#teacher5aday – The M5 and the Sewage Works

My partner and I have four young children and we both work full time.  It doesn’t leave a lot of space for us to spend time alone together but for the last two years, Jonny has organised a weekend away for our wedding anniversary.

This year, we left much later than intended; I had some work to finish and we hadn’t had time to pack beforehand.  It became quite fraught.

We finally left and when we reached Exeter I posted this on Facebook:

How I was feeling at the start of our weekend

I did eventually get out of the car and slipped into something more waterproof mumbling about being murdered or, because it was so dark, cycling straight into the canal.

It was not so bad though, there were cats eyes on the edge of the tow path and no murderers in sight.  I began to feel cheerier and shouted to Jonny, who was paddling up the canal with the kit, that I would meet him at the cottage.  When I arrived I lit the wood burning stove, put the kettle on and knew then that we would have a fabulous weekend.

I cycled ahead to light the stove
The view from our bedroom in the morning
I even volunteered to paddle back on Sunday – me under the M5

And we did have a fabulous weekend and, when we got back, I felt refreshed and a better parent for it and a better teacher.  My feelings on the Friday evening were ‘it’s not worth going’, ‘I’ve got too much to do’ but as soon as I got on my bike in the pouring rain I began to relax and a mixture of exercise, rest and time with Jonny was a great tonic.

After reading @clyn40’s http://myfethoughts.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/my-teacher5aday/  #teacher5aday I thought, for me, although my kids come first, it is Jonny and I who need to make time for each other; we used to have weekends like these frequently – we climbed, kayaked, cycled but with teaching and our own children, it has been the first thing to go.

This time together was precious but should we do it more than once a year?  I’m certainly going to try.

Work is fine – I do a good job.
The kids are fine – they have a lovely life.
Jonny and I?

We are strong, we’ve been together 24 years, but we are not unbreakable. We become more fragile the less time we spend together.

So, next #teacher5aday?
Another tow path on our Bromptons; this time Bradford upon Avon to Bath. Next, go out in our double sea kayak which I’ve only been in once. It will be difficult finding childcare and the time but I think we need to try.

Thank you @MartynReah and @clyn40 for making me think about this and I look forward to reading more #teacher5adays.  Do read the others here: http://martynreah.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/teacher5aday-week-1-5-updates/.

Topsham Lock Cottage

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