Tuesday 28 June 2011

Swim around the Pier!!

so this may or may not be a sensible way to spend the final weekend of the course... but this Sunday I will be swimming around Brighton's West Pier. And the reason is... well partly for the challenge, partly to accompany my friend Helen, but mainly to raise money for FareShare Brighton and Hove, the food redistribution project about which I wrote a few weeks ago.

The swim is 1km, I'm not sure how long it's going to take us! Please do sponsor us, the cause is a great one. Go to our Just Giving page here.

Friday 24 June 2011

this and that

Life and death. Old and new. Finding and losing. Giving and taking. Winter, spring, summer and autumn. Joy and grief. Celebration and mourning. All of this, a part of the journey we call life.

All in the past week or two:

One of my mum's best friends has died of cancer, leaving a son who's a little younger than me. 'It's not fair'. 'Fair' doesn't really exist on this side of death, I'm beginning to think. Although we do a good job of pretending, or of trying to make it our right. But we are not invincible. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? So... even more reason to embrace today. She was only 50-something and will leave a big gap in many people's lives. A gap. A loss. An empty space. Nothing can fill those spaces. In the past, when I've left a place and gone somewhere new I've tried to fit new friends into the spaces of old friends. "Oh, you're just like so and so...". But it doesn't work like that, does it?

On the other end of the spectrum, my friends Adele and Larry have had a baby called Talitha. New life, a new person, so exciting... the 9 months of waiting make it even more so!! Can't wait to meet her.

And last weekend, a dear friend who's like a brother to me got married. Marriage is both life and death in a sense. They die to themselves, to their independent, all-about-me, life and start out on a new togetherness that's far deeper than anything they've experienced so far. Maybe that's why I often feel a little weird at weddings - there's often a sad moment. because, things won't ever be the same. And this is good and exciting, yet it also requires a 'leaving behind...'

I'm also currently reading 'Desert Flower' - the autobiography of Waris Dirie, Somalian model and UN ambassador who now campaigns against female genital mutilation ( bet that caused a sudden intake of breath! - not a 'pleasant' thought, no, but that wasn't the point of this post...) Her story puts a lot of these life/loss/love/death thoughts in perspective... I have no idea about suffering... not really.

Anyways, more another time perhaps. Back to studying Katrina!

Wednesday 22 June 2011

twitchy tired

Half way through the TESOL course and i am


like my eyes are twitching pretty much constantly kind of tired.

i don't think i've ever done so much studying - literally it's all i do from 9am till 10.30pm with breaks for food and bus travel. BUT, it's generally useful stuff and not difficult, and I am managing to concentrate better than i thought. It's just a LOT. All the time. Lessons to plan, assignments, presentations,etc. I enjoy the actual teaching though, so that's a relief! And the very eclectic mix of people in the group is cool, as our the students we teach. So can't complain. Just gotta keep on going going going!

Friday 17 June 2011

weekend retreat

Last weekend i managed to steal away from studies for 24 hours with the lovely ladies of my church. They were staying in two beautiful cottages in the sussex countryside. Good company, delicious food (very important part of our church life together!), country walk, great chats, running around outside, big bonfire, peace, prayers...

Friday 3 June 2011

all change

So, it's all change in my life... and will be for the next few months really.

Last week I finished working at the Pre-School where I've been since October, and also spent time volunteering during the year before that. Although I wasn't there everyday, I've spent more time with my 3 and 4 year-old friends than my 23 and 24 year-old friends over the past few months! So I'm sure I'm going to miss them, and wonder how they are all getting on.

This week is halfterm, which has given a chance to rest a little from a very busy May, see a few friends and also get on with wedding stuff, before everything is paused for 5 weeks. WHY? Well because, as of Monday I will be doing a intensive CELTA Tesol to become qualified at teaching English. My thinking is it will always be a useful skill, and one I can use both here in the UK and abroad. I also knew of a course that was considerably cheaper, and wanted to do it before getting married.
So here I am, slightly procrastinating packing for 5 whole weeks away from Brighton, because this course is in Oxfordshire. I'm going to be living 'back home' with the parents, which is very helpful and am very grateful for that, but also slightly apprehensive... I've not spent that long back in Oxford for several years. Praying I don't revert to the moody teenager that once graced the buses and bicycles of the area! I've not been away from Brighton for that long in ages either, which has made me realise how much of a home it's become, because the idea of it makes me feel a bit unsettled. I'm going to miss Mr Q a whole big lot too!!!

I'm also aware the course is very full on and potentially quite stressful. So I guess I'm not quite sure how the whole experience is going to be. BUT it's something I definitely want to do. I'm actually looking forwards to studying again, hopefully my brain can wake up after 2 years of not using it so much!

There are exciting things to break up the 5 weeks though, like a wedding and a weekend away with the 'ladies' from my church, woop. Sadly it does mean missing out on another friends wedding in Ibiza, which I am pretty gutted about!

When I get back from Oxford it'll be only just over 2 months until the wedding, and I'll need to find a job, start looking for a flat for us, and generally prepare for starting life together. There will also be a few goodbyes to people who are leaving Brighton, which is sad and will have quite an impact I think. So I'm taking a deep breath now, as there might not be much time for one over the summer! It will be hectic and tiring and I'm sure I will get stressed from time to time despite best intentions not to, BUT I'm also really up for all this change, for this transition-y bit as life enters a new season.