As a teacher, I happily put my hands up and admit that summer is my off season. I can put my feet up and relaaaax. Quite often this involves ice cream and cake and a table but sometimes, I relax by…well, working out.
I find it gives me more energy (to do less), my mood is lifted and I generally tend to have more patience with other human beings. A sedentary Draig is a pretty miserable Draig indeed. Plus, there are a whole load of preventable diseases that run in my family for which exercise seems to be the number 1 solution.
But I resist the siren call of leisure centres and gyms trying to lure me with summer deals and an impressive puns on the word ‘sizzling’. Nope, unless it’s for a swimming pool, I’m not going in.
Rather, I’m trying to make the most of the sunshine, warmth and free Vitamin D I have access to before winter comes a-knocking to stay for what seems like forever…
My mum was (is?) a social butterfly in her community. She was the friend her friends called when life got messy because she’s sympathetic and supportive without being abrasive. As the daughter of such a woman, this meant I got to have a peek into the lives of many of my ‘Aunties’ and – unwittingly – how they navigated their money and lives. What I’ve saw definitely impacted my money moves.
Teachers and stationary – it’s a love story that transcends time and space. From parchment and quills and ink to highlighters, purple pen(cil)s, calendars and post its…phew, is anyone else feeling slightly warm right now?
After I was awarded my very first teaching class, I threw my all into developing my teaching. And after a month, I received my payslip.
My eyes widened.
“Wow! I can’t believe I get paid to do this!”
Yes, those words actually left my mouth. In public.
You see, I was grateful. I was grateful to have a full time job but most importantly, I was grateful that I was getting paid to do something I loved – to pursue a burning passion. So I didn’t question or check or compare the numbers.
Which meant I didn’t realise that my tax code was wrong and I was getting taxed an extra £200 a month until my friend looked at my payslip and screwed up her face and said: “We should be getting paid the same. Why does yours look like that?”
(Please read this intro in as noir-genre-American-New-Yawk-gangsta-from-the- 1920/30s-accent as you can. Many thanks in advance.You’re the best).
So you got time off work. For up to a year max. Yay you.
You also got a baby and the need to entertain yourself whilst keeping your little human being alive.
You need places to go that don’t mind your kid when they squawk in indignation or hunger and also turn a blind eye when you attempt a not so subtle nappy change but can’t be bothered with trudging to the loos.
Friends, have I got the list for you.
Before we being, one thing to note is I haven’t taken into account travel costs – under 2’s don’t get charged on the bus but adults definitely do and the cost of that travel (to and from home) may vary.
Also, I know the summer holidays are coming up so I tried to think of places you could go at any time of the year, even during the half term or school holidays, whether you were on maternity leave, paternity leave, shared parental leave, grandparent duty or you just had a free day or so with the baby.
Yes, the park is there but I get kind listless walking around with nowhere to go, the benches tend to be damp and/or bird poop covered and the Hatchling is not yet of the size where they can use the equipment effectively. Plus, the heavens in the UK have a tendency to open even in the midst of summer and I don’t do rain. It makes me super miserable.