Chai And A Chat #127 #ChaiAndAChat

I’ve got to be honest, this last week felt like it was at least seventeen days long. Anyone else felt that?

Right, get your cuppa, and let’s have a catch up!

  • If we were having chai I’d start with school, as always. So, we had the Ed Psych in to see that student of mine. Even she waas left, at the end of an hour saying she was confused, and that she could see we were all on edge. We monitored him, but also wanted to see his behaviours fully, and she did. Not listening, doing what he wanted, and even going to throw a chair at one point. Children were moved for their safety. The report had me fuming, though, as even though she understood our frustrations, in it she made out as if we hadn’t even tried to do anything to stop him! Honestly, woman, if I wasn’t going to risk damaging the rest of the precious little minds in front of me, I could have directed all my attention to him, but after they had already experienced a pretty traumatic first week back, I needed to make sure they were safe and happy, as well as that one student. Breathe, Ritu. One of my part time team members has offered to come in every day, even the days she doesn’t work, so he can have a constant face as his person, for a while, to try and coax him back to the classroom, the way he was handling school life before the lockdown. Fingers crossed!
  • If we were having chai I’d have to admit that this last week, as I mentioned above, feels like it’s been never ending. Every morning I woke up convinced that we were at least a day further along than we actually were, and when reality sank in, it was rather depressing. The class have been fantastic, in general, but there are some who are becoming increasingly hard work… a mixture of SEN issues and the cumulative effects of lockdown, I guess, but whatever it is, I am exhausted, and have, for the first time in my teachign career, been counting the days to the Easter break, not just because I need a break, but because I need a break from the kids. That isn’t a fun feeling, I’m telling you, because I love my class to bits, but I do feel overwhelmed. Still, a nice little present I got in the post, cheered me up!
  • If we were having chai I’d remind you that it was Comic Relief on Friday. I was unable to get an official Red Nose this year, but, to be honest, a Red nose Mask would have been more appropriate! We all wore red to school, and donated money to a great cause. And one of the best parts of the day, was receiving a present from a parent… See below! I only had one, I promise!
  • If we were having chai I’d add in that seeing as I am on my healthy living mission, I was relieved to know that, despite my HUGE Mother’s Day meal, and the nibbling that comes from exhaustion, I still managed to lose a teeny bit of weight this week, and I exercised every day, be it following a video or going for a walk! Yay, me! And on Saturday, despite being shattered, I was challenged to a 20k steps in a day challenge by a friend, so I took it up! And I did it! Actually, I hit 25K in the end, and even though I was shattered, I was so proud of myself! I didn’t win, one of the others topped 30k, but I was second, and I was more than happy with that!
  • If we were having chai I’d say that I also got my second Pfizer shot, too! If you read my Spidey post, yesterday, you’d know that our staff at school were honoured to have been offered the shots, earlier this year, but because of the possibility of clashing opinions as to whether I should have had it, I hadn’t made it public. But now, I have. And I am, so far, okay, with regards to the side effects, but the last time it was two days before the headache from hell kicked in, so there is still time… but, then again, there is still time for me to feel no side effects, too. (Here’s hoping!)
  • If we were having chai I’d say, quietly, that house stuff is moving along very positively, too, and I hope to be able to give good news, soon… but not yet!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that the kids have started doing their home tests now, so that is three of us, testing on a regular basis. What fun. At least we know that we are safe! And Hubby barely goes out, so if we are okay, it is almost safe to assume he is, too!
  • If we were having chai I’d leave you with our darling Sonu Singh. He’s been keeping me company most nights, in my exhausted state, snoozing as I snooze, too!
Bitmoji Image

This week, I will be pretty much the same as last week, with more school based issues to deal with, as well as trying to stick to my healthy lifestyle. Again, not much energy for anything else! It’ll be the last full week at school before the Easter holidays. The last week of term is 3.5 days!

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Chai And A Chat #126 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 50

A year. It’s been a year since Covid-19 really hit the world, can you believe it?

I’ve got my drink, though it may get cold, as I’m back in school, but hey, you get comfortable and I’ll tell you about my week.

  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that this week, in school haas been truly surreal. firstly, it was amazing to have all our children back in school. I only had one child who wasn’t in, as they were sheilding. To see their little faces light up was so precious. The love and affection we received, made me emotional. It’s been a week of settling back in and the beginnings of assessment, to see how they have fared, emotionally as well as academically over this last bout of Remote Learning. We had very few tears, thaankfully. Mainly beaming smiles, and lots of funny stories.
  • If we were having chai I’d have to mention, thought, that there have been detrimental effects over the lockdown for a few. I have several children who are undergoing observations and investigations for Special Educational Needs, and, for some, this lockdown has not been great. Lack of routine, and familiarity with how we learn at school, coupled with parents trying their hardest, but not knowing how to teach certain aspects (which they shouldn’t be expected to, as they aren’t teachers) has left some huge holes. But that is our job, now, to give these kids what they need.
  • If we were having chai I’d have to admit to breaking down a little, though, on Thursday. One child is really suffering, hugely, and we are desperately fighting for a diagnosis, and some support for him, as are the parents, who recognise their child is struggling. This child is unable to recognise or control emotions, and can be deliriously happy, one moment and then ready to blow, with anger, the next. We’ve had to send him home four days out of five, as I don’t have a spare staff member to be with him all the time, and when he does struggle, it needs more than one adult. He’s getting violent, too. On said Thursday, despite setting out a reduced timetable for him, he couldn’t cope, and after shoving three classmates, I had to physically restrain him, gently, and cope with being punched, spat at and kicked, while he slowly calmed down, all the while, trying to ensure the rest of the class were safely inside their classrooms. It’s not the first time that week, this child necessitated the class being evacuated due to the safety of others. Once calm, we had to send him home, as he was being physically violent. After he left, I sat down to work with a group of children, and the resources needed, weren’t ready. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back, to be honest. I felt like a failure. One child causing so much disrruption, and affecting the learning of twenty nine others, (and another class of twenty nine’s also, on two occasions). Tears threatened, as I struggled to open books and hastily prepare the books for learning. This is where I was more grateful than ever for the strong, caring team, I have working with me. My TAs sent me away with my cup, to get a drink, and calm down, taking over the class. My head found me, and reassured me, these things weren’t my fault. We now have an emergency Ed Psych coming to see this child, hopefully to get some help for him, and us, so we can help him as best we can. Once again, so thankful for my wonderful team, and grateful for everyone around us that trys to help children with needs like these.
  • If we were having chai I’d admit, it’s been a tough week, so I wasn’t even able to go for a walk, daily. But, being in school meant that my step count has hit over 10k, no worries, every day! On top of the emotions of school, my knee started to really hurt again, so for two days I didn’t want to risk straining it further. But I ate sensibly. And we managed a couple of walks, at least. On Saturday, I met with a friend, and despite being rained and hailed on, i clicked this pretty picture. Mother’s Day, we managed a 3.3 mile walk, too!
  • If we were having chai I’d let you in on a secret. I only managed to read one book this week. And that is testament to how tough the week has been for me. Usually it’s two or three, at least! 
  • If we were having chai I’d have to mention Mother’s Day. Sunday was Mothering Sunday in the UK, and, even though I did wake before the others to feed the cat, I was joined by Lil Man an hour later, and he made me breakfast, after taping a message and menu on the kitchen door, stating I wasn’t to do it myself, as he was treataing me! We then waited for the rest of the household to get up, and headed off on a driveby visit to my mother in law, to drop cards and a present to her, and the kids aunt, my sister-in-law. They always honour her on Mother’s Day too, as she does a lot for both my kids. Breakfast was just the start. I was spoiled with some new cosy slippers, a new mug, and a beaautiful bookmark, as well as an Indiaan Afternoon Tea! I had been saving myself, because I knew there would be extreme calories consumed! And it was wonderful. I was still stuffed seven hours later!
Bitmoji Image

This week, I am hoping for a calmer week at school but I’m not holding my breath! To be honest, I can’t see beyond school, right now, so anything else that happens in life would be a bonus!

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Chai And A Chat #125 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 49

You know, I sit and type the post title, and wonder when the Corona diaries will end, and it will simply be an update of the week? But right now, it is still very much that time, and so we sit back, drink in hand, and think of we were up to last week.

You siting comfortably?

  • If we were having chai I’d tell you school was bit of a mad rush, this week, as we coped with the remote learning, while also teaching in school, and preparing for the full reopening of schools today. It was hectic. I am almost nervous at the thought of being in school with all the kids again… will I be able to do my job properly? Have I forgotten what to do? But equally, I am so excited to see them all, too. We went on a little walk today, and I bumped into three sets of parents, with their children, my pupils, and they were so happy at the thought of being back again, it made my heart soar! And, in order to prepare for my two to go back, I had to take them into school, too, to have Lateral Flow Device tests done, so they were clear to start back on the Monday. All done, but now they also konw how horrible it is to have those tests! Poor kids!
  • If we were having chai I’d have to mention the highlight of the week which was World Book Day. You know me, I love a bit of dressing up, and usually we as a staff, have a theme, but this year it was different. We still celebrated it, but with a twist. I’ll embarrass myself further by showing you a short video of my craziness this year!
  • If we were having chai I’d say that we’ve had a couple more viewings, and things are moving along in the right direction, so fingers crossed!
  • If we were having chai I’d proudly say that, despite an awful headache on Tuesday, I smashed all my stepping goals this week, and either walked or exercised every day, apart from Headache-gate, and managed another 3lb loss, too! I’m nothing if not determined!
  • If we were having chai I’d leave you with a pic of the gorgeous Sonu Singh, who is going to miss having the kids at home every day, doting on him, as they go back to school. This is him being rather cheeky and trying to get me to feed him early, but sitting on both my laptop and kindle!
Bitmoji Image

This week, we will be getting settled back into school, ensuring the children are happy and healthy, before the araduous task of assessing how they are faring academically. It’s also Mother’s Day, so that will be a lovely way to get them to talk, as well. Other than that, I can’t even think about anything else! But I am sure there will be plenty to tell you when I meet with you, then!

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Chai And A Chat #124 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 48

And just like that, February ends. We’ve been back at school a week, and have another remote learning week to go, before the kids are actually back in school buildings…!

Right, so, first week back. You got your drink? Let’s chat!

  • If we were having chai I’d have to start with that thing that is always on my mind, and that is school. The announcement was made on Monday, by the government, that all schools would be starting back on Monday 8th March, giving us two weeks to get ourselves ready for having all children back in, learning traditionally, while still providing the remote learning needed over those same two weeks. Plans are going to be different, as we need to make sure these children are settled, and happy to be back, before we embark upon the inevitable assessments, to see how they have been doing academically. But first, it is all about the social side. Those children have been out of the school routines since the middle of December. Sure, they have been learning at home, but the majority of them haven’t met any of their friends for all that time. New routines, new staff, too, as well as new expectations. So we have been drawing up plans, and working out everything that needs doing before they come back to school. I was also in and out of management meetings, as well as having a catch up with one of our school improvement advisors, who I am under, as part of my continuous professional development. A long, but productive two hours!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that I have been pretty good with my healthy eating. I have managed to stick to my calorie allowance each day, and factor in a treat for myself, each day, too. The three litres of water or tea that I am drinking, however, means that my bladder is still making me run to the loo far more than usual! I even experinemted with making low fat banana bread, on Sunday, while Lil Princess was baking her own vanilla sponge!
  • If we were having chai I’d be feeling very proud of myself as I mention that I have managed to exercise every day, and go for a long walk! Either Lil Man or Lil Princess have been coming with me and we have been walking anything between two and three miles each day. I am feeling good for it, and even lost 3lbs! We’ve walked long blocks, around the area we live, in, walked to my in-laws house to just stand in the drive and say hi, and through the fort gardens that are not far from our house, where I took the shot below!
  • If we were having chai I’d let you know that though it wasn’t in the thousands, I managed to write a few more words for Book two, despite my MacBook deciding that was the same moment it wanted to update! My only regret is that I really wanted to send out a newsletter in February, but it didn’t happen… *slaps own wrist.
  • If we were having chai I’d leave you with a picture of Sonu Singh, snuggled up with me, as he likes to, when I sit and read. Who needs a hot water bottle when you have a warm kitty?
Bitmoji Image

This week, it is preparing the classrooms and everything around school, to get ready for next Monday. I have to take both my secondary aged kids into their school, at different times, to get their first LFD Covid tests done, too. We have another viewing for our house, as well. Other than that, nothing major of note, but who knows what a new week will bring!

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Chai And A Chat #123 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries Week 47

And I can finally confirm that the birthday part of the month is finally over! And my week off… Back to work today, but first, let’s chat abot the last week.

Have you grabbed your beverage of choice?

  • If we were having chai I’d say that this week off was so needed, and I didn’t even know how much so, until I finally began to unwind. The last 6 months have been even more hectic for me, than usual. Despite the country going into lockdown, twice, I haven’t had the chance to be at home, being in school pretty much the whole time, mind constantly whirring about school related stuff, even in the Christmas holidays. Then, we have the house stuff. It started with the renovations and redecorations, and now we are in the midst of the whole house on the market stuff, and what with viewings happening, I have become a master at the quick ‘tidy and hide’ required to make your lived in home to look almost picture perfect! On top of thet, coping with the kids and theor home schooling, and worrying about family in general. I really honestly can say that I haven’t switched off, at all. So, the first couple of days, I made sure I did. Total switch off on that weekend, reading solidly, and barely moving from the sofa. Monday I was awake early, as I usually am, but I made sure I had a lie in, before getting on with the day. My highlight of the day was a FaceTime with the wonderful Lucy Mitchell. I love Lucy, honestly. She has been an inspiration to me, the last few years, pretty much since we started blogging, actually. We talked all things writing, books, worries, joys, and it was just so wonderful to chat to someone likeminded. We have met a couple of times, at the Blogger’s Bash, and Lucy was also one of the first ever people to read Marriage Unarranged, in it’s first draft glory. Peeps, you can partially thank Lucy for that book finally coming to fruition!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that the kids made the most of the week off, too, and being the ages they are, they were in bed until gone midday, pretty much every day! I did try and rouse them eaerlier, to little success, however. Aside from reading, I was determined to do some writing, or at least prepare my mind for some new words. So I did get my desk ready, and I began the reread of my 56k so far manuscript for book two. (Yes, those of you who are waiting, it is getting there!)
  • If we were having chai I’d mention that it was Shrove Tuesday, too, and I am rather partial to a pancake, or three, so I had to indulge, just a little…
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that Thursday was a huge day for me. I woke up feeling rather awful. Not ill, but just really down, and that is not like me at all. I had, after many months, stepped on the scales and I was horrified. Seriously, HORRIFIED. I hadn’t weighed that much since I was pregnant. And knowing that pre pandemic, I had been so proud to havae lost an errant half a stone, to see that I had put it back on and then some, I was distraught. Even my leggings were beginning to complain, and you know how forgiving leggings are, usually. Then there was the feeling of failure, as I hadn’t been able to get into the writing zone all this time, coupled with not being able to see my family for so long. I was done in. But then you have to embrace life’s challenges, don’t you? So, I decided, that morning, that I needed to do something about it. It wasn’t going to happen itself. I logged back into Noom, to start with, and stated my intentions to lose weight and generally create a better lifestyle for myself, heaalth wise. I also had to contend with fact that I would be losing more pounds that day, too, but £s, not lbs. My car needed its service and MOT. I took the bull by the horns. Dropped my car off, and went for a walk, the long way round, to get some steps in, stopping at the local green grocers, to get some fresh fruit and veg, and made my way home. and that has been the focus of my week. A healthier me, means my mind is more focussed. I have been going for a walk every evening, too, with Lil Man, and done a short exercise class, via YouTube each morning. Logging my food, and all the water I drink, too. This aalso transferred to my writing. I know, realistically, that when I get back into school I won’t be able to write daily, but I have to do something, so you’re looking at someone who broke the writers block barrier and added another 2.3k to her WIP! Go, me!
  • If we were having chai I’d tell you my final big event of the week. It was Lil Princess’s thirteenth birthday! Now, I had the joy of celebration, the disbelief of time passing so fast, and the quandry of how to stay healthy while having cake around me, as well as possible takeaway, too! She had a fabulous day, and we did our cake cutting via the video call that has become a norm, now, especially as it was my father-in-law’s birthday on the same day. Then the dinner arrived – Chinese. Yes, I ate it all. I ate, maybe, a little more than I wanted to, but I enjoyed it. Because I know that is not the norm. I’ll be back to the good eating the next day. (I lied – had cake for breakfast the next morning!) Still, I’m determined, and now I have a teenage daughter to keep me on track, too!
Bitmoji Image

This week, as I mentioned earlier, we’re back to school. Well, I am, physically, anyway, on Monday. The kids start their virtual learning on Wednesday. But the biggest thing will be waiting for the announcement from BoJo, later today, letting the country know the government’s roadmap for getting the country back out of lockdown, hopefully, for the last time. I’m fully expecting to hear that schools, primary, at least, will be starting back on March 8th, and, maybe some of the exam year groups in Secondary schools, but aside from vaccinations going ahead, and most members of staff taking bi-weekly Covid tests, nothing has changed, so it just remains to be seen, as to whether schools are a vector for transmission, and numbers fluctuating. There has been no difference to our guidance, for safe schooling, no new ventilation systems in place, or the idea that maybe class sizes should be smaller to help with distancing. A blended approach with part in school and part home learning. Nope, Nothing like that has happened. I just pray that any decisions made are made with the right guidance. (Though, with their track record, I’m not too sure…)

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Previous Older Entries

My interactive peeps!

%d bloggers like this: