Part 4 Blasts from the past

Looking out over Chapel-le-DaleMonday was strange as I returned to QES to say hello to former colleagues and also to sort out a letter to prove that I have actually worked as a teacher in the UK for the last 17 years! It’s crazy the detail required by the Salaries Assessment Unit in New Zealand so that they can actually work out what pay scale I should be on. So far I have been paid on the basic scale of $27,000 which is just peanuts. At least when they sort it out it will be all back dated which should be good.

How weird though, being back in the staffroom at QES – most people did a double take when they saw me – walked past and said “Hi, there” and then looked again and realised that I shouldn’t be there anymore and stopped to ask me how things were etc…. Going into the Dining Hall for lunch was the strangest though – I was mobbed by hordes of my ex-pupils which was lovely – made me feel missed, quite sad really! Shame I didn’t get to see any of my wonderful form though as they were all on Study Leave, some of them keep in contact via Facebook which is great so I do hear occasionally what they are up to!

On Tuesday I had a hair appointment booked at Tangles in Ingleton but before that I surprised my friend and co-Windermere Lake swimmer Liz by inviting myself in for a coffee! In the afternoon, as it was a wonderful day I decided to walk up Ingleborough. It was quite breezy and as usual was pretty chilly on the top but the views were fantastic if a little hazy. I felt quite sad as I walked up there thinking that it may be the last time I see the familiar views of my beloved Dales. However there are lots of new places to discover on the other side of the world and I have had the good fortune to live in and explore a beautiful part of the world for 20 years so I mustn’t complain! It is time to look forward!me on top of Ingleborough!

Late afternoon and evening was hectic as I met up with Jo to catch up with all her news and then over to the B & Q’s for tea. Seeing all our friends is lovely but having to say goodbye again is hard – quite an emotional rollercoaster really. In fact I am starting to feel quite tired as I have moved around from place to place – a few days here and night or two there … being in one place for a few days will be good though there will be plenty of things to do, I am sure!

Part 3 “Back up North”

Back to Liz’s flat and then off to Euston to get the train to Oxenholme – I won’t bore you with all the details but the First Class food service on the West Coast Virgin Trains Line is not First Class! They were trialling a new service which was definitely not up to scratch!chez Fiona

A busy weekend ensued – Liz and Jen dropped me off in Kirkby Lonsdale early on Sat morning – fortunate for Kate or she would have missed her hair appointment in Ingleton if I had not woken her with a phone call! Had a potter round Ingleton and then Jez took me over to Giggleswick to see Ann which was lovely. Then back to Liz’s and over to Fiona’s for a barbecue which was just great! Tasty food, perfect weather, wonderful setting and brilliant company. Fiona’s wine glasses are like buckets which means you drink rather more than is good for you – isn’t that right Blackers? It also makes you think that you can sing!Silverdale and Jan But what a laugh we had on the karaoke – talk about Britain’s got talent – it was all there in Fiona’s front room! Thanks Fiona for a great night!

Next day after not very much sleep and through the fog of the biggest hangover I have had in years I met up with Sarah and Becky for a walk with the Jaspers. Fortunately by then the Ibuprofen had kicked in and I felt sort of human again! With the sun shining across the bay the mudflats at Arnside looked almost like golden sand! It was a lovely walk though and great to catch up with all the news. We had lunch back in Becky, Sarah and the JaspersSarah’s new conservatory (totally transforms the house) and eventually had to say goodbye as Becky drove me back over to Kirkby.

In the evening Kate and I went along to Ginny’s to meet up with Mel, Jan, Clare, Fiona and Ann to celebrate Ginny’s Birthday. Warm enough to sit outside (though we did have a brazier going which was very pleasant as the sun went down) Again it was lovely to catch up with people and a very relaxing end to the weekend.