A blog. To be honest, I never thought I’d write one.
But then one afternoon, bored at work and obviously being highly productive, I spotted an advert for a teaching job in St Vincent and the Grenadines. A tiny island with 2000 inhabitants was looking for a vaguely musical teacher for its primary school with 15 children. I decided to apply as the worst that could happen would be that they didn’t reply at all to my covering letter and CV. Scanning down the other international jobs (I’d had no luck finding teaching work in Newcastle after all) I thought to myself that I could take the shotgun approach. Fire off one generic covering letter (lightly tailored to fit the region/school I was applying to) to as many interesting looking places in one go and see what happened. So I did. I applied for 22 jobs around the world including Santiago, Prague, Hong Kong, Valencia, Madrid, Milan, Budapest, Rome, Moscow and Mwanza.
And then I waited. And waited.
I wasn’t entirely right – the school in the Caribbean did reply to my application, only to say that they received it. Not a lot else from anywhere else. Until about 12 days after the application I had two emails inviting me to Skype interviews.
I got a job. I decided I should really keep a record of this huge change in my life, but since I am monumentally bad at keeping a diary I thought I should put it in the form of a blog as having some semi-regular readers might make me keep it up. It began with a post on my then employer’s intranet as a guest blogger for ‘Trevor’s blog’ and since I got a very good response from those that read it I thought it was a way to move forward.
So I moved, and I wrote. Then Dad got sick and I wrote about that. Then he died, swiftly followed by his mother. I wrote. I put a link on my Twitter page, which I now barely use since I don’t have an internet phone, but it was re-tweeted by Cerys Matthews and all of a sudden my readership flew up.
Towards the end off last year I wrote my review of the year. Clichéd, somewhat inevitable, yes, but the process of writing this blog has made me reflect.
Shortly after publishing it and linking it on Facebook I had a message from one of my friends at my old job. She too had been for a cervical smear test and had the 5 on the 0-6 scale. Unfortunately, some of her cells had begun to mutate and become cancerous. I’m not very good at sympathy, my usual response is along the lines of ‘That’s really shitty, sorry!’ which is roughly what I said to her. Luckily, the cancerous cells were caught in time and it looks like she’s going to be fine, just regular check ups.
As part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week she has started her own blog. I think you might like you read it if you haven’t already.
Another of my friends is a long time blogger who gives this reason from starting her blog:
“I started following lots of mummies on Twitter after I had Smaller princess and found the world of the mummy blogger. After reading some wonderful blogs, meeting some great friends and seeing the benefit that writing about struggles and sleepless nights were having on these mummies I felt it was something I wanted to try for myself. My blog has evolved so much since back then and I have found even more friends and support so I am really pleased I started.”
She’s been a great friend to me and sent many word of encouragement as I’ve moved over here and started writing. I really should make more time to read her blog myself because she’s got some great ideas (that I’ll probably borrow a bit).
And last but not least for today, my friend Sarah, who was kind, generous and funny when we trained as teachers together has had quite a lot of changes in the past two and a bit years since we met. She’s got a new man, new family, new home, new way of life and a new blog to tell the story of it all.
I hope that you find a bit of time to pop over to these other sites and take a look and please feel free to add links to blogs you know that you think I should get reading too…
(And keep checking back because I’m starting a secondary blog that will include some of my recipes, I’m not bad at making cakes and at some point I will upload the secret to my chocolate orange brownies, but not until I’ve sent it to Lucie. She won it in an auction and I’ve been slack and not sent it on! www.overhillsandmakingcakes.wordpress.com)