November 2008

Crazy.  I can’t even remember writing that last post.  And I have just emerged from the weekend with all the deadlines in it – reports, orders, assessments.  I spent six hours in school over the weekend – that was six hours of childcare I had to organise, as M is still out of the country and will be till the end of next weekend.

Anyway, I’m not grumbling.  I made it through, and I’m treating myself to some calmer time now.  Hey, I’m even sitting here writing my blog when I should be marking 26 assessments and putting together yet more assessments.  Pah.  I’m busy, honest.  I’m busy maintaining a sensible work-life balance.  Just you try and stop me!  🙂


This has been the busiest, most stressful week this semester.  Actually, to be fair, it’s been the only stressful week so far – but SOOO stressful and busy…  Here’s why, in summary:

– Reports: it’s that time of the school year, where the maths teacher has to come up with convincing English to summarise each student in her care… I’ll also be checking all the other maths reports for spelling and grammar and general appropriateness.  All before Tuesday.

– Assessments: Not only do I have to write a test for each group, but I have to write revision notes to go with them.

– Orders: Everything we use here is brought in from outside the country, so everything is ordered at once in a great flurry of busy-ness and stress.  At the same time as the assessments and the reports, naturally

– M was away this week.

– G was ill this week.

– It was E’s birthday on Tuesday. (Cake required for mini-party at school.)

– It was E’s birthday party on Thursday. (All sorts of preparations required by parents, ah, except one of them is out of town.  Okay, make that “parent”, then.)

Glad that week’s over.  Now to get through the next one.  Having achieved less than I needed to last week, with the deadlines all a week closer, and with M off for two weeks on Monday…

It’s at moments like these, that I like to remind myself that, in just three weeks’ time now, M and the children will be jetting off out of the country, while I will be staying here and living the single life for a week…  Sure, I’ll be working, but not 24 hours a day!  And when the week is over, I still have the flight to the UK – on my own!!! – to enjoy.  Woohoo!!

Last night:  First night for a long time of locking up the house by myself before turning in, since M left yesterday before sunrise (the girls got up to say goodbye, but I didn’t).  I was absolutely shattered from being woken early (girls wanted more entertainment after Daddy left), going to bed late most nights last week, busy week at school and G going down with a bad cold which disturbed his sleep (first signs of it appeared as M was packing for his trip to the field… always the way!)  But I had to make everyone’s food for tomorrow and tidy the kitchen, attempting to remove all traces of accessible food as I am convinced that there are still rats living behind our oven…


Well, better way to spend the evening than sitting down to read, in any case.  Recently I have been reading The State of Africa by Martin Meredith – an absolutely incredible book recounting the history of Africa since independence.  I started reading it last year but had to take a break when I realised I was starting to thinking, “Oh look, another corrupt dictator squandering the wealth of his country and trampling over the masses in pursuit of his own security as top man…”  I’m almost getting to that stage again, but I am up to the events of the past decade now, so it’s kinda gripping, too.  (The chapter about apartheid was when I started getting really gripped.  I read it from beginning to end one evening and stayed up till gone midnight to do so.  It wasn’t as if I didn’t know how the story ended!)  I am finding that all the emphasis on hatred and violence and revenge is not the best way to prepare for bed though, and that’s why I’ve decided not to read it before bedtime.


So with these thoughts running through my mind, I locked the kitchen and headed through the corridor to the main house.  Shut the door to the kitchen side of the house, thinking how I was trapping the rats the other side… – only I couldn’t.  Shut the door, that is.  Some sort of resistance from the other side.  Something, which from the corner of my eye I had seen moving as I closed the door, was trapped between the door and the step up the other side of the door.  I released the door slightly to allow whatever it was (rat? mouse?  I’d not got an idea of scale from my corner-of-the-eye glimpse) to scuttle off, but heard nothing.  I reapplied pressure, imagining blood, cracked bones… and then retreated for a couple of minutes just in case it could limp off and I wouldn’t have to clear it up/finish it off myself.


Feeling of tiredness and wanting to head straight to bed completely gone!


After a minute or two I returned and, standing as far away from the door as I could and making no sound at all, peered round the door.


It was G’s shoe!