Mental Quirks,  Random

6 Week Respite as an Ooompah Loompah

Today I reached the end of my 6 week respite from work. The annual summer term break, when all the UK schools shut down for 6 weeks to give the teachers a well needed break and to give the students a chance to lay in bed till 3pm, eat pizza and play on the ps4 until 4 in the morning. As you may be aware I work for an education supply agency. I work on a day to day basis by having calls the night before booking me in somewhere for the following day, or calls at 7.30 in the morning, telling me to get my arse into gear and be at a school within the next half hour. I do love my job, but the only downside is that  I don’t get paid for my holidays. Therefore, for this loooonnng school holiday, I have had no wages and it’s been hard.

I also tend to feel a little guilty for having such a large amount of time off, especially if I’ve done bugger all in all that time. I haven’t been fortunate enough to go to the seaside, so I’ve been tramping around the house finding stuff to do. I cant really go out having meals and lunches with friends too often because I haven’t got the cash. So this year, I decided in late June, that I would try and decorate some of my house; and I have been a little bit successful with it; but not much. Sometimes I’ve got to the end of the day and thought whilst munching a large chocolate muffin ‘Well I feel pretty knackered, but what exactly have I done today?……Piss all, that’s what!!’ as I carried on with the nom nom nom action!!! and wiped chocolate chips from my chin.

Yet, after a considerable amount of meditation and intense brain memory activity, I have done quite a bit. I have put these bits of stuff into 4 categories starting with the positive section and running down to the ‘Mad as a box of Frogs’ section.

It’s been a weird 6 weeks!

Positive Stuff

Relaid my garden brick path. You know, all those little bricks that houses are built with, scraped of the debris and red stinging ants and put them all back together, a bit like a jigsaw ensemble. The last brick back in took 3 of us, and a large wooden plank with brute force, but I did it.

Weeded all the garden front and back. Cut all the edges precisely so they looked tidy and straight. Planted flowers in pots and took the shit from the side of the house down the tip. (Not manure type shit, but the accumulated garden shit like old metal chair frames, old fence panels, old scooters and my rusty bike)

Painted the sitting room walls with the last coat of emulsion, whilst picking of labrador hairs and lumps.

Glossed, 3 coats, one interior door. (I was bored shitless).

Baked some great cakes and puddings for the kids.

Had 2 lunches out with friends.

Painted a Helter Skelter.

Purposely ate more garlic and drank more water.

Lost 7lbs in weight.


Saved a stray kitten from the brink of death.

Helped a woman carry a heavy box to the bus stop in town, (She was 4ft, the box was 6), slight exaggeration but you get my meaning.

Pumped up my mums car tyres, checked her water and oil.

Fed my mums stray cats whilst she was away, 14 trips in total.


Made a tray of flapjacks and forgot about them. They came out just slightly off-black. I gave one to my dog who brought it into the sitting room and it fell with the sound of a heavy wardrobe. His teeth made the noise of a hack saw going through a 8ft plank of wood as his teeth grated against the sugary oats trying to dislodge a section. He was there a long time.

Drinking too many pints one lunchtime with a friend in town, and then feeling giddy on the bus homeward. I felt sick that day.

Feeling wretched and utterly guilty of being a supply worker and not a permanent member of staff in a school. I couldn’t even afford to take my boys to the seaside for the day.

Daily getting my watercolour pad and pens out and sitting in anticipation for enlightenment to come before I attempted to draw or paint, and getting absolutely nowhere. I have painters block. Any ideas greatly appreciated?

Drinking too much coffee and getting too much heartburn.


Forgetting to take my anti-depressant and then feeling giddy later on in the evening and wondering why I was feeling so knackered and dizzy.

Leaving my lovely suede shoes outside in the garden and forgetting about them. Well it rained in the night. Ruined.

Going out with a friend one evening for a couple and then walking home in the dark at 11.30pm. Risky that!

Leaving my purse in the car and thinking someone had lifted it in town.

Receiving my new glasses from SpecSavers, and being informed that it will take a while to get used to them being verifoculs and all. The optician told me to tilt my head so that I get used to the far away section at the top half of the lens, and to tilt my head down so that I get used to the bottom half of the lens for reading. So I takes myself down to a Cafe Nero for a coffee and a read of my book with my new goggles. I’m sitting next to this guy on a computer. I was reading my book with my new glasses on and lifting my head up, couldn’t get it right, and tilting it down and couldn’t get that right and saying every 3 seconds, “Adjust, no adjust, for gods sakes, adjust”. I felt his eyes upon me and he was convinced that I was seriously addled and completely bonkers.


Having to cope with the lenses over the past week and having to adapt my head constantly so it’s  in the correct position. It’s the most strangest feeling dealing with verifoculs. When I look towards the ground when I’m walking I feel like an Oompah Loompah, all midgety and disconnected to my very self.

So that’s it, my 6 week sabbatical or whatever you fancy calling it. When I take a look, I’ve done some pretty constructive things and saved a little life. Therefore, it’s been a positive 6 weeks, if a little bit loopy x


  • M.L. James

    “Adjust, no adjust, for god’s sake, adjust!” That’s hilarious! I can see you there with the guy slowly trying to get as far away from the crazy woman talking to herself as possible! Heeheehee!

    All in all, I’d say you’ve been quite productive and a hero to boot! And that’s a lot of something good!
    As to painting, have you considered doing portraits? I bet you’d be really good at it!

    Fun post!

  • Allen T. St. Clair

    You’re more productive in 6 weeks than I am in 6 years. Jealous! And, if I had been sitting next to you at a coffee shop and saw/heard you cursing your glasses, I would have made you my new best friend. I, too, know the struggle of new glasses.

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