15. What do I need to do before I go?

We are slightly in limbo at present. Quite significant stages have been reached but it is too early for other tasks to be accomplished so we are knuckling down to our TEFL course. This has been forced upon us by an unexpected need to complete within 90 days of registering, probably as a result of not reading the small print. In our enthusiasm to instigate our plans we enrolled on this course so that it was ready to undertake as a suitable time arose without realising the implemented timescale. However it seems to have landed quite aptly and we are approaching half way with 65 days left. It has been very interesting as neither of us learnt English grammar or Latin at school, picking up most of our knowledge from undertaking a foreign language at ‘O’ level. Whilst not complacent about this I had thought that our main learning points would be how to teach it rather than the subject itself, I thought I knew that. How wrong could I be? Learning all the rules of the 14 tenses has been quite arduous, particularly considering the number of irregularities. It has made me much more respectful of people who do manage to learn our language and I’m struggling to remember why expressions are incorrect even when they obviously are. As our Mother tongue, I have found it quite fascinating to understand the grammatical rules and construction of something of which we are so familiar and have bounced from one module to the next with a large degree of fervour. Hopefully the impetus will not run out before completion. We do have a weekend classroom course in three months’ time so that should ensure our continued commitment.

We have also enrolled on a cookery/chalet host course in Godalming in June. This particular one, of the many advertised, guarantees a job on completion so we do hope that we will be successful and embarking early in the training season, may actually have some degree of choice. Accommodation still has to be arranged and we must ensure that we don’t leave that too late as it follows closely on from completion of TEFL. The end of season ski sale has brought some great bargains; a new ski jacket, couple of thin fleeces and 2 pairs of gloves for 25% of their retail price. I just want to find a nice pair of snow boots and then I think I may be ready, albeit prematurely.

We have instigated major essential repairs on both the properties although, as ever, the tradesmen need chasing. My house needs three large windows replacing and has done for 6 years so finally the catalyst required has triggered that. His needs a new boiler and cosmetic repair and repaint before it can be considered to be of rentable standard. The gardens will need to be maintained carefully over the summer to ensure that they are in a reasonable state for the following spring. The clutter needs to be cleared either up or away. I did venture to my first car boot sale although, now I’m in the know, it transpires it was actually a table top sale, quite different apparently! It was a rather sedate affair which was probably as well for me for my first experience but did mean that I brought most of it back and didn’t quite manage to cover the cost of the table; not really a success. Listening to the other ‘traders’ who appeared much more professional than me, it transpires that the advertising is key and always better at the quiet time of year not to coincide with another, much better advertised, sale in the same village! This has meant that I can’t clear much more out of the loft without getting rid of the piles which are building up downstairs. However my last expedition into the rafters did enable me to throw out 7-8 empty boxes which made it look much clearer as well as identify what still needs to be sorted. IMAG0206What do you do with old curtains? Drapes which are in perfectly good condition but just the wrong size or colouring for the current abode; there are yards and yards of fabric and linings. Suggestions on the internet seem to comprise, in the main, ideas to make other articles from the material but I don’t want a massive pile of peg-bags or kitting bags to add to my case of knitted hot water bottle covers as I know that they don’t sell anyway. I think I’m going to re-investigate Free-cycle as I can’t even give them away to friends and family.

Family members are all aware and have been very supportive. My niece and nephew are the most surprising as they seem almost envious yet they are the generation who have had the opportunities, which they took, that we missed. Perhaps their embarkation onto the mortgage and young family ladder, which we are just about completing, is making them realise how restricted they are going to be, potentially for the next 2 decades. I never expected to find them envious of me, it has always been the other way round.

So back to the ‘tefling’ – I don’t think that verb is on our list – and completion of the next assignment to conclude the main module. I will need to complete the bulk as once the weather starts to improve I will want to be outside and I know for a fact that I can’t see my laptop screen when I’m outside in the sun!

Feb 2014

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