Tuesday, November 28, 2006


This has to be the most underhanded and hurtful thing that could happen in my business. Another teacher has poached one of my students for next year. I was more than upset when I found out yesterday. It was the student who reluctantly told me. I was angry at the other teacher and at the parents as it was obvious that they weren't going to tell me (embarrassed perhaps?). I have taught this student for 2 years and worked extremely hard with them. They are going to a private school next year, where I am the teacher, and they have met another teacher who has obviously convinced them to learn from her. I have an excellent rapor with this student and cannot see if I had done anything to offend them or the parents. In fact the parents were always thanking me for me efforts. Some thanks! I thought something was up when I asked about next year recently (the parents had asked me about private lessons and they had asked the school about lessons at the school) and the student said that they hadn't decided. I got the distinct impression that they had and my fears were realised yesterday. I never really liked the other teacher and she has just proved me right. I do believe in karma and I just hope that this other teacher doesn't screw up the hard work that I put into this student.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Dance Partner

It turns out that my "dance partner" thinks that we are still dancing together. Its been five months since we last danced together and he hasn't really contacted me in that time. He did last weekend (after some prompting from me!) and thats when I realised that I had moved on but he hadn't. Tricky! I wasn't about to dump him over the phone and he mentioned about catching up this weekend (today maybe?) so I might have the difficult task of breaking up a partnership that I thought was already over. Some people really need things to be written on a brick and thrown at their head to understand what is going on.
So why don't I want to dance with him anymore? In a nut shell. He wasn't as committed and totalyy relied on me getting him around the floor, including knowing all his steps as well as mine. He turned up late almost every time. He wouldn't ring me to tell me that he wasn't coming or going to be late until it was too late or I rang him. He would turn up and whinge about his life (the eternal victim) or be so out of it. He wouldn't do what he could to get better (I gave him music to practice to and an exercise book to write down his routines). And to top it off, he is now talking about moving up North to work. Oh but coming down every three weeks to dance with me solidly in the week he is here. I can't work with that. And I certainly didn't enjoy his moods! Or his attitude to other couples on the floor ( he frequenly wanted to run people down who got in his way!).
It won't be easy to tell him but it has to be done. He is a family friend so that wil make it a little harder. I don't want to upset him but this will.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dance exam

I did my latin exam on Sunday (yes, bung arm and all!) and got my results yesterday. I'm quite happy with how I went (I'm blogging about it so you'd think I'd be happy!). I got 96% for the Rumba, Samba and Paso Doble and 97% for the Jive. She was apparently a hard marker! My mark for the jive was the highest mark on the day (there were multiple exams and students dancing on the day ranging from children to adults). The rest of my class averaged 89-90%. I'm over the moon! It shows that this 30yr old can still shake it!!!!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bumps in the road

So as we travel along the path that is life, we do come across some bumps in the road. Some of us find small potholes, others find huge craters. I had a scare recently which could have been a crater.
I've been having shoulder pain since the beginning of the year which didn't heal completely. Three physios later and it was getting worse. My strength was almost non existent in that arm and of course there was the pain. The latest physio started talking about a tear in the tendon or muscle and asked me to see my gp about an ultrasound. I did and my gp ordered that and an x ray just to make sure. He hoped it wasn't a tear, that means surgery. How did I feel about surgery on my shoulder? Terrified!! If it had been any other part of my body I would have been ok but my shoulder plays a major role seeing as I'm a musician.
I had all the scans done straight away and the good news is that it is not a tear! PHEW!!! I have bursitis. Hopefully I won't need cortisone injections in the shoulder (the needle that the doctor gave me into my shoulder to relieve the pain was small and painful enough! I nearly passed out!) which are delivered by a larger needle and hopefully I can get passed this with anti-inflammatories and a little more physio. It was scarey though!
I know that people go through far more scarey events in their lives than this but for me, it was frightening. Not just the pain and the possible outcomes, but the loss of strength. I'm used to being quite strong in my arms and to see that disappear relatively quickly and to not be able to do silly things normally like lifting (even light things), reaching across your body etc.
It will still take time to recover and I want to be careful how I rehabilitate it but its made me sit back and take a little more notice of what we do to our bodies. I'm like many other people who keep pushing and pushing my poor body to and beyond its limits. You only get one body. Its a bit of a cliche but it is true. If you don't take care of it, no one else will. We have amazing people out there in the healthcare professions but, they are only human too.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My New Addiction

Not drugs or alcohol. Not betting or cigarettes. Its volcanoes! Yes volcanoes. I religiously check certain websites almost everyday to look at webcams of active volcanoes. I'm sure that my other half thinks that I am totally looney!!! There could be worse addictions!! Mt Etna is currently puting on a spectacular show which you can watch unfold in almost real time! Kileau (?) in Hawaii is another one to watch. The power and the beauty of Mother Earth!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why do we bother to insure things?

I hate my insurance company! This saga begins with my car being broken into nearly two weeks ago. It was parked right outside of my front door, locked and inside closed gates. The jerk(s) who broke in, busted the driver's door lock and took the faceplate to my stereo, rendering it useless. (the faceplate was also useless to them!). So I rang all the relavent people (including big bro who was brilliant! Thankyou!) and then waited for the insurance company to call me back. When it looked like they weren't I rang them and got some overworked guy who kept asking me the same questions and nearly forgot to give me claim numbers etc. He asked me to ring their recommended people and get quotes for the stereo and the lock. I did that straight away and waited. Four days went by and I didn't hear anything. I rang the insurance company again only to be told that the locksmith quote hadn't come in. I rang the locksmith to find that they had lost my details and we had to do it all over again. I again waited for the phonecall from the insurance company. Nothing. I rang again. Still no quotes had come in not even for the stereo! They said they would ring for the quotes (about time!). The insurance company then rang me back (another guy) and asked had I rung for these quotes! By now I had gone from being polite to being quite irrate and desperate! I explained the whole thing again and the guy said "about the stereo, you din't have that included in your policy so we won't be honouring that claim." I obviously believed that I had put it on the policy because I have only been with these guys since January. He was lucky that I was at a school or the language would have been anything other than desirable. I argued and he stood his ground. He rang the locksmith and atleast that is now quoted and confirmed. I am now waiting for the locksmith to get a new lock in stock and then finally something might get fixed on my car! My other half has cancelled his policy with this company in protest. As for the stereo, it isn't in the paperwork so I will have to sort something out there. So will I be staying with this company? What do you think?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I'm free!

I'm free! I'm free from "My Fair Lady". They did ask me if I would consider doing the next musical.... I said "we'll see".
I'm free from my dance partnership (surprise!). I have decided that enough is enough and it is over. He doesn't know it yet though (although if he is thinking straight, he should have come to the same conclusion). This story is a rather long one and would merit its own blog.
And I am about to make some changes in my life that will free me up further but will take time to come into fruition.
And to add to these exciting times, we are going to Cirque du Soleil next year!!!!! We got presale tickets today! How cool is that!!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I need therapy!

I have just finished the first performance of "My Fair Lady" and I must now be certifiable!!! No no one told me that they had changed the starting time of the matinee to half an hour earlier!!!! I got there with minutes to spare before it began!!!! Communication people!!!!!! And it was actually the first time that we had played the second act. What a shambles!!!!!! We ended up working out the cuts as we went along!!! Singers forgot to put their microphones on when changing costumes. They had major isues with my microphone! I sounded very boomy in the second half even when I wasn't playing!!!!!!! I had to stop at one stage and dampen the entire instrument and that didn't work!!!!!
I think that it is safe to say that this is my first and LAST school production!!!!!!
They gave me two free tickets to the final performance. Who do I dislike.........?

Monday, August 07, 2006

My Unfair Lady

This is the first sequel! As mentioned in a previous blog, I have agreed to be in a band for a school production of "My Fair Lady". And, as mentioned, things are not quite as organised as they should be! So I went to the Sunday night rehearsal. It was due to begin at six thirty and I had hurried down some dinner and arrived at the school for six (so that I had time to set up etc). I had already had a bad feeling about this rehearsal and I wasn't wrong unfortunately! It became very obvious that the rehearsal wasn't going to begin on time (and I had turned down a dinner with friends on this particular evening!) and the stage manager came over and began to chat with me. In the course of the conversation he mentioned that this particular rehearsal would end late. I asked the fatal question "how late?". My jaw literally dropped and I nearly threw the biggest wobbly when he said "eleven". So they had planned a four and a half hour rehearsal!!!!!! I don't think so! The rehearsal didn't actually begin until seven thirty and I left after ten fifteen. They didn't give us a break during that time and we hadn't made it to the second act by the time I had left. I was due to teach at seven thirty the next morning so there was no way I was going to stay longer. The scary thing was that this was the final rehearsal before the first performance!!!!!!!!! The band is not the problem, it is the cast. They are not disciplined at all (15, 16 and 17 year olds) and some still don't know their lines. They have only had five months to prepare for this!!!!
But I haven't even mentioned the scaffolding. It wobbles! So do the stairs that lead up there! And they don't even have hand rails!!!!! I refused point blank to take my expensive instrument up there and the Head of Department ended up letting me use the school instrument which will be left up there the whole time (because you don't want to be going up and down with it!!!). He was the gentleman and carried it up there for me (I didn't even ask for that chivalry buit I did make it clear that I was very freaked out by the whole scaffolding thing!). I have less than a metre square to play in (glad no one smells) and the lighting is less than shocking (guess the notes). When anyone walks on this scaffolding (it doubles as the balcony for such scenes) everything wobbles especially the music stand! (Hmmmmmm I hadn't thought about seasickness.........). The instrument that I am playing on has a hole in it but I'd rather that than having my instrument up there.
First performance on Wednesday afternoon. That is definately going to be interesting......

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Upping the insanity stakes

So I am putting my hand up to be the most insane one in our fold at the moment. I have agreed to do the gig from hell. It began innocently enough when I was asked to be part of the band for a school production of "My Fair Lady" (insanity evidence no.1). It quickly went down hill from there. The first rehearsal began an hour late and I had to leave early giving me a grand total of half an hour's rehearsal time. They have moved a rehearsal from Monday night to Sunday night (ouch!!!!! especially when I am starting work at seven thirty the next day!). They didn't even ask me if I was available for the Sunday night rehearsal and can't tell me when it will be due to finish!!! (they told me about this change at the first rehearsal which was on Wednesday - so much for communication). As I left the first rehearsal, they asked if I was available to rehearse Sunday morning aswell. Funny enough I said "no". The band is apparently going to be on scafolding at the rear of the stage. That's really freaking me out! How I am supposed to get my instrument up there???? And is it safe?????????? I think that I should start charging danger money!! I do get paid for this gig (or else I wouldn't be doing it!!!). I don't even work for this school! I am a guest musician. Pity they can't treat this "guest (professional) musician" with atleast a small degree of professionalism and respect! Wish me luck! Oh, and the last time I performed "My Fair Lady", I vomited in the pit!! Hope I'm not directly above the cast on stage.......

Friday, July 14, 2006

Fears of a flower girl

So tonight I have to give flowers to the conductor at the end of the concert. Simple enough I hear you say and so I thought when I first volunteered to be a flower girl some years ago. But, people don't know how stressful being a flower girl is! It is sometimes more worrying than playing in the concert itself! The main thing that you have to worry about is, DON'T FORGET! Many a time have I seen the flower girl looking absently out at the audience at the end of a concert only to be poked out of her reverie (by a violin bow or flute) to go racing off stage and bolting round to the other side just getting there in time (maybe now a little sweaty!) to have over the flowers.
Rule no. two; to kiss or not to kiss. Well, if they are good looking of course! But, us flower girls have been told "Don't go in for a kiss unless they do!". That is often a hard one to judge and if they do kiss, one or two. Or even three as I found out from one Russian conductor. I gave him two only to have him hold my shoulders as I pulled away and he said "In Russia we give three!" and he planted another one on my cheek. It doesn't help when you can hear the rest of the orchestra is making exaggerated kissing noises for each and every kiss! (mwah mwah mwah)
Rule no. three; what to say. I stick with the standards of "thankyou" or "congratulations" but it is very easy to become tongue tied or forget to even speak.
Rule no. four; smile! No one likes a grumpy flower girl.
Rule no. five; Don't fall over as you walk out on stage! Not a good look.
Rule no. six; make sure that you look good ie., no lipstick on your teeth, pop a mint before hand, make sure that your skirt is not tucked into your knickers, and for the male flower givers, that your fly is done up!
Rule no. seven; make sure that you leave and enter the stage on time. I mentioned forgetfulness before but it can also be tricky to leave. Sometimes the door won't open easily. You don't really want to run to the other side and be all sweaty and puffed (or sound like an elephant clumping around backstage!). At the other end you trust the stage manager to send you out at the right time. Sometimes this is not the case and you are left stranded on stage smiling until the correct moment which could take some minutes.
So as you can see, the job of being the perfect flower girl is quite a stressful one. But someone has to do it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Great Blog Drought of 2006

So both big bro and little bro have been nagging me about my lack of blogging. Little bro wouldn't even accept my valid excuse of being extremely busy and actually not being at a pc to blog most of the time (and we will be seeing his blogs very soon?!?!?!?!?). So here dearest bros is a blog from your long lost sister. I have since recuperated from my lurgy and am actually on holidays. Aha! I hear you cry. So now you have the time to blog! I have just been called up last minute (less than 24 hours) to go into the orchestra. I don't quite know how I feel about that. I was really looking forward to my holidays because last term was a real doosey but now I've basically lost a week due to rehearsals. I'm happy about the experience and the music (all spanish) and of course the paycheck but I really needed the time out. The playing work has also been few and far between this year due to upheavals in my particular section so I am grateful to get some. So I really shouldn't whinge.

So bros, I will try harder (I hear Master Yoda's voice in my head "there is no try, only do or do not") and I do actually read your blogs religiously so I am there in spirit just not always in words.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Woe is me

So here I am, at home feeling ill, feeling sorry for myself. I have got another nasty cold which may have been given to me my one of my darling charges. It doesn't help that I am generally run down and just a little stressed. Why am I even out of bed and sitting at the computer? One of my schools has just contacted me and were sympathetic to the fact that I was sick..... but could I please email them my reports (which were written weeks ago but I now have to put them onto computers at the schools and there have been login issues and so on and so on). Like I really feel like doing that right now!!!!! How come, when you are sick, things don't stop??? I suppose the world has to keep turning and I'm just a small sickly and gooey dot somewhere on it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

How to celebrate a birthday in style

One of my not so young charges made my day today. She played "Happy Birthday" to me on her instrument whilst harmonizing on the kazoo. That was definately a first for me!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What type of vegetable am I?

I writing to warn the world of a new weapon of terror!! Its called "The Professional Development Day"! Watch out for them! If you see one, don't walk. RUN! RUN I TELL YOU!!! They seem harmless enough when they appear on your schedules but be warned! They are far from innocent. It is an opportunity for your superiors to render their minions useless. They have these torture devices called "presentations" that, no matter how hard you fight it, turns your brain from an intellectual treasure that should be up there in a jar next to Einstein's, to a blubbering molten mass that will take years to recover to half of its former self! Don't let the lure of a free lunch and chocolate fool you. This will probably include soggy sandwiches that, if you are not quick enough you will even miss out on crumbs (I have even seen people try to eat the platters they had come on - oh the injustice!) and year old chocolate that has a strange green tinge to it. And if you happen to enter the PD room and find giant files on the tables awating your eager learned eyes, FLEE! I have seen innocent people run screaming out of the building only to be brought back kicking and screaming, eyes mad with fear, strapped to their chairs to sucumb to the "presentation". No my friends, if you find yourself in this position, it is better not to fight. You are far better to let the "presentation" take hold of you than to struggle. It will be quicker and far less painless. At the end of the day. Special recruits come and scoop up your bodies from your chairs (or the ground depending on how bad the "presentation" was) and throw them out of the building to their fate. Hourds of vultures have been seen to appear outside of such buildings at the end of the day in the hopes of getting a feed. Some are lucky enough to escape the vultures and find their way home only to live their lives a shadow of their former selves.
Be warned world! Do not let this happen to you!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Top Gun

My darling other half gave me a "learn to shoot" voucher for Christmas. It did boggle me a little that anyone would want to give their spouse such a voucher! Anyway, this morning I learnt how to shoot. What do you think? This was my fourth target and I was using a semi automatic Ruger 22/45. Not bad for a first timer huh? I'm thinking of framing one of the targets and I may also take them into work so that my charges can be scared....... very scared! What do you mean you haven't practiced?................

Saturday, March 25, 2006

So this is my very first blog!! I really don't have anything intelligent to say other than to welcome you all to my world and I hope that it will be a beautiful and long lasting friendship!