If these walls could talk…
I believe it would have a voice that sounded like Harry Enfield doing an impression of Margaret Thatcher.
Reciting codes of conduct, while side whispering pervy incidents to you while you sleep. Anytime you would mention a problem outloud the walls would swiftly open in on one of many tragic stories from its 100 year existence as a school, to showcase how good things are in the present. These stories fill the listener with gratitude until ultimately it begins slipping into sexist rants. “Women shouldn’t be allowed to vote while menstruating, it clogs up their decent judgments. That is science!”
You might be able to tell I am losing the plot.
I got sick. Then real sick. Then real real sick. And now I am just sick. Sick of being out of the social realms of life. Sick of feeling crazy tired 24/7. Sick of being in pain. Sick of fevers. Sick of being sick.
I cannot hold my concentration. I cannot work on my resume - which needs some tuning up! I cannot be a good wife, good house parent, good mum or a good me!
I have not been this kind of sick in a long time, my entire immune system just went on holiday. Leaving me to smush what is left back together.
What do they say when you are ill?
What can you not do at all when a stay at home parent…. you got it.
That part is the worst. I feel like crap. Peaches just wants to show me everything ever - as she is jazzed about everything. “A fly, mum. A fly! Fly!” Baby Girl, mommy is sick and does not give a rats patootie about what you can see in the windows, love of my life.
I am grumpy. I am grizzled. I just want to wrestle this illness into submission - but for now. I will take advantage of the girl being at nursery and take a nap.
Cold sweat forms on my brow as I carefully look over the information on the screen. I go to push the button and the last decade flashes through my mind. My head begins to float as I try to remember purchasing my first one-way ticket to London.
But I can’t.
I remember selling my car to pay for it. I remember having to purchase it last minute. I remember thinking how foolish I was for not saving more over the last year. I remember sitting with my parents trying to both “kill” time and make it stop while waiting in the airport before the first leg of my journey. I remember trying to burn my families’ images, voices and embraces into my brain. I remember trying not to cry too much and to focus on the moments ahead.
I remember trying to appear strong but feeling like I was made out of sugar glass.
Things are very different in America now. As am I. A girl left but now will return as a woman. Have I changed for the better? How has my family members changed? How has the job market changed? How has the political atmosphere altered? These are all things running through my head.
It’s bought. Three one way flights to the U.S. It’s happening. BLIMEY. Not that this is a spur of the moment decision. We have discussed it for years, it took 14 months for us to go through the Visa process, several months of downsizing / packing up family possessions and a month to make Peaches an American citizen. So. This is happening!!!
Wait, I’m confused, what is happening…..
...oh let me explain. In July my South African partner and British daughter are moving to America with me. There will be some alterations to the blog/instagram as we transition. Some further delays in posting may be possible (as we do not even own laptops anymore… whhhhhhhhat. #DOWNSIZING). But. I will keep the writing up - in whatever form it may evolve into. I am still a dummie. The writing will continue, I hope you dear reader, will come along for the ride.
A typical Weekday Duty Schedule
5:00pm ‘’On duty’’+
5:15 prep time, roll taken, attendance mandatory, a lot of chasing up
6:00 supper in the dining hall
6:30 roll call taken and general announcements made
7:00 in office or putting on/helping out with activity or sport
9 roll call, general well being check ins and notifications shared
11pm ‘’Off duty’’++
6am get up and ready*
7:00 ‘’On duty’’ first round of wake up knocks on student rooms
7:30 second round, followed by herding students down to the dining hall
7:45 breakfast in dining hall, roll call taken
8:00 back to boarding house
8:20 third round, followed by herding students off to school
8:40 lock student rooms
+but really you never gone off, as rooms are unlocked after school, students making various requests throughout the day, a lot of continual liaising
++except if there is an emergency, fire alarm, or a whim that posses the boarders
*variable, between 4 - 6:30 depending on Peaches
**except emails still come through for many reasons, all urgent and needing replies. Or if a maintenance request is being filled. Or for any other reason - as you live IN the school.
Confused? Why wouldn’t you be. A duty shift starts in the PM, ends before midnight, picks back up in the morning and ends again before school. What may be confusing you is the off duty - on duty. These are when we are official not on the clock (being paid) but are technically on duty if someone needs us (still, is unpaid).
Oh. Okay. Well, not too bad you may be thinking. Well, our shift is every other day - meaning : we work either an AM or PM shift EVERYDAY. Sometimes both shifts if we work on consecutive days - which happens often.
Oh. But you get your weekends off, right? Sometimes. We get our Saturday and Sundays ‘’off’’ every third weekend. (And I say ‘’off’’ because we live IN the boarding house with the students. As a parent, you know, you are NEVER off duty). Otherwise - we working. Like now, as I am blasting the ‘’Guilty Feminist’’ podcast and trying to get a post done all from the office of the girls’ boarding house doing my 10am to 6pm shift this fine Sunday afternoon.
So, my friends. THIS. This is currently our life. It gets a bit much. There are no Snow Days or Labour Day Mondays off for us - just like parenthood but mushed in with also being an employee.
This is boarding.
And I don't know what Professor Snape's shifts were scheduled like, but I can totally understand why everyone thought he was grumpy.
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.