Let me tell you, last week has been crazy and I am knackered. It was crazy because I always think I can do this and there is no need to say no and because I am not noting stuff in the calendar, thereby pretending I have no commitments.
I spent two mornings in my new lab to find out what the duties for my new job will be. After years of teaching, it was weird to be back where I left a long time ago. I will be working as a technician rather than doing my own research but I like the idea of a job that doesn't bring with it the responsibilities of an academic teaching or research post. I'll be working 5 hours a day from tomorrow for about 4 months. I was pleased to find out that the community spirit I remember so fondly from my research days is still a reality and I am pleased that I still know how to handle a pipette. It'll be good. I'll still be able to do school runs and day time puppy care is going to be divided between myself, Richard and Sam.
I spent an afternoon interviewing prospective social workers for our adoption agency. The agency always asks adopters to independently interview the candidates to get an idea of their abilities to work with prospective and current adoptive parents. I find it really difficult to do all the applicants justice and I am pleased that our adoption agency is so diligent. This is so different to my own recent experience. I have been to many interviews this year and quite a few of the posts went to an internal candidate who of course has an advantage over external candidates just by virtue of being there and being in the know.The last interview (for an academic post) I went to was like that also. It is so frustrating to be one of several token interviewees invited because Human Resources guidelines have to be followed. I am glad I have a temporary job now.
I went back to our local Secondary School for a day to find out more about High School Science teaching. It was rather enjoyable and I got to meet new teachers and different classes. Our local Secondary School has a "good" mix of challenging pupils and "normal" pupils due to a large and socially divergent catchment area. I wonder at what stage my UCAS applications for teacher training are. I am still not quite sure if this is the path I want to take.
Other chores and delights were a vet visit, a dentist appointment, a PTA event, two Birthday parties (not ours), an afternoon of crafting at the community club and children's eye tests. All went well except that I took one wrong child (James) for the eye test and left one right child at home (Annie).
What bothers me more than anything else is that I have a dissertation deadline looming... I am finding it difficult to concentrate on my reading and writing and I hope my supervisor will not be too disappointed with my draft.
You may wonder how I manage to squeeze all this into one week? My solution is to ignore exercise and non essential housework. This does of course backfire. It always does. Firstly, I feel grumpy because of lack of positive energising exercise and secondly, when I am stressed and/or tired, mess and dirt bother me more. And so it will come as no surprise that yesterday, I absolutely had nothing better to do than to clean the tiled splashback behind the hob because I could simply not bear the sight of the greasy yellowish grout anymore. Equipped with toothbrush, bicarbonate of soda and an audiobook I spent a good while scrubbing the grout. For good measure, I used a little bleach, too. I don't like using bleach in the kitchen but on rare occasions I do. The result was astonishing. Unfortunately the squeaky clean splashback put the rest of the kitchen in a rather less favourable light. You know what comes next, don't you? Luckily, Richard took it upon himself to clean the rest of the kitchen from top to bottom. What would I do without him? I attacked the pile of ironing instead.
My poor children and Richard did suffer this week, I am sure they did. I have been snappy and shouty and not very patient with the poor souls.
So, here I am, writing this blog post instead of summarising the findings of my dissertation research.... next week will be great, I just know it.
Wishing you a lovely start to the week! Cx