I think most of the day I spent working at my computer, but I got lots of work done with the help of my furry friend. Or at least, she wasn't too much of a hindrance- until she started attacking the paper as it came out of the computer. I chased her downstairs, and this is the baleful look you get when she is grumpy. Not a time to stroke her!
Chaos! that's the best description I can think of for today. We had the highest tide of the year at 14.4 metres. This, combined with the gale-force wind, closed roads all around the coast. Not too bad, until you realise that the high corresponded with rush-hour in the morning. It took me 1 h 45 minutes to travel a route which normally takes 15 minutes! I arrived at school, very apologetic and thinking that it didn't look great for the first day of my course, to find that most of my trainees hadn't yet made it in either. We started at 10 am instead of 9 am, which meant that I shaved a few minutes off every session, lunch and coffee breaks, to send us all home at a reasonable time. Over the winter we had a wooden chalet built to increase the number of classrooms. This was used for the first time today as the school was full. There was even a lesson taking place in the staffroom while the new students were being tested.
The high winds so far this year meant that some of the island's trees were destabilised. One of the school trees, a bit too close to the new cabin for comfort, had a huge branch fall off. The boss called a tree surgeon who decided that it needed to be pollarded, (or cut right back). There was plenty of wood when it was done, but the noise of the wood cutters was a bit irritating. Never mind- at least it isn't going to fall down on anyone or anything. Today's High tide was an hour later than Monday's, slightly lower and with little wind , which meant that the roads weren't closed. This time I arrived at the bottom of the hill just as a monster wave drenched my car, causing it to aquaplane for several metres. It was quite scary, but as the sea rolled back it didn't last long, and I was able to get to work only slightly shaken.
I had to stop and take a photo of the sea this morning. It was flat calm and glittering in the sunlight of the morning. Hard to believe that I had aquaplaned on the same stretch of road the day before. One of the wonderful things about working round the coast from my house is the fact that the tide is never the same two days running. At lunchtime I was able to take part in a really interesting #ELTChat with tips for beginning and ending lessons. This was unusual, as normally I'm in class at the time- but the trainees were having their Unknown Language session ( Korean) which freed me up to join in. I then had time to put the summary together as well- result :-) The summary is in the post below for anyone who is interested.
On Thursday Cairis's new skate wheels arrived. She had been complaining that hers were for beginners, and she wasn't one any more. She needed wheels which would grip less and travel faster, so we ordered them on Monday evening- and they arrived on Thursday. Good work from the post office:-). We spent the evening working out how to get the old ones off- and then how to put the new ones on! I even managed to go to the gym. That is what I miss most when I'm training. There never seems to be enough 'me' time.
FridayThe end of the week is in sight :-) Today the trainees did their first micro-teaching session. They were all very stressed, but actually did a very good job. Normally I would treat them to a beer in the Tenby (a very useful name when discussing assimilation!) at the end of the first week, but I had to rush off to a ceilidh in aid of the Philippines Disaster Fund. The Venue, a local hotel, was packed and the band donated their earnings for the evening to the total. We don't often play for ceilidhs on a Friday, but we do have quite a few in the pipeline.
I love the island at this time of year. Just a few days of sunshine and every bank on the island is awash with golden daffodils. My colleague lives on one of my favourite lanes. The farmer and his workers planted millions of bulbs down the lane to the farm and at this time of year it is stunningly beautiful. The sea is glittering in the sunshine, M is off racing in his boat, Cairis is out shopping for a birthday gift for a friend, and I am going to work in the garden for a while.