Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future 2013-2014 #nurture1314


Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future…… 2013-2014

It would be wise to clarify that I wrote my second ever blog on December 19th 2012 for #nurture1213.

It would be proper to look at what I set as my hopes and what has transpired since.

My hopes for 2013 – here’s what I said followed by what actually happened!

1. Progress – to continue to secure the best for the children at our school. Many live in horrendous situations and it is important we enable them to be the best they can be. “Good, better, best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better, best!”

I spent the remainder of the academic year with these kids before finally moving on to another headship. I think the send off they gave me says it all. I am thankful for my time at Shotton. I spent over 11 years working with the kids and their families. They truly are amazing. I miss you all.

2. SHOES – I intend to start a blog called ‘high heels and high notes’ with the aim of sharing a day in my shoes!

My blog for 365/365 days in my shoes is testament to this. Never did I ever think I would blog for 365 days consecutively. It has been a journey and one I have loved.

It wasn’t an easy challenge to undertake. Would I think differently if I set myself this challenge again? I don’t know, I’m quite a determined person once I put my mind to something. Others may call it stubborn. Perhaps I am. Once I started I couldn’t stop it. There were times when there were several pressures all at once. I thrive on positive stress but negative stress is of little benefit to anyone. I suppose pride and a stubborn streak kept me going. I’m looking forward to continuing to blog but it’s not going to be daily for 2014. I’ll certainly keep the Monday positive start to the week blog going as it makes a difference to how I start my week. I love favourite blog posts and summing up the week. Who knows? Changes in new curriculum, partnerships and new ventures are there too. High heels and high notes!

3. Health – I have been blessed with such good health over the last 8 years – the last time I needed to be in hospital with serious chest infection. I also request good health upon my family and that I am always there.

I can’t recall a moment when I wasn’t well during this last year. My year has been spent as a carer for my parents and has been my life, my world, my existence and my being 24/7. They have not been blessed with such good health for over a year. I pray this will change.

4. EYFS – We shall be appointing a new Early Years Leader in the new year and we want to ensure our EYFS goes from strength to strength.

As I left Shotton in August 2013, I know our EYFS children and the staff team were in very capable hands.

5. SINGING – I am so excited about the privilege of singing at The Sage Gateshead in Hall One. This is something major in my life!!!!

Well, not only did I have the opportunity to sing in hall one on this occasion, I had a further two occasions as well as being able to climb up into the roof of the Sage and take in the view.


6. SINGING 2 – I want to learn many more operatic arias as well as oratorio works – sometimes these are neglected as work takes over.

I sang at least once a month in a concert or performance. However, not a single day passed without singing. My life would not be complete without music at its heart.



7. SHOES – May my cupboard always be too small to house all my shoes!

Well, what should I add here.

Perhaps the advent calendar suffices……

8. My own professional development – consider a move to a new school? I am in my 5th year as HT and need to start looking at my next steps. I spend so much time looking after everyone else’s next steps, I neglect my own.

I am taken aback reading hope 8 as it was not something I set out to do or indeed planned. However, those of you who follow or know me, know that I was successful in interview for another headship. I love it.

I truly have been called to my new role as head teacher. If anything was meant to be for me, this is it.

Thank you. I love it.

9. Health – this has been good, but as I enter my 46th year I want it to be even better. I have such a buzz going to my local gym – it’s less than 2 miles from my home and so accessible. I love it. 6/8 times this week – not sure I can sustain that but want to attempt at least 3-4 times per week.

I have had a very good year health wise and wouldn’t change a thing.

10. Garden – I have already planted spring bulbs – wish to be more proactive in my garden.

I did manage to get my garden going and love it.





I must add this small extra part. I have a white Christmas Rose growing in a planter. This came from my grandfather’s garden and will have been growing year on year for over 100 years. It is currently showing around a dozen flowers ready to open. A true reminder of the wonder of nature and its power to survive no matter what the weather conditions. Life is precious.


11. Apply for NLE – my education development partner recommended in my performance management I do this.

This did not happen but securing a new job really did overtake this. The opportunities that have been afforded me this year through twitter contacts etc… certainly outweigh not having achieved this. It’s been an incredible privilege to be invited along to teachmeets as well as to collaborate on special projects. January 10th 2014 sees the start of something new and exciting as a direct result of twitter, blogging and TES.

12. Twitter – I have tweeted for quite a while but these last 3 months have be invaluable. I wish to continue to develop my networks both professionally and socially – to be stimulated, inspired, enthused and motivated. Hope I do the same for others.

Only you can answer this for me. I hope I did.

13. GUILT – I hope that I will never find myself in a position that I regret!

A really good friend of mine always said he would never have any regrets. I have stuck with this. He’s right. Don’t regret a thing.

In shORRt – all about the kids.

They were hopes from last year – not bad going to keep them going, especially when I never looked at my nurture 1213 list once I had written it.
New job and preparing to leave a school where I had lived and breathed it for over 11 years was a challenge.
On top of all of that, I had great fun at countless teachmeets, created an opera album for teachmeets etc…, presented at several events and still have requests for mORR in 2014.

(FORRgot to add had an OFSOD too in the last week of my first term in post. Christmas week. Lovely!)

I am thankful for my year.

I am fortunate. I am lucky. I have a good life.

I have made some amazing new friends this year.

It’s been great to meet people from twitter for this first time and I look forward to meeting mORR twitterati for the first time in 2014.

I am what I am. I am me.

So, now you’re wondering what my hopes for 2014 are?

I haven’t any. Or, perhaps, I’m not going to set myself any. I want to live, to be, to grow, to laugh, to love and to care without any conditions.

I’m not one for new year resolutions anymore. I used to say I’d stop biting my nails and it never happened. I’d make that resolution every year and I didn’t stop biting my nails. I once sang with a chap on stage and he had to hold my hand. He looked at my nails, bitten as far down as possible, and commented, ‘haven’t you got horrible stumpy hands’. My initial thought was to lamp him one and knock him into next week. I didn’t. I didn’t need a resolution to help me stop biting my nails for 27 years. Just someone to notice.


Means I can share three generations on one hand – Mum, grandma and great grandmother. Special.

So, I’m not going to make any new year resolutions.

I made a really great new friend in the last few months of 2013. Followed for a while on twitter simply because of another head teacher connection and equally a footie fan – not my team, however. But that doesn’t matter. Batting for the same team does not secure a friendship.

A new special friend who has inspired me. An amazing person who has entered my life and for whom I feel like the big sister and pair of ears. I believe in angels and know I had an amazing guardian angel watching over me last year. Perhaps I will be a guardian angel too.

Inspired me to look at who I am, what I stand for, how lucky I am and makes me think mORR about what I can do for others and make their lives better. I am incredibly fortunate. I have no need to moan, to whinge or to be ungrateful. My new friend is ORRsome. I am in awe of them. Their selflessness. Their determination. Their perseverance. Their freedom.

2014 is going to be ORRsome!

We share the same care for our family.

My Dad is now 88. Fab Christmas together even though he and my Mum have had a difficult year. I am who I am because of them.

I’m not making a list of 14 hopes because if they are meant for me, they will happen. The is not to stay there won’t be goals to aim for and targets to be achieved. I’m simply not pinning my colours to that mast.

I’m not going to set myself a target or a time limit on what I want to achieve.

I know if I am determined enough to go after something, nothing will stop me and I don’t need to have it spelled out in order to do it.

Those who know a little bit mORR about me will know my life has travelled at an incredible pace this last year. Perhaps too fast a pace and taking on too much. I know I burn the candle at both ends. There are some things I can’t or won’t change but there are others I will work harder at.

I simply want to be.

Go with the flow.

Let life happen.

I know what I’d like but if think about it too much, will it happen?

If it is meant to be for me, it will be, if it is meant to be for others around me, it will happen.

I’ve worked a year with deadlines, timescales, pushed myself, pushed others – and now it is time to let life just be.

My hopes for 2014 are not for me.

My hopes are for those who need and deserve them.

I am fortunate enough to know what I have is enough and what I am is enough. My faith gives me that.

Keep well.

Be yourself.

Believe in you.




I’m free!

Walk a mile in my shoes.

Be happy. Be content. Love your life.

2 thoughts on “Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future 2013-2014 #nurture1314

  1. A great post to end your year with! Thank you for the inspiration your shower so unselfishly. I hope I am among those friends you found in 2013 & look forward to more meet ups in 2014!

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