Tuesday, July 29

How 'bout this then?

Yay for comments on my last-but-one post!
I just had the thought that maybe "101 Places to Go with a Purple Pashmina" might be even better.
But I'm pretty sure I won't get around to doing anything until I've finished work here in about 3 weeks. Or after the travelling I'll be doing for the two (or more) weeks after that.
You can tell it's slightly quieter here already, though, as I have time to write this. Not much time though... And I should begin to spend any free time I have (ha) on planning the aforementioned travelling. We don't have flights or anything yet - just a vague plan about Ukraine and Istanbul. Sean? Are you doing anything about this? As a mere lowly teacher you must have more time than someone as important as moi...
Better get back to work...

Monday, July 28


I discovered yesterday, that for the last 3 weeks, I have been washing my clothes in dishwashing powder, a large box of which sits next to the washing machine in our staff kitchen here at Queenswood, tempting all launderers with the handle of a little scoop just visible. It wasn't until I looked for the dishwashing powder to put on a load that I realised my mistake.
On the bright side, my clothes are all squeaky clean and streak-free!

Sunday, July 13


I mentioned my "101 things to do with a purple pashmina" list to one of my teachers the other night, and he said "That sounds like the title of a book". Which made me think that maybe it should be. Perhaps if I ever write my memoirs, that should be the name. I think it says something about my lifestyle - everything I own must be multi-purpose so that I don't have to carry much and I make do with the things I have rather than owning more - and my purple pashmina has been with me since my first teaching job in China in 2002, which was the beginning of my current way of life. Also it doesn't come up at all on a google search, which means no one has used it yet, which is nice.
Maybe I should start by changing the name of this blog. I've been looking for a new name for a while. What do you think?

Saturday, July 12


My last post was so depressing that I feel I have to write something, anything, else to bump it down the page. Unfortunately, I'm busy being the Director of Studies at my regular english summer school and don't exactly have time. Today though, being Saturday, I am only working a couple of hours, instead of the usual 15, and I plan to fit in a swim and a sleep as well. The kids are all off on excursion, most of the teachers are away, and most of my work can wait for tomorrow. It's all so quiet! Just as well though, as after 7 days of going non-stop, I needed the rest!

Thursday, July 3

Travelling alone

Travelling alone makes me sad. Or at least thoughtful and nostalgic. Maybe this is why I much prefer having company.
Travelling alone (by which I mean the actual train-plane-bus moving bit, not the staying-in-interesting-places-bit) always gives me this world-weary feeling of moving silently through the crowds, somehow insulated from all their holiday stress and excitement, or business focussed hurry. I'm not a holiday maker, I'm not a business traveller, I'm just a traveller, and this is how I live my life, spending too much time in the airports and bus stations of the world. Spending too much time revisiting places I've already been, countries i know too well to be excited about.
Or maybe it's just bloody england depressing me again...

This time too, though, I think it has to do with leaving places. Leaving Montreal last month, with no idea if I'll be able to return, wasn't easy. Landing directly in London, a place that always freaks me out a bit, just made it so much worse. When Telyn and I parted ways, even though it was a good thing, it felt like saying goodbye to the last piece of Montreal that I had left. And then spending time this week back in Berlin, where I used to live, I realised how similar it is to Montreal, in some ways, and that i would consider living in Berlin again, if I found better work than last time. And now I've left Berlin and the friends and acquaintances i have there, and again landed in bloody London, which is no doubt what is contributing to this depressing bit of wallowing. But at least it's only for a night, until tomorrow, when I'm back in Cold Ash, and all the memories and nostalgia and bloody hard work that will bring!
I really shouldn't travel alone, obviously! It makes me think too much!