As with everything there are good and bad aspects to all this working. The main good will be having a bit of money. There are several things I could do with that require more than I currently have: new spectacles, for example. I can feel that my eyesight has deteriorated quite far since I last had my eyes tested: reading hurts, and I don't recognise people in the street until they are upon me which can get me into, not trouble, but difficulty. I seem constantly to be saying, "Do apologise, I'm blind as a bat!"
I could also really do with a couple of jumpers (sweaters for those of you across the Atlantic). I meant to get some last winter, but everything I earnt went into a joint bank account and I never saw it again. The last time I bought any warm clothes was 2009, and, quite frankly, they're looking a little shabby now. It would be nice to have at least one fresh looking woolly.
I'm running out of face cream, too. And I can't remember the last time I had decent shampoo. So all that will be jolly good.
Another biggie for the goods is that I really love teaching. There's something incredibly vivifying about seeing the pennies dropping one by one, often quite slowly, sometimes all of a sudden, in the students' eyes. The change in their understanding, and ability to debate points reasonably by the end of the course is usually huge, and it's always a joy to think: "I helped them get here."
On the less good side: no more Thursday night music sessions for me until the Christmas break. No more lazy mornings in bed with coffee and Dave tales, during the week, at least. And I'm likely to be tired, and sometimes a bit grumpy, because the workload is large and can be stressful. Especially when it comes to marking essays. Dave is going to see a different side to me. Relaxed, playful Eryl will be replaced with fraught, efficient Eryl. I hope it doesn't put him off.
Here follows some random photographs that show what I've been up to in my last couple of weeks of creative freedom:
|Globe courgettes, courtesy of my boss, Katherine, at the book shop who has an allotment and found herself overrun with them.|
|Chanterelles, courtesy of a local beech wood. I cooked them in just a little water and a drop of red wine vinegar, as advised by a friend of Dave's who lives in France, and they were scrumptious.|