I’ve lost count how many times friends and family – especially family – assume I have about 20 weeks holiday a year, just because I work in education! NO… NO… NO… in Further Education I have an allocation of leave much the same as every other normal person and I have to book it in much the same way! That means I need to calculate what leave I want and when and so in some holiday periods, yes, I do need to go to work! This half term has been no different. I took the first three days off, so we could head to Dorset and enjoy a final few days on the coast before we put our beloved Tigger’s Rest to bed! (Yes, our caravan has a name!)
What a few days we had… the weather was simply awesome! I can’t remember when we ever had an end of season like this one. Comparing it to the storm to end all storms last year, we felt truly blessed! If you’ve never been to this part of Dorset, then please allow me in coming posts to enlighten you (no, I’m not on a commission!), as we really do feel more and more at home. For me, Dorset is the place where I am most inspired to write. I love to sit on the cliff tops on quieter days and watch the sea boiling and bashing the beaches below. I could spend hours sitting in little cafes watching the world go by – listening in on family conversations of holiday fun and plans being made. I totally get why Thomas Hardy was drawn to this beautiful landscape and for me, his writing encapsulates the rugged and bare beauty of the county. Personally, the areas we visit most often capture a vibrant, colorful and warm element to the county. Whether this is an early season visit to places like Monkey World or the Tank Museum, mid-summer trips to Lyme Regis for the Fossil Festival, or late season events such as the County Show or the amazing Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival – they are places brimming with passion and enthusiasm for their art – but at the center there is an acute sense of community, a place to belong and even as visitors, outsiders… mere tourists, if you will… that sense of belonging is evident and all embracing. I mean my poor mum was all but signing up for the Sturminster Newton Santa Dash, when we went to the Cheese Festival in September – you’d have though she and the lady doing her best to find recruits were old school friends by the time we left “Don’t forget to look out for me”, she called, as we ambled away, “I’ll be the one at the back in the red Santa outfit….!”
So following a lovely few days away the plan was back home and back to work. Oh, how wrong I was? Child No2, a sporty little chap, was playing with the Hub prior to departure and catches his hand on a ball heading his way – a big…. heavy… synthetic ball…. contact between hand and ball made significant crunching sounds, which was closely followed by a significant yelp (and tears). A resulting trip the following day to our local MIU and X-Ray dept showed no damage to the fingers as first thought, but there was signs of a break from a previous collision 2 weeks ago. Great – we have now become very familiar with the skeletal structure of the hand. The poor 4th metacarpal on the right hand is definitely broken. No2 child is definitely cheesed off. We are hoping (unbroken) fingers crossed that all will have healed in time for the Year 6 residential in two weeks time.
So now I find myself back at work, like I’ve never been away… isn’t that always how it feels? The countdown to the Christmas break has started (it’s 46 days, by the way – or 35 working days!) and my week is planned around how many trips we’re going to need to make to fracture clinics in various hospitals in the area! So I’ll leave you with my last sun-soaked pic of our beautiful coastline:
Happy November to you all – may the sun continue to shine wherever you are.
PS. For more information on the places I have mentioned:
Monkey World: http://www.monkeyworld.org/
Tank Museum: http://tankmuseum.org/
Dorset County Show: http://dorsetcountyshow.co.uk/page/home
Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival: http://www.cheesefestival.co.uk/index.html
Lyme Regis Fossil Festival: http://fossilfestival.com/