While I was living out in Lyon, my oldest friend was doing her PGCE. She likened it to a year-long driving test – and that analogy rang true for me when I did my PGDE (the Scottish equivalent of the PGCE) this year.
You see, while you’re training there’s always a colleague at the back of the room – just like there’s always someone in the passenger seat accompanying a learner driver. They observe you in action, and provide feedback to help you hone your skills. You reflect on how your lesson went (some will be total car-crashes, others will feel more like a trip in Mr Weasley’s Flying Ford Anglia) and identify which aspect(s) of your practice you need to work on. Little by little, you gain confidence and competence behind the wheel (or stood in front of thirty-odd teenagers, as the case may be).
And then, just like that, the course finishes. Placement 3, done and dusted. The last assignments submitted. You pass. Next time you stand up in front of a class, there’ll be no one* observing you day in day out (which is both exciting and terrifying).
Continue reading “An A-Z of the PGDE”
Normally, I round off the year with a month-by-month breakdown of memorable moments. But, much like last year, by the time December rolled round, I couldn’t remember for the life of me what I’d done in January. Or February, for that matter. (Other than pack our life in Cambridge into boxes and move it 300+ miles up the A1, that is. More on that below.) So I decided to take a slightly different approach. I’ve broken the year up by numbers – some big, some small – which together paint a picture of 2021.
Continue reading “2021 in Numbers”
Move back up north, I wrote, what feels like a lifetime ago but was in fact a little over a year ago. Cairngorms (May!). Bag another Munro.
Continue reading “New Neighbours”
2020 was full of memorable moments. Most weren’t the sort I usually reminisce over – hikes, trips away and the like – but they were memorable moments nonetheless.
Moments that sparked laughter, or joy.
Moments that, in a normal year, would be long since lost to the murky depths of my memory.
Continue reading “What 2020 Taught Me”
I was struggling to find words to describe the past few months, to piece together how life as we know it became life as we knew it.
And then, on an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? of all places, along came this quote:
‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
I could, so easily, write off this year. I’ve seen only a handful of friends in person this year; I’ve not seen my parents or sister since Christmas. I’m still living in Cambridge (which is picturesque and rather nice sans touristes, but not somewhere I’ve ever felt especially at home). I’ve not gone on a single hike.
Continue reading “Cambridge Chronicles #6 | September 2020”
Many moons ago, I made a list of places to go, recipes to try, hikes to fill my weekends with and the like. ‘Cairngorms.’ ‘Seven Sisters hike.’ ‘Run a half marathon.’ ‘Bake a vegetable-based cake.’ ‘See Les Misérables.’
I didn’t want 2020 to slip through my fingers.
But 2020 had other ideas.
Continue reading “The Glad Game”
Blink and you’ll miss it. That’s 2020 for me – and for you, too, I imagine. (I can’t be the only one looking at a sea of blank squares on the calendar and wondering how it’s the end of June already.) Although I’ve not motored through quite as many books as usual, I’m not short of gems to recommend. Dip in – there’s something for everyone on this shelf – and share your recommendations in the comments.
Continue reading “My Bookshelf #14 | June 2020”
Life as we know it has changed, almost beyond recognition, in the space of a few short weeks. Staying at home – day in, day out – and only venturing out for food supplies or exercise is strange. Seeing Cambridge sans tourists on said outings is stranger still. Like you, I have good days (which mostly involve baked goods, calls with family and friends and sunshine) and bad days (which tend to feature stress-inducing supermarket trips and runners who don’t seem to know what two metres looks like).
Continue reading “Alphabet Adventures: An A-Z of Adventures at Home”
What a month it’s been. Exactly a month ago, I was admiring King Tut’s treasures at the Saatchi Gallery. Today, I’ve read a few chapters of Unnatural Causes, been on a rather brisk walk across Grantchester Meadows for my daily dose of exercise and eaten half a packet of Tangfastics. Pre-lockdown, I found some gems in Cambridge’s charity shops: Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild; The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion; Celeste Ng’s début Everything I Never Told You; The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling); and Peter Crouch’s autobiography How to Be a Footballer. I also stocked up on books from Cambridge Central Library, and bought a copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd from Heffers (ahead of what turned out to be our first virtual book club). Wherever you are, I hope you’re keeping well. If you’re after some book recommendations to get you through the next few weeks, you’ve come to the right place.
Continue reading “My Bookshelf #13 | March 2020”
Some months flew by; others crawled. (And now? The UK is virtually grinding to a halt and we’re down to our last six loo rolls. Not words I ever thought I’d type, it must be said.) I’ve spent some lovely evenings with work friends, including a delicious (and very reasonably priced) meal at Cookhouse Joe. I followed that particular meal up with a detour to Carnaby Street: their Christmas lights installation, a collaboration with Project Zero, was something else. Closer to home, Laurence and I (finally) went for food at The Blue Ball in Grantchester, saw the Fitzwilliam Museum’s Feast and Fast exhibition, and returned to the ADC Theatre for Footlights Spring Revue 2020: Crossed Wires.
Continue reading “Cambridge Chronicles #5 | March 2020”