OOh look! Arti has actually put a new post on her wiblog at last!

Well – I thought it was about time!

So – how do I update you on everything that has happened without writing a novel or sending you to sleep?

Just over a year ago I moved flat. Trying to run a tutoring business from a one bedroom flat was getting ridiculous! My lovely Dad helped me out with some money and well – here I am – a large 3 bedroom flat with plenty of room for my tutoring stuff, plus the opportunity to have children come to me for lessons.

Work continues to be busy, varied, interesting and fun. I’m currently teaching Year 2 reading ( 6 year old), triple sciences at GCSE and a lot in between! I really do love this variety and the different types of relationship you can have with different students at different ages and stages.

I love my new flat, although there’s quite a lot of decorating to be done. Guests with paint brushes are welcome! It is so nice though to have a bedroom that only has to serve as a bedroom and nothing else! Currently, the only thing I am storing under the bed is dust. 😀

My Dad has been pretty ill recently which has caused a lot of concern. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease last year and while he had made good progress on medication, he then slipped on the ice and snow before Christmas and gave himself a nasty head injury. Currently we just have to “wait and see” what will happen as brain injuries can take a considerable recovery time.

I’m wondering how others are faring in these more financially problematic times. Looking at my accounts and budgets this week, I realised that things were getting rather tight. I am currently considering how to “tweak” my business to see if things can be rather less “on the edge”.

Ok, so those are my excuses for not having blogged much. They sound rather boring. Perhaps I should have invented a few. (Called to be phonics and reading advisor for child of extremely rich and famous person whose name must not be mentioned? Currently busy brokering peace in several Middle-Eastern countries? Abducted by aliens? Buried under pile of dirty laundry and had to be rescued by sniffer dogs? Hmm – perhaps not!)

The drips from upstairs have now been sorted out!

So absolutely no talk about how long I have been away from this blog… please! Life has been busy and changing in the world of Arti but I’m not going to tell you how (yet) [evil grin emoticon]! I’m just going to tell you about the drips from upstairs.

Last Sunday evening I was rather perturbed to realise that my bathroom light was sizzling! Not so much “sausage”, more “turning on a kettle with no water in”. It was even more perturbing to realise the sizzling continued even after I turned the light off. Then I discovered water was dripping through the bathroom ceiling in a number of places too.

So I got into “arti practical mode”, turned the overhead lighting circuit off at the fuse box, turned on a few table lamps and went and hammered on the door of the upstairs flat.

This flat is rented by two twenty-something lads. They are lovely, cheerful and friendly and fairly clueless about having a home, especially when it is a flat! I’ve already had to leave a note gently suggesting that whichever one of them is having such fun with his girlfriend in the early hours of the morning should try and do it a bit more quietly as they KEEP WAKING ME UP! (and I’m not usually bothered by a bit of noise so you can imagine the…. well perhaps not to go there!)

Anyway, the door is answered by Mr “Notnoisyat3am” who says immediately, “Oh have you come about the water on the bathroom floor?” (Er no.. it was rather more the water dripping through my ceiling that I was concerned about!)
It turns out they had kind of noticed that the bathroom floor had been rather wet for a few days but weren’t sure if it was just because someone had had a shower! (?) Then they had both gone away for the weekend. (!!)
I instructed him to put a bucket under the leak (which I could see from bathroom doorway!) and phone his landlord the next morning. ( I decided not to worry about sounding bossy as teacher-mode was obviously needed in the situation!) He promised faithfully to do both. I’m glad I actually got the landlord’s number from him too, as it turned out he didn’t manage to phone him. I also found out from the contractor the landlord sent round to sort out leak and look at my light, that Mr “Notnoisyat3am”‘s idea of a bucket was a foil take-away container. No wonder the dripping seemed to ease and then start back as badly as before!

It took 3 days to sort out 2 leaks and for the dripping to finally stop, however things seem to be OK now. I think their landlord is on the ball even if they aren’t. Turns out the triple spot light fitting in my bathroom will double up as an extra bowl should I ever need it, the amount of water it can hold.
I am slowly drying out (well my ceiling is) and I am hoping it won’t be difficult to get the upstairs landlord to sort out the bit of re-decorating that needs doing!

OK – So what I want to know is… are all twenty-something lads like that or are there some with a bit more common sense. I asked a twelve year old student of mine, who said he’d know to put a bucket under a leak in the bathroom. So what happens between the ages of twelve and twenty-five? And when does it start to improve again?

Bits and pieces

Just dashing in to say hello again. I’m taking 10 minutes of my lunch break to blog – aren’t you impressed?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’ve got an extra student at the moment because I took another one a few weeks before I finished with one ( last session tonight) so I’ve been running from pillar to post a bit.

Not sure what news I’ve got really. I asked the mother of the student I’m just finishing with to write me a reference I can show to other parents and she has said fantastically nice things about me…

” …As a family we cannot recommend Arti enough; her patience, kind manner and absolute dedication to teaching are exemplary.”
Where’s a blushing smiley when you want one?

In other news, two of my friends have given birth to baby boys in the last 10 days so I’ve been getting lots of baby cuddles which is lovely. I really like the way they make creaking noises when they are that tiny. Oh and my sister has been nominated for a (very) prestigious award as best casting director. I’m pretty amazed really!

I’m quite tired now and struggling a bit with my teaching prep as a result but I’m starting a 2 week holiday from the 1st August so I’m looking forward to that. I’m spending the first week in Pembrokeshire with a friend (and her children, her mother and the au pair) which should be good. For those of you in the UK who are wondering what has happened to the weather, don’t worry. It’s just that I’ve booked all the sunshine for the first 2 weeks of August!

Right – enough prattle – I better get back to work!

Time to blog…with one finger

At last I have found out how to fit blogging into my busy timetable! I am currently photo-enlarging the next reading book for my partially-sighted student (all 50 pages). This involves holding the lid of my copier/printer down on each page individually so that the copy doesn’t blur. It is a really tedious task! But… if I can read and write blogs at the same time it relieves the boredom. The only trouble is that I can only get about three words typed per page. So unfortunately (or possibly fortunately) you aren’t going to get my entire life story since I last blogged.
OK – eight more pages to go and the that’s your lot. Actually I’m aiming for the worst blog of the year award, so do let me know if I get your vote!

Right, all 50 pages done so that’s all folks. I only hope that I’ve managed to get all the double sided ( picture) pages the right way up!

Edited to add – 2 upside down pictures (and it’s all your fault d’you hear, all your fault!!)

Now I’ve seen it all!

Yesterday I was searching on the internet for phonics worksheets with the a-e grapheme (words with an “ay” sound made by the silent/magic e ). I found a worksheet where you had to match words to pictures – ideal. One of the words was “cave” and the corresponding picture was of a typical Easter morning cave tomb, complete with stone over the entrance, being rolled away by…the Easter Bunny!

I kid you not!


Just a quick note to say that I haven’t actually disappeared off the face of the earth. Life’s been pretty hectic though. I’m on holiday though this week so if you are lucky you might even get another sparkling post from me before too long!!

Procrastinators R us!

I don’t know why it is! I’ve so much to do today and instead I’m sitting drinking tea and writing on my blog. I’m visiting my parents in Gloucestershire tomorrow. Between now and then I have to:

go to the library;

do a bit of last minute shopping ( whist avoiding any roads within 2 miles of our local rather large and well known shopping mall);

wrap lots of presents;

take clothes out of the washing machine and somehow get them dry before tomorrow;

tidy up;

tidy up some more;

do some ironing;

check there’s nothing going too mouldy in the fridge;

write and deliver christmas cards to my neighbours;

make some notes about the children I taught yesterday as I will have forgotten anything at all sensible about them by next week;

check the tyre pressures on the car;

clear rubbish out of car;

pack to go away.

Meanwhile my bedroom looks like a cross between a primary classroom gone wrong and a Chinese laundry and the living room looks like Santa’s present wrapping workshop on a very bad day.

So far I have actually managed to:

get out of bed (2 1/2 hours later than I intended originally)

have breakfast

have a shower and get dressed

put some washing in the machine (with fingers crossed that the brown camisole top doesn’t run too badly and discolour the white bath towel)

do the washing up;

get stuck on a sudoku (procratinating);

make 2 phone calls (more procrastinating);

hve another cup of tea (yes you’ve guessed it, even more procr….).

I’m working on the theory that I’m procrastinating because I feel overwhelmed by the tasks that need doing – what do you reckon?

Extreme Bible Study

I think I have invented a new sport.

I mean, how else can I explain it? These extreme sports are on the risky and physically dangerous side aren’t they? So then of course it makes perfect sense, when people ask me how on earth I’ve managed to get such a grazed and bruised face, to say, “Oh I went to a Bible study.”

The truth of the matter is that I tripped hurrying up my friends’ driveway, went flying at speed, put out my hands and knees to break my fall, but neglected to tell my head that this meant it could cease all further forward momentum. Consequently it wacked itself very hard against the tarmac. So now I have a bruise and graze on my forehead, bruising and swelling over the bridge of my nose and in the corners of my eyes where my glasses impacted with the tarmac (and my face) and another bigger graze on my chin. I have also taken a nice chunk out of one knee but of course that’s rather less dramatically visible!

Fortunately it is all cuts and bruises and no broken bones. Also fortunately I chose the right Bible study group at which to injure myself. After all it’s not often that you have a GP, a surgeon and a nurse on tap to help you out! They managed to patch me up quite efficiently between them (although the nurse, whose house it was, had no plasters and they had to be fetched from the surgeon’s car!). Strangely I turned down the offer of having all my wounds stitched though (!) and was very glad that I hadn’t broken my nose as the description of how it needed to be set before the swelling started didn’t seem that attractive really!

So I am, really, fine. Its funny though how a fall like that can really shake you up. I felt most peculiar yesterday and have decided to take it easy this morning and not go to church. I will go this evening when I’m singing in a choir for the Carol Service. I think I’ve got something a bit similar to mild whiplash as my neck and shoulder are extremely achy!

That means today will be a strange mixture of having a lie in (check) completing a sudoku (check) updating my blog ( check) catching up on washing and housework (um er…) wrapping and finishing making Christmas presents ( even more um er…). Perhaps I’d better go and get on with it all! Though maybe I’d better make myself another nice cup of tea first. After all it is supposed to be good for shock!

Oh dear! Things are not easy at the moment. Having chatted to my counsellor yesterday, I’m understanding a bit better why I’m feeling as bad as I am, but it doesn’t make it much easier to deal with. I think that grief about my Granny has also triggered feelings about other griefs and hurts from the past.

I’m finding it really hard to get myself to go to bed at night because I’m scared of the depths of feelings that may happen as I try and relax and go to sleep. Conversely I don’t want to wake up in the mornings because I’m scared of the feelings that may flood in as I gain consciousness!

I also keep feeling angry – on the surface with dear friends who don’t deserve it but also, underneath about things that have happened in the past. The worst thing is trying to come to terms with the fact that hurts and lack of nurture I experienced as a child, can’t be made up for by anyone in the present ( secretly I keep hoping that it will!). I feel like I need to let myself be angry to some extent but not so much it becomes overwhelming!

As you can see, your prayers are much needed and welcomed!

This weekend

Well it’s a long time since I’ve cried so much in one weekend. The funeral did go well and it was good to chat with distant relatives I don’t see very often, but overall I just feel very sad and keep wanting to cry! I’d forgotten really how close I was to my Granny when I was very little, but now I keep remembering. I feel very tired aswell as very tearful and have had 2 rather disturbed nights with not enough sleep. I’m not really feeling like getting back in the swing of teaching tomorrow, though it’s possible that being with the children will cheer me up somewhat. I am feeling pretty low though. Thank you for your recent prayers – any more that you can spare would be appreciated!