I can’t sleep.

I had all these grand ideas about being able to do a blog post a day but I have slipped easily into “normal” life and spent lots of time doing things that I don’t have time to do in term time. To be honest I’ve tried to write a post on a couple of occasions but my heart hasn’t been in it … do you know when you return to work after being off for a few days and you feel a bit “out of sorts”? It feels a little like that. It’s hard to explain but I feel a little disconnected from the whole maths teaching thing.

As to the reasons for not being able to sleep it may have something to do with results day. Thursday will mark the end of another year and whatever happens I can honestly say that nothing else could have been done. It marks the end of an era for the current Maths GCSE and apart from post 16 legacy resits ’tis done.

Actually I know what the real reason is and in the morning I may read this through and delete the post. The last week or so has been particularly tough to get myself motivated – we’ve had our best mates to stay along with our god-children and it has been amazing to reconnect with people who have nothing to do with education (apart from the kids attending school that is!) and just “be me”. I forget how easy it is to get so engrossed in work and the way we live our lives in 6 to 8 week blocks that it has been refreshing. It has also been lovely to have time with people who have no preconceived ideas or expectations and who have known me a long, long time. We usually factor in a visit at this time of year – in fact, today marks their 19th anniversary  – little did we know back then, how big a part of our lives they would become (being asked to be god-mum to the kids was a major thing for me!).

I never got to attend their wedding because the day before my mother was involved in a hit and run accident. 12 months ago I wrote a little about it (here -> storytime) and whilst another year has passed and it has gotten easier over the years, I still wonder what my mam would have made of the way my life has changed since then. She never got to know me truly as an adult and knew me when I was a different person to the one I am now. Back then my husband and I owned and ran a town centre pub, which was so very different from anything my mam could comprehend who led a very quiet, sheltered life. As a young girl she had gained a place at the local grammar school in Newport but hated it and at 16 ran away. By the time she was 17 she was married and pregnant with my eldest brother (he is nearly 20 years older than me!) to my dad who was 10 years older (an immigrant from Yugoslavia having left during WWII and never returned). All her life she ran a corner shop and worked “like a dog” to provide for the family. When I came along she was nearly 40 (and my dad nearly 50!) and was very much a surprise as you can imagine. The one thing the shop did allow is for her to spend time with me as a toddler – I remember sitting in front of the electric fire reading books and doing “sums” from a very young age. Helping with my education was very important to her, especially as my dad couldn’t read or write. Jeese … she was a strong woman!

The last time I saw her she had been to visit us in Leamington. When I returned home from work I found that she had spent the entire time cleaning my kitchen and as we walked up the stairs she stopped me on the landing half way up and we looked out at my garden and said “you do know I love you don’t you?” to which I replied “yes, don’t be silly”. We were never a very affectionate family really, don’t get me wrong I kissed her when I saw her and before going to bed when I lived at home but didn’t really talk about feelings and stuff. Anyway, she went on to say “Me and Dad are so very proud of you, but we’d be proud of you whatever you decided to do … as long as you’re happy … and you know I love Dad right? Me and him could stand in a field and be having the most monumental row with each other but I would take on the world for him”.

This is such a sharp memory I have of her. So Mam, I’m happy. I just hope I continue to make you proud.