June 2014 On the road moderating, July travelling, August at home

June begins with the moderating A level conference. I enjoy meeting old friends I’ve known since 2000. Didn’t feel great. Unknown to me I had tonsilitis and conjunctivitis. No wonder I felt I had no energy. ¬†Luckily I wasn’t going out to schools on Monday. I had a week before starting in Wales then off to Somerset and Windsor via Wells and Bath. Two hours in a traffic jam to get throughout Bath – insane!

As usual I met some wonderful art teachers and saw some inspiring artwork by 17 and 18 year olds. Naturally there was some absolute dross too but not too much.

The hotels were lovely apart from some other guests who insisted plunging me into darkness insisting on curtains being drawn. Horrid situation.

Leaving Windsor as Ascot finishes was not fun on the M4 but made it to the 3 mile queue to get back into Wales!

My second week took me up north to Salford and Bolton. Some amazing art – so creative. I was followed by coach groups of elderly Japanese tourists. Then groups from the Midlands and Nottingham. They were lovely ladies, kept me entertained every evening. It’s strange eating on your own. You see more of what’s going on with waiters and other guests. And you hear the oddest conversations. Hotel indoor/outdoor pool gorgeous in the evening.

Wimbledon watched as usual РMurray disappointedly did not make the final but Dimitrov is lovely…..

July – off to Edinburgh and Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. Just loved being in Edinburgh on my own before my son and girlfriend arrived. Just revisited my usual haunts – the wonderful art galleries and the Cafe Royal – my most favourite bar anywhere. I found a new tiny restaurant – Vietnamese, near Haymarket – eccentric little place but did not do well with chopsticks! Saw the Hockey on one day and then the athletics on another day. Met some interesting Australians from Perth where I went on an exchange visit. Explored Glasgow again – second visit – tea in the Mackintosh White Tea Rooms, an amazing visit to the The Shamanka Theatre in Trongate 103 – everyone should visit. Crazy machines that perform to weird Russian music and folktales. There is nothing like it – Quite weird and wonderful – so I loved it.

Celebrated mum’s 87th birthday with a BBQ in the garden for the family and some friends – she loved it.

August at home waiting for my patio to be sorted out – was finished eventually and is fantastic. Well worth the wait and mess. Swim every other day. My son moves into new house in Cardiff – an hour away – will miss his visits. Its beautiful – 1920s by a lake but needs some attention so hell have his work cut out with a new baby on the way and just started a new job. I’m very proud of him.

My husband hurt his back – major trauma to his spinal discs so on crutches for some time. Changed all our routines – hope he recovers quickly – not easy for all of us.