Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Application Overload

October 31, 2012

It’s been a little dull in the sky today as this kite hasn’t flown.  Instead I’ve been editing and amending and eventually submitting applications.  

There’s nothing quite like application overload to kill any inspiration you might have previously possessed.

If you’re still reading, I will keep in touch on here, as you’ve been so friendly reading this before.

How are you all, anyway?


New Horizons

October 29, 2012

By the way, if it’s not clear in my last post, I have returned from Spain and am looking into other jobs now.  Thanks for being my accompanying passengers on my teaching voyage.  I’m now sailing to new horizons!

And I begin again…

October 29, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog.

Allow me to enlighten you as to my absence.

In Spain, where I was based, we didn’t have any internet connection, and due to the expense of living when you’re a “mileurista” (earner of 1000 euros a month), it was decided that the money for an internet connection would be used more wisely if it was put aside for food and gas.

You see, being an EFL teacher is a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, you get to live in a different country, earn money, you’re almost recession-proof compared to the rest of the population.  You might be near a beach living in a holiday destination and you get to learn or improve the language of the country.  You also have an almost professional occupation that allows you to enrich yourself and develop new skills that employers in Britain generally look for.  On the other hand, since you’re are living “on holiday” on very little money, you don’t get to ever go on holiday unless you work relentlessly through the summer holidays and then do it on a shoe-string budget.  Any savings you manage to make before Christmas generally get eaten up during the festive season, from having to pay flights to that emergency rush round the shops on Christmas Eve anxiously grabbing presents off shelves. Then, the savings you make after Christmas are put towards general survival over the summer holidays when you are not receiving any income.

Thus I have been without internet for a long time, and now I am back with bags of inspiration to keep you reading and hopefully, smiling.


Ten Years Ago

September 12, 2011

Okay, so ten years ago, technically yesterday now, there were the USA bombings including the surreal demolition of the Twin Towers which have marked history as we know it.  I was trying to do an art project for my GCSE, a “las Fallas” representation of Robbie Williams when all that terrible news was broadcast.  The first inklings of any bombings having taken place came to me in the school bus line after a day of classes, prompty shugged off and dismissed as false rumours until switching on the telly.  It took a while to sink in, didn’t it?  I remember feeling disturbed for some days that the thought of people from families like my own should have suffered after starting a seemingly normal day.

I can’t believe that was ten years ago.


First Sunday Back

September 11, 2011

Today saw my first Sunday back in Cadiz.  I will have been here for a week tomorrow, back in my little flat.

After spending quite  a few weeks in leafy Wirral, you forget about the constant din of the main road through Cadiz.  It’s no joke: Spain is a VERY noisy country.  I read that on another blog.  Luckily fior me, my neighbours are extremely considerate.  I didn’t even realise I had any neighbours until just before I went home for the summer.   Mr Kites likes to leave the balcony door and windows open to let the warm air circulate a bit.  Otherwise it can start to smell quite stuffy.  That’s not because of personal hygiene issues, that’s just flats for you.  Ones where people live and where there is only ne outer wall.  As a logical consequence, we are continually treated to traffic noises, motorbikes with loud engines, ambulances and police cars, police whistles, drunken talking and laughing, and this morning, rather more joyfully, aeroplanes.

Not the ordinary Easyjet or Ryanair kind, nor the more exclusive lines that I am barred from using (well, I don’t know, I haven’t tried to board any, but I imagine they might escort me away for wearing untrendy jeans and having a bird’s nest for hair, as well as the fact that I’m friendly and talk to people with my northern accent, which apparently you’re not supposed to do.  People get frightened of strangers who chat to them.  In particuliar, the Scouse kind.  Saying that, they would more likely escort me away for trying to board with a Ryanair ticked since I’m impoverished. )  These planes were a little bit special.  They were Spanish army planes, the Patrulla Aguila, which were like Red Arrows.  After trying to ignore the rude tremors they were causing, we decided to delay our wakey-up time coffee for a quick nose outside.  They weren’t quite as impressive as the Red Arrows spectables that I’ve seen on telly, but the fact that they seemed to free fall at irregular speed, fly perfectly upside down and perform spectacular twists and turns with perfect control in the blink of an eye left me dumbfounded.  They produced light blue, white and red smoke trails, and at the very end, we were treated to a display of red and yellow smoke, representative of the Spanish flag.

Then back to coffee.  A few reruns (ahem, sorry, I should say repeats) of Sex and the City later (I don’t recall if I’ve ever declared that particular guilty pleasure before.  A university addiction.), and we headed off to the beach for a swim (well, more like a bathe) in the wavy sea.

Afterwards, we performed the miraculous: an English roast with no gravy.  (Mum, if you’re reading, please send me some Bisto granules.  I do’t want to have to improvise every time.  Thanks.)

We ate in on the balcony, since we are making the most of late summer evenings before we are banished to the sofa and blankets since we have no central heating.  Don’t imagine that’ll be TOO soon though.  It’s just a little peculiar eating roast dinner on a balcony outside at night.

So that’s been my first Sunday back.  I have three more days of freedom before my soul is put on detention again for another ten months, I mean, before I start work.  I have three more days to realise my writing/painting ambitions.

And I promise not to be a TEFL bore any more, so this blog will be devoted to ME, and things I LIKE, like kittens, les ballets imaginaires, swimming in rivers wearing hats and ****, I mean books and jewellery and funny words and food and stuff.

Writer’s Block

September 11, 2011

I’ve been meaning to write something down.  It seems like the kind of purshuit that may validate my existence. Oh, now I’m reminded of the latest Adrian Mole diary, The Prostrate Years, in which Adrian’s mother attempts an autobiography.  In fact most things I’ve tried to write resemble Adrian’s unplublished portfolio, though mine wouldn’t be so vast.  Whenever I write something, I feel an urge to purge my exercise book by mercilessly tearing it out.  I’m very embarrassed by my artistic endeavours.

I recently bought a notebook and decided I was going to write in it.  I was going to write something and not tear it up, but accept it in all it’s imperfections as a decent first draft.  It remains unopened.

So I continue in the writers’ abyss.

Do any of you have this problem?  How might one solve it?



And back again!

September 10, 2011

After a well-earned pause from the blogosphere and Twitter, I’m pleased to announce that will be posting again shortly.

I hope you have all had a great summer.


Melting Away at Work. (Not a metaphor!)

June 16, 2011

Today was by far the weirdest day.

The air-conditioning wasn’t working today, as there’s been some problem with the electrics in our work.

I was pre-warned and told to wear something cool for work, as it was going to be like a sauna. I decided before work to pick up some plant spray bottles to fill up with water and squirt at my students, and more importantly, myself.

Everyone was too hot to do any work. I was surprised, as I hadn’t realised the impact the air-con had had on my working life up ’til now. I thought isn’t this what it’s like in England all the time? Because in the UK nowhere really has air-con, since we would only require it for a maximun of two weeks during a good summer. So we would make do with electric fans and open windows. Today, however, there were no electric fans nor windows that could be opened. It seems daft that we can’t open the windows, but this must be a safety precaution, since we are on the sixth floor and we have a lot of children who come to the centre. Children are difficult to control at the best of times, so they might fancy climbing out the windows, who knows.

The students were basically resistant to work, even games. The squirty bottles were a good call. For the next class, there was an exam, so I bought a big bottle of water and got some paper cups for the students to use, and let them use the squirty bottle as much as they wanted to.

The last class was adults, who came in and thought “We can’t stay here for an hour and a half,” so we got permission to have the class in the bar across the road.

Well I might not be the best teacher in the world academically speaking, but you can’t say I don’t look after my students.

Tomorrow I have my two most difficult groups. Where I can easily get one group on side with competetive games, preferably with a football element, the second group are that bit older and basically do not engage with anything I prepare. They’ve done their exam now, and only continue to come because their parents make them. I’ve tried everything I can, and they don’t even listen to instructions. They are lovely as individuals on their own, but the group dynamic is challenging. If the air-con isn’t working tomorrow, I really won’t know what to do with them.

What’s happened to Miss Kites?

June 14, 2011

Ladies and gentleman,

Some days I fear I may be going mad.  I wanted to cry today at the prospect of another year of feeling the way I have felt this year.  I wanted to cry in front of the Irish man with the academy who wasn’t saying the words I wanted to hear: ” Have a job!  We loved your CV!  You’ll be welcomed here with open arms”.

Asking for work is so humiliating.  It’s opening yourself up to rejection from the outset.  Three academies.  One wasted morning.  A thousand tears that wanted to spill out.  Two sad eyes.

On the bus on the way home recounted my youth to Mr Kites.

“I don’t know what it was like for you, but for me when I was in school, they told us that the world is our oyster and we could do anything.  The disappointment stings.”

The stagnant waters of the world of work provide little evidence of the promises made to us during golder, shinier years.

Mr World, I feel like you gave our generation false hope.  The world is not my oyster.  It’s someone else’s.

Words 2

June 14, 2011

New annoying words:

go-to (used as an adjective)

get-go (used as a noun)