Holidays are here again! Two weeks!
One of the best things about vacations, even if a staycation, is the pure joy of living in the moment. So far no long lists are chasing me; sure there are lots of things that need my attention, but right now I am allocating an hour a day to special tasks to declutter and clean the house, and the rest of the day will be what it will be. Wants and needs.
What a sense of freedom.
I have been seeking Dolce Far Niente all week, but have yet to achieve anything close.
Monday I did go for a wonderful massage, but it was punctuated by grocery shopping, picking up mending and other chores around the suburb.
Tuesday we did spend time with relatives, but it took on a cast of thousands, well, three children full of energy, and a Grandma hard of hearing, so it wasn’t exactly the relaxing occasion planned.
Wednesday, I had a meeting with the Head of Department at Fanny and Maude’s School for Fine Young Ladies. I am teaching The Crucible to year 11, and deconstructing documentaries with grade 12. We are modelling Fahrenheit 9/11 as the class example, and as I haven’t actually watched it, I needed a copy. None available at the school, and just about every other store was out of stock. I finally found a copy to hire but Fanny and Maude did take up most of the day.
Thursday, today, we are donating our blood. Making sure Mr FD and I drink and eat enough to refrain from fainting in a ditch afterwards is taking up this morning.
Tomorrow, the climate smart people are scheduled to visit. So I have to move our clutter a step to the left.
Saturday afternoon, Daughter2 arrives inhouse and so the official staycation begins. Not a minute too soon.
Desperately needing Dolce Far Niente.
: to release from something that engages or involves
: to release or detach oneself
Tomorrow is the last day of school term, and the last day of my term contract at St Mary’s of the Middle Class Ladies, and once again I am finding myself in the process of disengaging myself from people, place and work. I am getting fairly practiced at it now.
No one has to remind me that I need to hand back my keys and name badge; log off the lap top and hand it to IT; clean out the drawer I may have been spared for my personal belongings by the regular incumbent; return any school resources I may have been given, and turn off the lights as I leave!
Sometimes the disengagement process is easier than at other times. Sometimes, I have never engaged to even need to disengage! Their fault, not mine, of course! This time I am leaving with more than a pang of regret of if only. If only the incumbent has enjoyed three months of leave so much that they will seek a tree change, sea change, job change. If only the incumbent was kidnapped by marauding pygmies and taken back to be their leader and so will need to surrender their day job. If only the incumbent will arrive home in a full body cast which they will need to wear for the next 9 years. If only they would love me more… Such stuff is what dreams are made of.
So, with two days and only one class to teach, I am already mentally through the process. I have spent the morning surfing the net. Twice I have suggested that we lock the library and head to the beach. I have the attention span of a bubble blower. I have walked back to be car park to rescue the chocolate melting in my car to share with my co-workers. I have eaten most of it. (Why it was in my car is another blog post)
I want to hit the road.
Next term I am returning to Fanny and Maude’s, where I taught for a semester last year and was sublimely happy. I have been even happier at St Mary’s as I have taught very few classes and those that I did required no real preparation. I have had no marking to do, or reporting to complete. No deadlines. And the most beautiful thing of all is that THE INCUMBENT is so disliked and self-involved that all I really had to do was smile, be pleasant and only slightly helpful and they have given me accolades. However, I am more than happy to returning to the hallowed halls of those great ladies, Fanny and Maude (the first names of some of the original principals, for those late comers who are now scratching their heads in bewilderment). I made friends there.
I won’t be teaching a full load. I will not even go into school on a Tuesday. Less work means less pay, but some pay is better than no pay!
In the meantime, I will enjoy a staycation. I am also getting very practiced at staycations! Less work, no money, get the plot?
This staycation will be slightly different as Daughter2 is coming home for a few days to share time with me. This morning she emailed so say that she has booked us in for a facial. I have never had a professional facial. I am more the kind who buys a tube of peel off mask from the Avon lady. She fretted that perhaps she shouldn’t have booked the appointment early in the morning, as our hair might be messy for hitting the town afterwards. I suggested that we go to the movies and sit in the dark with messy hair, glowing skin and a beverage in hand (if we go to the Barracks cinema the beverage can be of the alcoholic kind!). Plan finalised.
Another day we will go to the art gallery to see the Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Man, The Image & The World exhibition. Daughter2 viewed it last year when in New York (as one does!), but is enthusiastic to see it again. We have a day of lying on my bed and watching movies planned as well, which will no doubt involve some form of chocolate too. Life won’t be so bad.
That will all be happening in the second vacation week. Before that, I need to reclaim our house from the refuse tip it has become over the last few week, due to work and family issues (BIL is out of ICU and making a slow, but sturdy recovery).
So, tomorrow I will drive out the gate of St Mary’s for the last time…this year. For who knows what tomorrow, next year, or the year after, will bring. It may bring me back to St Mary’s, it may not. All I ask is that tomorrow takes me somewhere I can be happy, involved and passionate. I really would have it all then.
Went to the movies with Daughter2 to watch Love and other drugs with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. I didn’t expect it to be based about Anne Hathaway’s character having a major chronic illness so was a little surprised, but it was a very sanitised version of illness. Hathaway made it look almost cool to be ill! I enjoyed it though, perhaps more than Daughter2 who felt that Hathaway’s character didn’t produce empathy in the viewer to understand why Gyllenhaal would give up so much to be with her, but that was more the fault of the script writer, not the issue. In all it was fun, and as we went to a morning session we were home by early afternoon.
We went to Mr and Mrs Boy’s for afternoon tea. Mr FD and Son as well, so it was a full flock of flamingos! We ate yummy tea treats, including mini gelato cones.
The Boys (aka Daughter1 and The Boy) have just had their house painted inside and out. The house is about 1930s vintage and has tongue and groove walls and the original windows. The have chosen lovely colours and it is so peaceful – feels liks a real home sanctuary.
Mrs Boy’s bridal bouquet is finally back from being preserved for eternity.
as I said before…it doesn’t get much better than that!
Novermber 26th – January 12th – pure holiday relaxation!
[translation : in Australia we call "vacations", holidays. We call Christmas, Christmas, not the holidays. I didn't realise how confusing this was until Daughter2 returned from her USA trip and said that everyone looked at them strangely when they said that they were "on holidays". Vacation.]
2 weeks holidays.