Friday, October 29, 2010

Stuck on a merry-go-round

Occasionally, life begins to feel as if you're stuck on an ever-faster spinning merry-go-round, and you cling fearfully onto the thin leather reigns of your bright red circus horse to avoid being flung off into the back of beyond somewhere.  My life was starting to feel like that, so much to do, so little time and the weight of exhaustion and fatigue was dragging me down.  Throw in several bouts of chronic hayfever and seemingly endless meetings and you'll start to get the picture.  All of that is normal end-of-term sentiments for any teacher anywhere in the world.  It's that that makes us grimace and smile through gritted teeth when people refer to teaching as a half-day job with great holidays.  Teachers need the holidays the same way that parents need term-time.  We all want a break from the little blighters!
This past October break, Siobhan and I headed to Nairobi in Kenya.  We managed to get doctor's appointments with a top endocrinologist there, had a mammogram and then attended a week long conference in Nairobi.  Nairobi is great!  We had been warned that it can be quite dangerous and should rather be called Nairobbery, but I have to say, we felt quite safe there.  In the end I didn't drive there but went in the shuttle bus which was quite pleasant.  My car was only operating on 3 cylinders, so had to have an engine overhaul.  It was probably a good thing I didn't drive there, as the traffic in Nairobi is unbelievable and I wouldn't have known where to find the fantastic shopping malls!  We are totally in love with Village Market and the Java Houses at some of the malls.  We spent three days in different malls, watched a movie each day in the cinema and had a ball.  Of course, it goes without saying that we spent way too much money!  There are so many hospitals in Nairobi and the ones we visited were top class.  I never got the results or mammogram film though, but the endocrinologist gave me some new thyroid meds and my tiredness and exhaustion has evaporated and I feel like I am that super-charged pink bunny in the duracell adverts.  My feet and ankles swelled up during the conference, the week after I saw the doctor, with quite a severe oedema, which I imagine is from all the sitting I did.  The 8 hour bus ride back to Moshi exasperated it, and they haven't yet gone back to normal.  I feel like I am walking around with huge cushions on the end of my leg-bones.  I should put my feet up, but have so much writing to do.  On top of that, I seem to have picked up a bladder infection, so while I feel like a bundle of energy, I actually feel quite yucky with my swollen feet and burning bladder.
Talking about writing, I've finally completed The Great Mountain to Mountain Safari and it's gone to the publisher and they posted me the proof copy today.  I'm now all set for NaNoWriMo which is National Novel Writing Month which happens every November each year.  The goal  is to write 50 000 words in a month.  During the only boring workshop at the conference, I worked out my character sketches, setting and plot outline for the novel I plan to write during November.  So, I guess you can say I used my time wisely and am rearing to go!  The new novel is going to be called Defective, and I think the plot-line is a goodie!  I can't wait for the first of November so I can start writing!
Have a great weekend!  There's a wedding across the road from me with a brass band, so I guess I won't be getting much sleep tonight!  Hopefully, the bride and groom will want to slip away quite early for their wedding night!  Only 9.30pm, still an hour before I fetch Siobhan from a disco at school.

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