helping new designers get on in the fashion world.
Nicole and Emma-Jane, storming the interiors market.
Menai, baking up a storm.
Daniella going all fashionista.
And Sian, impressive swap shop entrepreneur!
Grayson as "Claire" his alter ego....
Emi Wokoma was incredible.
And through all my misery my impressively supportive husband (Mr Bicknell) who has also had very little sleep thanks to my incessant coughing,has kept me going with hearty brunches - although he looks far more excited than I think I was by his cooking!!