"In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony."

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Right, let's talk about writing!

I have always loved writing and had ambitions of being a writer.  A grand ambition?  Well, I suppose that depends on how you define a writer.  My personal ambition of being a writer isn't to be the author of a bestseller but to have something out there for others to read.  I always imagined this path to be full of rejection letters and years (if not decades) of frustration.  But, things look as if they are changing with the emergence of the kindle and my ambition of being a writer may not be as far away as I thought.

Years ago I wrote half of a novel in a month while working full time.   I have often thought about completing that story but after ten years, I am a different person and also a different writer.  I would have to almost re-write it to make it what I would be happy with so, for now, it can sit on my hard drive.

My new plot for a novel came to me back in March.  I wrote down my ideas, my characters and in my head it all started to come alive and it was so exhilarating.  Then, Ofsted arrived, my daughter was in hospital, I went into labour at work and generally, life has got in the way since.  But, this week, I realised that life will always be in the way if I let it and if I was going to write, it would have to be now.

I am on courses to get qualified for my new business in October to November and am starting the business in December. I also finish my maternity leave in April and go back to teaching.  So, if I am going to write, it has to be now!  Right this minute really!  I have 40 days and nights before my course and am aiming for 100,000 words ish, so need to write 2500 a day.  But not sure how realistic that is so have also calculated that I could do 1000 words a day for 100 days, which would mean that it would be completed before the business starts.

Right, I had better get cracking then.  Might be a bit busy for a while so if I am quiet, you know why.

Monday, 29 August 2011

August 25th - GCSE results day!!!

Four days ago was a major day in the Davey household.  For the last two years, Michael has been studying for his GCSEs and the 25th of August was verdict day.  I have spent the last two years watching (and nagging) Michael to complete his coursework, to meet the deadlines and do some studying.  In the weeks of the exams, I would remind him to revise instead of playing the XBox and was generally met with comments, such as "It's alright, if I don't know it by know, I never will, so there's no point in revising."

It was a worrying time.  Especially when, as a teacher, you know how hard GCSEs.  I know they say they are getting easier each year, but I honestly don't think they are.  When I did my English GCSE, it was 100% coursework and no exam.  Now students have to know at least 24 poems and a novel (without notes) plus be able to analyse unseen texts.  When I did my Drama GCSE, there was no exam - you just had to act.  Now they have to analyse a range of plays and their own abilities.  And that is just two examples.  It was definitely easier in my day.

I think I was more worried than Michael especially as there was so much riding on him getting a 'B' grade in English, when he was only predicted a C/D.  Fortunately, I am an English teacher and examiner, so I was able to help him at home on a one to one basis in the last few days - any more than helping in the last few days would have been too much for the mother/son relationship which I have always tried to separate from being a teacher.

So, the day came and off we drove to school.  Neither of us spoke on the way.  Opening the envelope, we were both a bag of nerves but we didn't need to be, for Michael surpassed my predictions and got 4 Bs (including the necessary English) and 6 Cs.  He was a little disappointed not to get an A grade in PE or RE but then he did better in other subjects than predicted and 10 GCSE passes for a child with dyslexia who needed a scribe for his exams was brilliant.

The following day, Michael went to college to enrol but found out that he was one point short of what was needed to do all 4 A Levels, so he has dropped Psychology but still going to do A Levels in Law, Philosophy and Media Studies.  That should keep him busy for a while!

So one year of nervous waiting for results done.  Just next year (for AS Level results) to do, the following year (for A Level results) to get through and then the following year, we will be awaiting Natasha's GCSE results and so it will continue.  Augusts are going to be very stressful for the next 7 years!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

35 today!

Eeeek. A birthday.  And a round number - 35.  For some reason, I am not a fan of birthdays.  Not sure why but if I could get away with ignoring it, I would.  Of course, I am grateful to those who have sent cards and presents but I just dread it each year.  Still, it is only for 24 hours and then it is over for another 364 days - thank goodness.

So, I am now 35 and apparently middle-aged.  I certainly don't feel it though.  Look like it maybe!  More like 21 most of the time.  Certainly don't feel mature enough to be responsible for five children and a mortgage.  Oh, and the cats (and husband).  Maybe one day, I will feel my age.  But then the older I get, the quicker time goes, so perhaps I will never catch it up.

I wonder what this year will bring?  Well, the first thing will be my son's GCSE exam results tomorrow.  I am not sure who is more worried - him or me.   And it only seems like yesterday that I was getting my own exam results.  Keeping everything crossed that he will be pleased and that it is enough to get onto the college courses that he wants to do.  If not, I am not sure what he will do (or what I can do to sort it out).

Other things this year?  Well, no more pregnancies, that is for sure.  I think five children is more than enough although I do enjoy being pregnant.  So, I am going to distract myself by throwing myself into running my own business and working hard in my employed status, as well as running around after my children and supporting them in their hobbies and interests.

I am also really hoping to write a book but that is on the back burner for now as I keep changing my mind about the topic and don't have the time at present anyway.  But I will do it!  I think the way forward is to make a decision, set the alarm for 5am every morning and just do it.  I have 7 months left of maternity leave so 1 month to decide and 6 months to write it.  Okay, realistically, maybe another couple of years but I might actually start this year.

I also would like to take up some form of fitness.  After all, I am middle-aged now and will need to start working at keeping myself trim.  Not sure what to do though.  I have never stepped into a gym in my life and don't fancy starting now with all of those fit and healthy 20 year olds.  Running is free but I am useless at it.  Maybe going back to dance classes is the answer, although I need a babysitter so that is also problematic.  The simple answer is to keep doing what I have been doing - nothing!

So halfway to retirement (well, I think it will be at least 70 by the time I get there) and am I happy in work?  Actually, yes. I wouldn't change my job although I wouldn't mind cutting the hours a little to have a bit more time for other interests in the week but wouldn't we all?  Unfortunately, the pay isn't the same for part-time as full-time and my mortgage is a long way to being paid off.  Still, I am in a job that I enjoy and not everyone can say that.

I also have a lot to be grateful for - friends in particular.  I am blessed by good friends and I don't know what I would do without them.  I also have five beautiful and healthy children.  They may not be angels (and no children or adult is) but I am proud of them all.  Well, I am today.  Ask me tomorrow when Michael gets his exam results and the answer might be different, but today they are all fantastic in my eyes.

Only two hours left and that will be another birthday over for another year and I have to remember another age.  Thirty-five.  When I was 15 years old, that seemed like an ancient age.  Now I have reached it and it seems far less ancient.  How our perspectives change with age.  I wonder what else will change before my next birthday?