So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog

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As you read this, I will be have been back teaching my annual English course for over a month. The Job centre or AMS has had to make cut backs and this may be the last, as there is now a Government change and maybe now the emphasis is on German courses for immigrants. I’m hoping to get some training and move into Online teaching. It would be great to work from home!

On the information day, I had one lady who has survived one of my previous courses, a neighbour and a woman who has worked in the holiday houses for me.  There is the possibility of some interpersonal problems with some who know each other  already and that the AMS may swoop and check if my Gender and Diversity training is up to date. Daft for an English course, but forewarned is forearmed!

I’m really looking forward to it as I write, but how will I be feeling when you read this??????

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My last week of freedom!


The summer has slipped past, and in a few days, I’m returning to teaching for a 9 weeks course. Its the thought of this that has given me focus this year, but its not sustainable. In the new year, I must find a long term, part time job that funds the coffers.  Or maybe the solicitors of long lost, dead Great Aunt Ethelberta who was a multi-millionaire will finally track me down…………

I did enjoy the summer despite the heat, and being a bit lonely sometimes when out dog walking. I’ve been blessed with a new friend in the village too.  Dave and I have worked doing the houses and gardens we’ve found to do, but sometimes I think there’s been more bickering than peace. Of course, it didn’t  help when I pranged the car and Dave was wonderful about all that.

Dave was having one of his lecturing me phases lately and when I was niggly about being kept waiting in a shop he self righteously said, ‘Don’t let them steal your peace’, quoting Joyce Meyer.  I grumbled to myself….It was only a few days later (dog walking alone because he had a bad back), I came to the decision that I’m not going to let Dave ruin MY peace with his constant fault finding and niggling.

He got in a real strop the other day when he pointed out yet again he was the only one working, and I pointed out he has had  to do nothing in the house, not even wash up the entire summer. I said are you going to wait on me hand and foot when I’m working  and you’re at home? No, I’ll still be cooking and washing, though I may get let out of the housework and he will have to constantly point out what he’s found that I’ve missed. Cant he see we’re a team and do different things well? So, no more of this. I will detach myself from all this. I will live, letting his words flow over me down the drain.  Oh the joys of being married for over 30 years!

So this week, with no meals on wheels duty, I’ve had the house all to myself from 8 till 1.30. And I’m treasuring every moment. Swingle and I been doing our long morning walks, now in the cold. I’ve been blogging so there’s stuff coming out while I’m working. I’ve even been sneakily reading the occasional novel. But its the aloneness that I’m aware of. And by next Friday it will be at an end, as I work and Dave’s job at the castle comes to an end.  For a long time. After work comes Christmas with Stef coming , and then the winter season of house lets. Then maybe (down homesickness!), a trip to the UK. But unless Dave finds another job, I won’t have the house to myself again for a very long time……………………………………..I’m treasuring these last few days!



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Teaching – the last day


I needed an extra caffeine dose that morning, but off I went. I thought the worst was over.  I gave the tests back and said how clever they all were,only to find I’d written a mark wrongly and had to regrade, Andrea wasn’t even pleased I’d put her up a band.  Then Hilda burst in and I got tough for once and said hang on, I’ll be with you in a minute.  I’d noticed that they always perked up with her enthusiasm – and no doubt better German!!!!!  Then the  lady from the Jobseekersoffice  arrived (AMS) so when she got to the how was the course I left the room.  I managed over the next hour to take students out for their reports and on the whole they were happy – or maybe accepting. One of the ladies was really nice to me about you know who. Some were really over qualified for the course. So of course Hilda bursts in again and interrupts, doing her speciality which is  positive thinking and personality stuff, great but this wasn’t the time for it.  I was beginning to resent her interference. So I asked her to do this outside while I finished.  I popped the unsigned reports to Daniela and Andrea, to fond we must have forgotten to alter them in yesterday.  So more sh)(&t and off to re-write. I gave one certificate to a lady who was leaving early, but she said too there was a mistake – I’d thought they were all ok.  Hilda had said great and given them to me to print, my faith in my own ability to read and write German having long disappeared.  Then the Boss rang, they needed a survey on what the students were now looking for jobwise, so he asked Hilda to do it not me.  I was really past caring by then and finished the certificates and reports. At last all was finished.   Hilda went. She’d said to me that the group had wanted  to say something to me earlier – and I fully admit I thought I might get a card but they were now all sitting around with faces like Daniela’s – sour stewed prunes.  I’ve no idea what had happened. So I gave out the certificates, said how well they’d all done.  I was stumped, should I have sung and danced and clapped? I made some bad jokes about how we sometimes put all our certs on the loo wall in my family. Then I asked where we were going to ‘Fiern’ not exactly celebrate, but we’d said earlier we’d all go to a cafe. Then I got, I need to collect my kid, the car etc.  So I said Ok, lets all go home and Good bye. Thank you.  I was so devastated I didn’t know what to do.  Maybe I had done something wrong culturally, I have no idea. I wasn’t expecting  a bunch of flowers but a small thanks would have been nice.  They’d given Andrea slippers and Chocolates when she left. I know this is all childish, but maybe I was looking for some affirmation.  I sat in the office, just numb, I looked out of the window and they were all outside smoking.  I hid until they had all gone, then went home feeling totally crushed.

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Teaching – Something new….


For the past few weeks, dear reader, once again you’ve been receiving posts on the jolly old-timer.  This is because I actually landed a teaching job and wanted to be able to concentrate on that!  I’d applied for this post way back in March, but had no response, even sending them a reminder before we left before England.  Of course, then practically, I couldn’t have done the job. The course started in the middle of May, just when I was getting over the operation and before we were off to the UK for our son’s wedding.  It was still being advertised when I returned, so I thought give it one more go and leave it, it’s obviously not meant for you.

To my surprise within 24 hours I had a phone call and was interviewed over the phone – horrible as I hate talking in German on the things at the best of times!  For some reason I hadn’t sent me certificates with the first application but had now, maybe that was it.   Then a formal interview, I needed to convince the boss my English NVQ Assessors qualification would do.  It turned out that someone – Andrea was running the course, but had to leave shortly- as in the following Wednesday for another job.  So who’s hand was on this ?  A God-incidence that I could take over the job from her and she could do it until I was ready?   So there I was all set to be a teechur!