How do you summarise a year? How do you identify the highlights, the key moments, the defining points?
Well, I suppose you could start by taking a look through the folders of photos on your computer...
The Newest Hamster joined us in March :)
We spent a week in Florence (also visiting Pisa and Siena) at Easter.
I got to see the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in July!
Our family holiday in the summer was to Orkney, which was fascinating - we loved the wildlife, especially the super cute puffins! :)
In honour of turning - um - 30 plus(!), The Doctor and I took a special trip to New York in August.
The Mother got The Dog in the summer! The Tomboy is overjoyed :)
I managed to get to the first stage of the Tour of Britain, too, and had the most amazing view near the finish line - here's Marcel Kittel powering to victory ahead of Mark Cavendish...
That's not the full story - no mention of The Tomboy's win of a big poetry competition, or The Boy's starting his GCSEs and passing his Grade 5 tuba, or The Doctor's latest publication, or my new job (which meant leaving the school where I'd been involved for 10 years, one way or another) - but it maybe gives you a small flavour of how 2014 was for us :) I hope it was good for you!
My, it's dusty round here! 'Scuse me while I clear away a few cobwebs.... *atchoo!*
So, anyway. Partway through last year I really, really enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends from school :) As we reached a significant birthday (shall we call it '30 plus'?!) we were prompted to organise some time away together to catch up with each other. In a couple of cases I hadn't seen these lovely people since we were at school, and even those I had seen I just don't see often enough. It was amazing and wonderful and awesome and such, such fun to spend a few days together, remembering and reminiscing, sharing news, laughing over old photos, and revisiting some old haunts!
The year ended with me managing to visit another old schoolfriend, who hadn't been able to make it to our weekend away but who lives near enough to The Parents-In-Law that it was possible for me to make the trip over for the afternoon while visiting them between Christmas and New Year.
The joy of reconnecting with these friends, along with other occasions over the year when I've had the chance to spend time with friends and family - those I see regularly and those I see all too rarely - made me think of all of you, dear blog friends. You are one of the reasons I plan to take 'reconnect' as my One Little Word for 2015. I'm still working on the details (baby steps, no pressure, blogging without obligation, and so on) but I miss you all and I want to find a way back to you! And so, by reconnecting with my blog and online community, I hope to start to reconnect with you once more. I can't tell you how much I look forward to that!
Happy New Year - may 2015 hold many, many good things for us all x
Back in May I was lucky enough to take part in a super fabby PaperArtsy project called #3UP - and I *loved* it :) So, naturally, I leapt at the chance to take part in it again! This time it's been part of PaperArtsy's 10th birthday celebrations, and somehow WE ended up getting the pressies - oh boy, did we ever! Just look at the wonderful box of amazingness I received:
Look at those gorgeous stamps!! *happy, happy dance* :)
My project is featured on the PaperArtsy blog tonight, but here are a few pics:
I decorated the little canvas then used it as a cover for a minibook
I added some suitable quotations, details of the project and some spotlight stamping!
It's well worth a visit to the blog to see the other projects being showcased this week, there's a lot of inspiration over there! A huge big thanks to PaperArtsy, you totally rock and I have so loved being part of this again :) Happy birthday!!
So, here we go, into September already (how did THAT happen?!!) Another Learn Something New Every Day has begun, and we are well and truly preparing to head back to school. The Boy gets until Thursday before he goes back, The Tomboy starts her brand new school on Wednesday, and me? I get to go tomorrow. Something seems a little unfair here!
I promised to tell you a bit about my new job. Well, as I've explained on here, I decided last year to make a change from being a part-time teacher to a full-time teaching assistant (TA). I did the training course, gained loads of voluntary experience, and absolutely loved it! The time came for me to hand in my notice so I could leave my teaching job at the end of the academic year (*sob!*) I knew the school where I'd been working wasn't in a position to offer me a full-time TA post, and I really needed a full-time job. I was so gutted to be leaving that lovely school though!
To cut a long story short, I've been extremely fortunate, and I'm very excited about how my new job has worked out :) You see, I shall be working for half the week at my old school, and for the other half at another local school! Each school could only offer me 50% of a timetable but between them I can do a full-time job, and they're very close to each other and to where I live so getting to them will be straightforward even on the day that I'll spend the morning in one and the afternoon in the other :) The exact details of my role and timetable is to be finalised this coming week, but it will involve maths support, ICT (including maintaining each school's website and Twitter) and various other duties. Basically, all things I've been doing recently in my teaching role; all things I know I can do really well!
I am a little nervous, to be honest; partly about the change from teacher to TA, which will be an adjustment for me, but mainly about going into a new school, working with new colleagues, getting used to new routines, getting to know new children - everything you'd expect about starting a new job! But oh, I'm excited to use my skills and experience in this way, and I shall learn so much from my new role :) Which will be handy for this year's LSNED project, of course!! ;)
As I settle into these new routines and help The Children to settle into theirs, too, I shall be figuring out the whole blogging thing. I feel refreshed and ready and keen to get back into it properly, but I need to plan my time!! But I still have plenty to tell you about - for example, our recent holiday! Want a few photographic clues to where we went? ;)
Gosh, doesn't time fly? I hadn't realised quite how long it was since I last posted... I'd intended to get back into blogging once we broke up for the summer holiday, but then we were due to go away for the best part of 3 weeks and I didn't think it would be ideal to take an immediate blog break!
Also, my poor laptop is on its last legs, and I needed to wait until we got back from our trip before ordering a new one. We got back yesterday, I placed the order this morning and my new laptop should be here soon - hooray! :) Then I'll be able to sort through the (ahem!) over 1500 photos I took during our holiday, and choose some to show you. I also have news of the job I'll be starting in September, another #3UP project, some scavenger hunt photos and a few 'proud mother' moments to share!
Thanks so much to those of you who emailed to wish me a happy birthday or just to say hello :) I will be responding to you all individually but the motor of my laptop is making ominous noises so I think it's about to switch itself off... Once the new one arrives I'll catch up properly with you all, but for now I'll be back offline for a short while. Speak soon xx
...is what I speak. It describes what I actually say (nonsense, mostly) and how I say it (ie my accent, which is a mixture of all sorts - a bit of North of England, a bit of Irish, a bit of South West England, a lot of just me!) The word comes from my name, Mel, and the fact that I'm one-quarter Welsh. But there's not actually any Welsh in my accent. Go figure...