Monday, 30 November 2009

Where the Heck is Dulce Domum?

Oh, gentle reader I am a bad, bad, blogger. But if you're still out there do forgive my recent disappearance from the blogosphere, and I will explain myself later, but first you must let me get Advent out of my system. I do love a bit of Advent and beautiful period of waiting and reflection before Christ arrives. I also like all of the planning and preparation we make during the season, and I like the connectedness I feel to other people throughout the world who plan and prepare at this time, and all those people in the past for whom Advent was a special time before the feast of Christmas.

Gosh, I could go on, but I just don't have the time. However, here are a few good Advent links for those of us who wish to differentiate between the commercial "run up to Christmas" and the spiritual "Advent" (arrival) of Jesus Christ.

The C of E's Advent page
The Arch Bishop of Canterbury's Advent Reflections
St Nicholas - the Advent Saint

And, for the practical amongst us.
Mincemeat, cake and Christmas pudding recipes - all by the most beloved and sainted Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.
How to make an Advent wreath - I've found that it is much easier, and you get better results, if you use florist's oasis, rather that a wreath ring. Also, this year I couldn't find the purple and pink candles, so I opted for the non-denom red and whites. Heck, what can I say? I'm both catholic and reformed!
How to make those nifty parcel bows out of old magazines! Oh, this is how I'd ideally like to spend my Advent - praying, reflecting, and making parcel bows. However, I must...

...go out to work to earn a crust. Yes, the world of paid work beckons with its twisted calloused fingers. The DH has been made redundant (a horrible phrase which places the responsibility of job loss on the victim rather than the irresponsible and greed-ridden economic system we've been subjected to over the past thirty years). And, of course, the West Midlands has been hit harder than any other area of the UK by the recession, simply because most of our employment was in both manufacturing and IT. So the amount of forty-something project managers out of work in my area is massive. The DH will have to retrain and meanwhile I will have to hold the fort. I am holding the fort thusly:
  • by doing supply work - not teaching but secondary SEN TA supply. So far in mainstream, but I hope to get some special school experience soon. Note to non-teacher readers. I am a Secondary English teacher by profession, and doing Secondary supply is for tough nuts only - I am not a tough nut and have therefore opted for TA work.
  • Applying for more permanent teaching jobs. One in a local school (Ofsted "outstanding") , but it's where my eldest goes to school and I am deeply unsure about the dynamics of me being chronically over-worked (and I will be, it's the nature of teaching a core subject) in the school she rather loves. I'm worried that it will sully her feelings about her school-life. The second job is in an inner city school, with challenging students, but it's part-time one-to-one tuition and may be a bit less like jumping in at the deep's good money too. But we'll see, and I'll try to keep you posted.
Am I happy about my new-found change in status? To be honest with you, I have very mixed feelings. I rather like the TA work, being supply I can pick and choose and TA stuff is always quite fun and I love special needs work. Also, I'm out of school in time to pick up my kids. It's working really well, because the DH is still working...but when he finishes work I will be the main breadwinner and will have to go back to full-time teaching. It's this thought gives me the heebie-jeebies. The thought of having a proper, bonefide career, rather than a nice little part-time job, makes me feel a bit queasy, I'm not an ambitious person and I'm not a good juggler. Tough times are ahead, and I'll need all the strength I can get, so any prayers you can throw my way will be very much appreciated.

So this is my news. I hope to continue blogging on matters domestic, because despite all of all the changes going on right now, I'm still Dulce Domum.


Niki RuralWritings said...

will be keeping you in my prayers...nothing like having the rug pulled out from under you....
and I do hope you will be able to squeeze out a little time to blog, 'cause we miss ya :)

So Keep Calm & Carry On...

monix said...

Welcome back, you have been greatly missed.

Sorry to hear your news. We went through the same kind of situation 18 years ago and I had to go back into teaching while my husband retrained. I'm sure you will all come through stronger and happier than ever. I'll make you the focus for one of the weeks in Advent.

Angela said...

You have been sorely missed. Sorry to hear about DH's job, and I do understand the angsty-ness about returning to staffroom life.
It perhaps sounds trite to say glibly 'the Lord Will Provide' - but it is true [altho he does expect us to get off our backsides and share in the process]
You're in my thoughts and prayers.
Enjoy Advent - and blog a bit as and when you can!!
blessings, and prayers xx

debbie bailey said...

I'll be praying for you and the economic situation in Britain. I didn't know it was bad there too. Hope you don't have to work full-time. Your heart seems to be at home like mine is.

Lucy said...

I will certainly pray for you. It must be a big challenge to deal with this in a way that helps your family emotionally even as you are helping financially. Many blessings to you and Mr DD and your work-related prayer intentions will be remembered in our home.

Zillah said...

Lovely to hear from you. I was thinking of you only a moment ago as I tucked into the first mince pie of Advent and enjoyed the first run-through of the Huddersfield Choral Society carol CD.

I'll be very much thinking of you and holding you in the light. Times of change challenge us all.


Anonymous said...

Praying here too. When hubs was made redundant it was awful, financially yes, but mostly to his self-esteem. It's a horrible thing.

But praise God just as the money was really running out he got himself another job.

God's holding you in His mighty hands, there's no safer place to be.

Praying for peace and strength for you (and your DH) xxx

And hurrah for due to extreme lack of planning I even forgot the Advent calendars and was trawling the shops last night - hooray for Tesco the only shop in my area with Advent calendars still in stock at 9.30 pm on 30th November!!.

Love n' stuff

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Advent Greetings!

So happy to have you resurface! I've been worried. And I'm sorry to hear about DH's job situation. I understand your reluctance to go back to work full-time, especially if that work is teaching, which is so draining. I'll keep you all in prayers, and hope especially that you'll find a job that suits you and your family.

I'm so glad you're back. I was getting worried ...


Tia said...

I'm so sorry - not the best thing to happen and definitely not the best time for it to happen either. I certainly don't envy you doing any kind of secondary supply stuff. Glad you are enjoying the special needs bits though - no openings in special schools I take it?

Nan said...

So very good to hear from you! Here's a site we recently came upon:

I'm so sorry about the whole change in jobs situation. It is a very hard time. But I'm sure whatever comes up you will handle it with your warmth and your strength which has always come through your posts. (my word verification word was 'housi.')

~~louise~~ said...

Dear Dulce, I too was thinking of you just today when I was skimming through a copy of The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas by Jeff Smith (1991) He suggests a dish of lentils and rice with onions and sesame oil as an introduction to the foods of the ancient world which all of the ingredients as he says "would have been in a kitchen in Bethlehem."

Keep up your spirit Dulce, the strength will come from within as we approach the "Season of the Coming." God Bless...

Jo said...

Sounds like a difficult time for the whole family, and so appalling that the greed and incompetence of some are having such a terrible affect on the many who were just quietly getting on with working and living. Wishing you all the best. I guess this Christmas will be uncertain and scary for you, rather like the first Christmas was for all involved really. It's good to be in good company..

Gumbo Lily said...

Oh, there you are! I'm so glad to "see" you again, Dulce. I've checked for you on and off for some time and tonight decided to try again. Happy Advent and all the best in your new job and future career. Yes, I'll sling a few prayers up for you too.


~~louise~~ said...

Just a note to let you know you're in my thoughts this holiday season, Dulce.

Hope all is well with you and yours. Sending Blessed Christmas prayers your way...

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year chuck, I sent you an email t'other day to let you know I'm putting your books in the post this week - well that's the plan if the weather lets me get to the Post Office.


Sarah x