Monthly Archives: January 2009

Epiphany on a beach

There are a lot of things I have trouble accepting. There are a lot of reasons that I sometimes get angry. It is called baggage everyone has it, some more some less; basically you can either carry it and complain or leave it behind.

 

I have gripes. I live in the sun and love my job but I have my own things I need to make peace with .

 

1.I will never have loads of money. My financial projections were all wrong. Now I am trying to make that okay in my head. I have a theory that richer people have more heart disease because they are stressed from all that hard work and worry about getting the latest bag and keeping track of all the cash. I, on the other hand just need a bit more money and I’ll have a healthy heart.

2.I will never have very long thin shapely legs,with gorgeous calves and delicate ankles. Not much to be happy about there. Not sure I can love my body but can probably learn to like it, a bit.

3. Elements of my childhood that I have to shrug off. Like a fluffy dandelian I just need to count and blow. Or turn it into fluff.

4.I have certain tendencies to be bossy and controlling towards the gentle and handsome man I live with. I need to accept him exactly the way he is. It is interesting that a lot of strong and bossy women try to change aspects of their husbands, some even to the point of divorce. Eventually, and for most women this is after the kids leave home, she has a choice. Stay or go. (Sometimes the husband shocks her by being the one to turn round and leave). Wouldn’t it be great to start accepting the husband earlier and just enjoy the ride?

 

So there it is. Money/Body/Man.

 

The point I am trying to make is really a question. Does acceptance come with age? (Not for everyone, mind you, some stay poor fat and bitchy), but there are those who make peace with it all and are much happier.

 

So this is my big epiphany: 

 

Happiness simply comes from not being mad anymore.

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On a Thursday?

So there I was on the beach and I was alone with my husband, it was sunny, the place was empty, the light was gorgeous and it was a THURSDAY! 

 

When I got home from school at 2pm I had flumped on the sofa and said “I’m bored” . I didn’t want to face another afternoon of homework, a nap, some tv and then dinner. “I wish we could DO something” I whined.

 

The handsome man I live with who luckily is not at work these days suggested we go to the beach. I knew this would not go down well the girls.  As I suspected, they stomped and got cross and complained and suffered and pulled faces so I said “FINE!” I got a baby sitter, slipped jiggled into my bikini and off we went. Within 40 minutes I had a green sands in my hand, sand on my toes and my face in the sun. There was even a gentle breeze just to make it more perfect. After talking like uninterrupted grown ups we went for a swim then came out and had ANOTHER green sands (wow, ginger beer!) the drive home involved sandy bare feet on dashboard, wind in hair, a great view, golden dappling light and some very cool French tunes. 

 

Why is this the first time I have done this?


 

Some people have date night, with a meal and maybe a movie. I am going to initiate Thursday afternoon dates. It’ll totally be worth the 20 in baby sitter $$$$.

 

And coming home all sandy in the middle of the week is really a slice of heaven.

 


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Big 2009 Decisions

Back to school, back to real life. The problem with holidays is that towards the end I fear them ending. I can’t imagine ever going back to my real life and the hard routine of waking at 6 and dragging our selves through breakfast and into school. Day 2 and I am fully back in the swing. That alarm clock is evil, however.

Routine, discipline, getting out of the house, talking with other humans; these are all imperative to my sanity. The first few days of vacation are a blissful stream of hours spent doing nothing. Guilt free nothing. Three weeks later, guilt sets in and I am gnashing at the bit to get out.

On the 28th of January I am going to London to the International Teacher’s Job fair. (CIOS) I will be leaving my children with the capable handsome man I live with and my students in the hands of a sub. (They will not be happy).

The CIOS School fair takes place in a London hotel over 4 days. Interviews will be held and most applicants will be offered a job by the end of the fair.  I have picked London so I can visit family and enjoy some London culture and shopping at the same time! I have fantasies about a waiter, white table cloths and being served cold wine with a very good meal.

Out of the 102 schools attending the fair 35 are looking for English teachers and of those I would instantly rule out about 20 so here’s hoping I get an interesting offer from the other 15! The short list as it stands today is this:


Ghana (sounds amazing!)

UK (I have no IB experience so unlikely)

Paris (See above)

Amsterdam (see above)

San Francisco (would love it!)

Beijing (At first I ruled this out but then looking at the school it seems very interesting)

Jordan (not sure, maybe)

Egypt (the job is not really my profile but I would love Egypt.)

Laos (Very remote, but looks good.)

Oman (could be cool.)


Dubai (only if I really have to)

 

These are rejected:


Saudi Arabia (are you mad?)

Switzerland (snooty expensive boarding school)

Germany (not keen on living in Bavaria)

Malawi (A fundamentalist missionary school)

Ecuador (would love it but what would husband do there?)

Ukraine (too cold and Russian)

Kazakhstan (see above)


 

In case you are confused there are multiple jobs in many of the countries so the numbers do add up.

All will be revealed on February 2nd.  (I hope).

“The Future’s so bright I have to wear shades?”

Or”

I am running so fast I need to lose the heels?”

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10 wishes

January 1st was a miserable day. I have never been a big fan of the New Year. Rather than looking forward I seem to brood and look back. It is a day of uncertainty and worry for me and I tend to feel anxious rather than positive about what lies ahead. 2008 was an amazing year for me personally. I loved my job, I started a blog, I read an extraordinary amount, I felt creative and artistic and generally more comfortable with myself than I had ever felt. But for our family it was a difficult and uncertain year since it was the Year of Unemployment for the Handsome Man I Live With.

Now as I am facing 2009 I have no idea where, what, how we will be. I know that we will be leaving this sweet island on July 1st. That is it. Can you imagine havimg no idea where you will be in 6 months? 

 

For that reason I have only one resolution and that is to stay positive. And if I fail I will hide under my blankets until the moment passes. 

 

These are my wishes for 2009:

 

  1. Employment x2.
  2. To move somewhere warm, safe, inspiring that we can bring our dog.
  3. To write, photograph and create.
  4. To see my girls flourish and be happy and not be too sad or shattered by yet another move.
  5. To get all the cousins together and to hear them laugh.
  6. To live the adventure as a family and not let the stress get us down.
  7.  More Love, Sex, Laughter.
  8. Energy and Health.
  9. To keep a sense of Wonderment.
  10. Gentleness.

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A Hangi on top of the world

 

I always feel that my New Year’s is September when school starts. I feel much more attuned to the academic calender. Yet despite that when New Year’s eve (‘Ole years here in Trinidad) rolls around there is all this pressure to do something. Staying home with some champagne and some good TV is not acceptable. So in the end we set aside our exciting plans at home and we went to a big Lime which was a mesh of Trini and Kiwi cultures. 

 

We had just enjoyed a fabulous 3 days with some dear friends from Montreal who hopped over from Barbados where they were spending Christmas. Seeing Trinidad through their eyes was a special experience. I became more aware of how this little island is a real collection of cultures and influences. So going to a Trini/Kiwi celebration for New Years seemed fitting. 

 

Our host lives on top of a mountain and we felt on top of the world as we climbed the tikki lamp lit staircase to the garden. We were led to the edge of the hill where the Hangi was dug. A Hangi, I have just come to learn is a traditional Maori method of cooking meat and root vegetables using super heated rocks buried in the ground. The hole had been dug at midday and the food was cooking as we watched steam rising through the soil. 

 

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At around 9.30 pm 3 kiwis ( probably the entire Kiwi population of Trinidad) and a few game men appeared with rakes and shovels. The unveiling began.

 

 

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Our Chef is a well known high end Kiwi caterer here but for this event he was putting on the ritz.

 

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Obviously this was a great event for the glam paparazzi.

 

 

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The digging and scraping and pulling took a bit of time.

 

 

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Once the meal was dug out and dished up we all dug in.

 

 

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We ate and danced on top of the mountain until midnight when a few friendly pyros set off an impressive firework display. We had a beautiful view both of our own pryotechnics and those dotting the skies of Port of Spain. By the end of the evening I had fallen in love with Trinidad just a little bit more. 

 

 

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Thanks to the one hour time difference we got home in time to watch the ball drop in Times Square. I went to bed dreaming of a Trini Kiwi serving up silver truffles on top of the world.


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