With all the enquiries coming in from my ‘French Classes’ ad on Gumtree, there was always something to look forward to when I couldn’t sleep or woke up early in the morning. So, I’m embarrassed to admit, my laptop became my bedfellow. It became so bad, I said to myself at 4.30 one morning ‘You’re just going to check your emails, not send anything out.’ My fear was that if I did send an email, the person/people would see the time and think I’m crazy or, at the very least, have no life. Fortunately, I’ve been saved from this wayward life and have been able to mend my ways.
At the time I only had internet access at home, hence the desire to check my emails the moment I got home and basically not to stop until I left again. It not only affected my sleeping habits but my ‘social life’ as well. My Mum got very frustrated with me using my laptop in the lounge. Long intricate conversations would flow from her whenever I opened the thing and started typing away. ‘Look, look,’ she would say, pointing at something inane on the television. Alternatively, she would tell me who’s doing what to who on ‘East Enders’, a programme I have no interest in at all and the reason I felt safe checking my emails or surfing the net while it was on. But as I say, I’ve been saved from this anti-social and weird life.
The cook’s brother and also the barman at Driftwood connected me to the restaurant’s internet and the youth leader at the church where I have an office now, did the same with the church’s connection. I therefore have very little reason to be surfing the net at four in the morning. But I do miss it. Early mornings are such quite times and when I feel most inspired. This blog is being written at 6.45!!! I’ve come a long way! One step at a time, as they say.
Last week I had a bit of a dip in my new life as a French teacher. Four students didn’t pitch with reasons ranging from death of a pet to ‘I’m not feeling well’ and ‘had to fetch someone at the airport’. And since they pay at the lesson, for the lesson, my income suffered. It had to happen and it’s just something I have to get used to. It takes time to get into a new routine and people often have lofty ideas when tackling a new project only to be brought down by the realisation that to achieve a goal you actually have to put some effort into it.
My Woodstock girls remain a delight, though. Their enthusiasm knows no bounds. ‘What is this in French?’ they constantly ask. I had downloaded some clipart with images of hands and feet etc, and typed out the French words. As usual there were far more images and words to cover in one hour. But when I told them that they’d stuck enough pictures in their books and we’d do the rest next week, they wouldn’t have any of it. The older one said she would do the rest for homework and she’d start it right away. Because the younger one is only six and only learning to write English, I had her stick the words into her book and her older sister, write them in. Chagall (the six year old) was having none of it. She insisted on writing the words out as well. Her French book looks like the dog’s breakfast, but that’s fine with me. As long as she’s active and learning, I’m doing my job.
She came up with the most delightful saying. Looking at me intently, she said, ‘Oh, but you are so beautiful. Your mother must have been beautiful, too.’ Of course, I explained to her my mother was still alive but nothing could detract from the feeling of being in the presence of absolute innocence and ‘joie de vivre.’ When I got home, I found a piece of green paper with her handwriting. She’d written ‘I lov’ on one line and ‘e’ on the next, under the ‘v’ (ran out of space) and ‘you’ under that with hearts drawn all over. Ah! from the mouths of babes! Can’t wait to see my Woodstock girls again.