Saturday, 8 June 2013

Back again

Well, after an unintended absence of two weeks from blogland I'm back. Not that I think many would have noticed my lack of contributions but I've missed sharing and tuning in to my online circle of friends.  The last couple of weeks have been particularly manic in the Little House and each time I've tried to sit down and write, my mind (significantly smaller than most) has been too full to produce any coherent post - only the written equivalent of gibberish! Finally, feeling refreshed on this super sunny Saturday morning, I thought I would try and identify what exactly has caused so much 'to do' - so here are my Top 3 Stresses which I suspect are shared by many but probably managed a whole lot better:
(image credit:
1. The Special Event
This last week has been our local primary school's centenary celebrations and like many schools they decided to turn this into a special event and a chance for some educational enrichment and so we had... 'Edwardian Week'.  A whole week, I ask you!  A whole week where S was expected to dress up as an Edwardian and take part in thrilling activities such as... finger knitting. It's the dressing up bit that caused the most stress.  S was determined to wear this hideous shiny 100% nylon dress from the dressing up box but I couldn't imagine it would be very practical and not at all Edwardian - more Bordoirean!

Quick! Wave your red petticoats!
 I did some research but whatever search terms I put into Google I was always presented with pictures of Edith Nesbit's 'The Railway Children'; it would seem that as well as risking life and limb playing on railway lines, Edwardian children wore peculiar sailor outfits and lots of smocks. I hasten to add that I possess no sewing skills whatsoever and do not live near any family members who might be called upon to help. Finally in desperation with a late night dash to Asda, I settled on a vaguely vintage-style dress.  Once paired with ribbon and S with her hair in plaits the look was not exactly right but it was getting there.

2. Missing Husband
Good listener - Dorothy
I could mean 'missing' as both an adjective and verb here.  It wasn't that I didn't know L's whereabouts - he was in deepest darkest Reading - and he was only gone a few days, but the challenge of managing house, children, animals and getting to work on time proved doubly exhausting and I take my hat off to single parents everywhere! L usually works from home and so his absence meant trying to find childcare at either end of the day and then there's the dog's bladder to worry about. Depositing youngest child before 7am at a friend's house is truly a test of friendship if ever there was one. The house was decidedly tidier and quieter without him but my motivation to cook something healthy lasted all but a day and on the second night I resorted to takeaway fish and chips.
On the third evening, already dressed for bed, I realised that I hadn't shut up the henhouse and worrying about foxes, negotiated my way across the mossy chicken poo lawn in my slippers to put them to bed.  It was still light and missing an adult to moan to I shared my woes aloud with Dorothy, our speckledy hen, which would have been fine if a late night dog walker hadn't been going past to hear me! 

3. The Embarrassing Incident
I was quite pleased to have almost got to the end of a trying week when it happened - the embarrassing incident that creeps up on you just when you least expect it. Being a teacher there are many opportunities to embarrass yourself in front of a whole class of teenagers and this week one such opportunity arose. There I was at the front enthusiastically reading 'Skellig' (great book by the way) entertaining the restless with a suitably Skelligy voice.  But I grew weary of standing and I perched on the edge of a small wooden cabinet.  The weight of my significant posterior was all too much and the top shelf gave way with explosive force.  Papers, pens, books and I slid to the floor in embarrassed heap.  There was a hushed silence and then much hilarity ensued.  It's not every day that your heavyweight teacher breaks the furniture! In the end I had to laugh too and I was pleasantly surprised by their concern, even though I know they will dine out on retelling that story for weeks - thank god we have a strict 'no mobile phones' policy or I'd be on the week's picks on youtube! Now where did I put the Weight Watchers recipe book...! 

Some might say that none of these are particularly stressful events at all and when compared to the endless stories on the news of tragedy and loss they are indeed trivial. Still, stress is relative and the only way to combat is to either change the situation or if you can't do that then change your reaction to it - humour helps, I think.  What are your top stresses and what do you do to manage them?  

S with her finger knitting (note the Edwardian colour of the wool!) 


  1. Oh you have had a couple of weeks haven't you! I am the same with cooking if my husband is away I can't be bothered and will often resort to a takeaway, or just a jacket potato! I don't think I deal with stress very well, although friends think I don't get stressed I think I do that whole swan thing, gliding along, but frantically paddling beneath the surface. Probably why I am on high blood pressure tablets, so I'm afraid I don't have any top tips! Julie x

  2. Hope your having a weekend filled with peace and quiet after a stressful week. I always get stressed if plans are turned upside down (which with 2 teens in the house is almost every day) I usually resort to a medicinal glass of wine at the end of every day - it helps!

  3. Oh dear - what a busy couple of weeks. As if the end of the school year wasn't busy enough without special events. I'm sure your pupils love you even more now though - lol. I have just had a weekend with missing husband, and *whispers* we went to the chippy too. never mind though soon you will be free for a few weeks xx

  4. I agree about the cell phone, lucky on that account! A small thing that stresses me out this time of the year is when the kids leave the back door wide open. We used to have a screen door but the dog busted through it so much we removed it. Now if the door is not closed bugs fly in, the cat runs out and I am left in the kitchen shrieking for the kids to shut the door. I don't know why it bothers me so much!

  5. I'm sure you had the whole class's attention at that moment! But seriously, how awful. I tell my students of the first day of school that I will probably fall at some point during the year and that it's okay to laugh when it happens. And they always do. :)