Well, that was the week that was. I’m exhausted. I’ve had good teaching and not so good teaching, and I felt like I’ve spent my entire week in and around the school so I’m more than ready for the weekend. I’m actually at the stage where I almost feel dismayed when people invite me out to do fun things because
- it means I need to organise the invitations in my mind and work out which I can do and which I can’t do
- I’m going to have to talk to people and I’ve lost all the words so it’s looking challenging
- it reduces the time I have available for sorting my head and my life out, and since I’m feeling organisationally challenged that’s a worry
- it possibly reduces sleeping hours
Yes I do realise that this is ridiculous, and underneath all that I’m dead chuffed to be invited to things but I am feeling a bit frazzled. On the other hand, there’s a cherry tree which cheers me up every day on my way to and from work because it’s so beautiful and so beautifully incongruous.
Which reminds me incidentally of something which annoyed me this week. The potential US Government shutdown or whatever it’s called was threatening to halt all kinds of government type stuff and cost the economy billions of dollars, which I can’t bring myself to care much about. But it was also threatening to stop the Cherry Blossom Parade, which is unacceptable. Since I first heard about the gift of the cherry trees from Tokyo to Washington D.C. as a symbol of the friendship between Japan and the USA (full history here) I’ve considered it one to be of the most beautiful political symbols that I’ve heard of and I definitely want to go and see it in full flower one day. To get in the way of celebrating something so lovely seems just plain wrong. The good news is that I’ve just checked the Festival website and found that it’s going to go ahead regardless, thanks to the Met police. Three cheers for them!
So, anything to report from the week? I had a delicious and full of good company pizza and wine night yesterday with Margarethe and Claire which was my treat for the week. Looking forward to putting some more dates in the diary to share more chat and Berlin highlights (cupcake place, gardens, abandoned theme park tour here we come, although the last will inevitably be annoying because I won’t produce such good pictures as the set on flickr from the guy who produced this one). On the work side I staggered through, among other things, my first C1 classes as an official teacher, my first (pseudo)exam class, and my first mistakes made in writing a test – that was today – embarrassing and best learnt from and put out of mind I think.
But why don’t I do it in drag instead? A very good point. That was without a doubt the most outstanding question I’ve heard in the last 7 days. I wish I could say it was a question from a student in a class but in fact it was credited to me while I was chatting with a wine obsessed friend of Alex’s. And I didn’t even say it, I’d made a far more banal suggestion that the Dragon’s Den might be a suitable source of financing for the nascent wine importation/distribution business we were riffing on. Goodness know’s how he made that out of it, but I couldn’t stop giggling and I decided there and then that it’s a question that can and should be applied to all walks of life. Most walks would look better if you were wearing kinky boots after all!
Thanks should go to Alex for hosting me in his totally gorgeous flat and cooking me utterly scrumptious lamb. He also produced charming and intelligent friends, who came with more than usually tasty wine and whiskey, so I was treated to a very convivial evening. And there was reggae.
In fact the weekend was characterised by meeting great people and getting out of my depth in random chats on such diverse topics as design, stockings and suspenders, poetry, the signifiers/signifieds of hipsters (no I didn’t understand either), the dying art of writing letters and the characters of wines. Oh and I stole a jumper from a guy from Bracknell when the weather tricked me by being super sunny for two days and then perfidiously getting all cold and raining. ‘Sokay tho, we’d bonded over memories of the anaconda at Coral Reef, and I’ll get it back to him at some point I’m sure.
On which note, I’ll leave you for now, before my ramblings get even more erratic….but I’ll say before I go that if you decide not to go with drag (boys) then you could do worse than model yourself on these chaps. As the Sartorialist points out, they look like gentlemen who would definitely have interesting stuff to say in a most excellently beautiful way.
p.s. the red elephant is just there because I found him on a wander, and I like him. I couldn’t let the flickrman have all the elephant glory now could I?