The Killers - Hot Fuss turns 20 apparently. I remember buying it on CD in [Fopp]. Anyway, I was talking to a colleague about how I went through a phase a while back of just trying to listen to albums. So I’m going to start doing that again, I think. Started with Hot Fuss yesterday and on to Sam’s Town today.

maybe today
walk away
from anything
without a heart

It’s easy to be busy. I’m always busy. There’s always something else I could be doing. Teaching is great for that. You’re never really done. And so, this week I’ve been trying to not always be the wrong kind of busy. The kind that involves staring at a screen. To be the other kind of busy, the one that involves spending more time with students and colleagues. More heart.

nothing happens next
this is it! and this is it !
and this is it too!

We read A Stone For Sascha by Aaron Becker in class yesterday and talked about time and how things change. Again, I tried to step back and give the kids time to speak. I still find that hard, feeling the need to fill the spaces. A beautiful, wordless book all told. His Journey trilogy is still some of my favourite picture books.

These words are from the comic of two monks that I have had rattling around inside my head for the longest time. And talking about time has brought it back, again.

Music is Rosie Thomas - These Friends of Mine

we hear, but
don’t, can’t absorb
you’re ready
when you’re ready

Stupid challenge. Been thinking a lot about realising things. Then realising these are things you’ve read, been told, were first thought long ago. But it didn’t matter. You’re ready, when you’re ready.

a few
lines each day
condensing thoughts
packaging them
releasing them
letting go

We talked as a family of doing a challenge. The kids said they would do a lap around our compound but that’s changed to just going outside after school. Lyra’s is to read everyday. I’m going to write a poem.

Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science

Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science but It Is Surely Harder (Ryan Fuller)

When I solved engineering problems, I had to use my brain. When I solve teaching problems, I use my entire being—everything I have.

Yeah, I cut the end of that quote. Let’s not go there.

I think it does a good job of starting to get to what can make teaching ‘tricky’. Where ‘tricky’ means all-consuming.

One of my go-to thoughts is that it’s often just the volume of things you have to do and the accompanying stress of trying to do all of them, often simultaneously. If I just had one thing to do, to teach this one lesson I’d be fine, I could give that my focus.

But it’s not just one thing.
And yes, I should probably write things down.
And I have an ongoing, developing, evolving list somewhere in my head of things that need doing.
And important varies moment to moment.
And tasks vary from the simple to the complex.
And sometimes, I’m a frog in pan of water as starts to bubble.
And boil. And more heat is added and added…
And sometimes I’m right there, present.
And sometimes I’m a million miles away.
And it’s just a job?
And what of my own family?

You want it all? LOL

I watched this video by Mark Manson about quitting alcohol 500 days ago and talking about the less obvious benefits of not drinking. How he likes doing less, not feeling the need to be busy and enjoying being bored. And, while I don’t really drink a lot anyway and so have no plans to quit alcohol completely it did make me think.

It made me think about something I’ve thought about a lot. About the roles I have and the things that I consider important to me and the choices I will have to make as a result. That I want to be a good father and husband, I want to be there for my family. I want to be a good teacher, though this one is difficult because in some ways it’s a time and energy swallowing black hole. I want to get enough exercise for my physical and emotional well-being. I want to get enough sleep and to eat relatively healthily. I want to try and find time for myself sometimes since I’m with young children almost 24-7, 3-60-5. There’s things I think I should be doing too - mostly socialising. And, obviously, the problem is that you can’t and that’s hard sometimes.

Or at least, it was more so. After watching the video, I’ve been trying to embrace myself and not feeling like I need to apologise - not out loud of course! - for that. I’ve been trying to enjoy being with the kids and with Lyra, and I always do but sometimes you feel like it’s a burden. Of trying to step away from my devices more or at least to use them more purposefully, I started writing a story and we’ve been recording something for our ‘Podcast’ every day for a week or so, it’s on Spotify at the moment, I know, I know but it’s a start!

Think “Bluey,” but stuff that isn’t “Bluey.”

A newsletter about the books, shows, games, etc. that spark kids’ imagination, stoke their creativity, and liberate their minds. Think “Bluey,” but stuff that isn’t “Bluey.”

Seems right up my street that.

In related Bluey news. We watched the extended Bluey episode The Sign this week. My two loved it a lot. It also featured the Zen Farmer story and we’ve been coming back to that a lot since we watched it. Made me think of one of my favourite books - Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth - which also includes the story. Interesting to see the episode pop up on the Stoicism subreddit too.

Grateful for getting out and doing my Saturday morning ruck this morning. Started a little later than usual and was still sore from going hard on Thursday but that’s mostly gone now. Funny that.

We, as a family use Apple Music because that’s what I pay for and we’re happy enough. The only thing that tempts me to switch to Spotify is that shared playlists online always use that, never Apple Music.

Breaking routine loops
Stepping outside well worn habits
Finding something new!

Q. What’s the maximum distance I can outsprint a 5 year old on a bike?

A. Not as far as I thought. Also, I tired a hell of a lot quicker. Also, I feel a bit sick.


Huush - Full Performance (Live on KEXP) - YouTube

No idea what inspired me to click this link from KEXP’s YouTube channel. I follow it but rarely click anything honestly. Occasionally I’ll go back to one of Kae Tempest’s or IDLES videos. I don’t know why I did, but I’m glad I did. They are described as deciding to…

make a lot of noise with this new électro rock project. They warn us again, freedom will be total, punks are in the house ! Drums thump hard, guitar oscillates between technoid arpeggios and saturated sound, while the synthetic bass underpins powerful beats.

And I’m on board for that. There’s only a single song on Apple Music so I’ve been playing this short set on repeat in the meantime.

I just feel weird about teaching at the moment.

I struggle with feeling like I’m not doing my job well enough, because I don’t have enough time. But I don’t have enough time because I go to the gym for my physical and mental health or because I go home so I can spend time with my children.

I’ve started recording the things I’ve watched but it’s a bit plain. Does anyone else do this on their I know there are other websites but I don’t want to do that. Basically, can we have a Bookshelf but for TV and films?!

a term time shadow
of myself, and my glory
a choice I have made

I feel like a different person in the holidays. Like work takes so much of me that I am a shadow of myself during term time.

a term time shadow
of myself, and my glory
a choice I have made

We’re enjoying the new Mr and Mrs Smith a lot. It’s strange but I’m really enjoying it.

In the spirit of ‘Stinge Watching’, we watched the original Mr and Mrs Smith last night to drag it out a bit. It was ok but I much prefer the new one.

It’s 8am and the kids are still in bed! BEST START TO THE HOLIDAY EVER! Just half-listening to a webinar on Enhancing Classroom Talk in International Schools while having a coffee and chatting to a friend.

I found my breath, in
Life’s busy repetitions,
Hiding in plain sight

My new coffee brew timer is The Offsping’s - All I Want. Which at 1:55 of shouty noise is a little short but I can count to fiver and I’m sure James Hoffman won’t mind for his Clever Dripper method.

I think I get bonus points for managing to use it as a cold shower timer too.

Just had my last Lemsip*, now have to decide if I want to pay an extortionate amount to buy more on Taobao.

*Morrison’s own but it’s the same.

Enjoying the The Rest is Entertainment podcast - that I watch on Youtube with Marina Hyde and Richard Osman. Always been a fan of her writing so I very much enjoy this.

A busy day at school. Lots of things popping that involved lots of talking to colleagues. I could go home and do more work after working from 7:30-5:00 and it would certainly make tomorrow a little easier. But I need to stop and take a mental break.

Doing, not thinking.

I made a list of the things I could do instead of using my phone.

Read, write, draw, meditate, go for a walk, watch tv (without my phone), learn.

The list was endless but didn’t work for me at all. I was looking at it wrong, I think.
After reading about sofa I’ve been much better. I’m doing things because I want to. I’m better at sitting and scribbling the first thing that comes into my head in the Muji fold flat notebook I bought, I’ve been spending some time learning Korean using Duolingo and through talking to the Korean students in my class, I signed up for and have been enjoing being horrible at trying to do some to personalise my blog.
Now, I’m doing things because I want to and that’s all. If I do it for a 100 days, that’s cool and if I don’t, that’s ok too. I like this new way of thinking about it.