REFLECTION AND BACK TO NORMAL (What IS normal??)

So-only 2 days left in the UK and then back to Singapore for a couple of days to relieve jet lag and have some meetings.

I feel renewed-have not had a long holiday like this for so long.

So many images are competing for space in my head and heart.

It was so good to attend the JOLLY LEARNING conference in London-met loads of interesting people and learned more about this wonderful program. It makes me sad to see the press here about low literacy levels when UK has the answer-same in Aus. I have just written an article about this for THE PARENTS’ PAPER in Perth. We HAVE to teach these basics or kids are severely disadvantaged. There is an awful lot of “fuzzy-think” going on in education!

I love the JOLLY MUSIC program and we will be offering it at all levels in Perth and integrating a lot more of it into lessons. I am convinced that MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE is vitally important to children as it helps their basic sense of rhythm/timing and concentration. It also helps enormously with listening skills-a real problem with so many kids at the moment!

Since leaving the conference Martin and I have planned and commenced our own reading series-very exciting. We have phonics readers and readers with sight words and specific sentence patterns-lots of repetition. It is incredible how a holiday can clear the cobwebs and allow ideas to coalesce!

Paris was amazing as always. We attended Mass at Notre Dame, ate far too much and wandered streets with happy hearts and open minds. There is always so much to see and “grok” there.

I noticed a huge amount of litter this time, plus aggression on the streets-have not really picked this up before- sad.

St Germain on the last day-wonderful bars/restaurants and amazing shop fronts.

Our hotel had a beautiful walled garden -the sort that makes me want to lock myself in for days and just write and draw!

Rhodes was the most amazing experience. The people were so relaxed and friendly and the Christening was amazing. (Christening was reason we actually went!) Greek Orthodox Churches are so richly decorated and all the lights on make them look like Christmas!

The beaches were fascinating for me as so different to Aussie ones-mainly pebbles and sun-lounges all laid out. I lay on a lounge every day-only a metre from the water and just watched families from all over Europe playing/relaxing. It felt like the centre of the world to hear so many languages at once-and to top it off-there was the outline of Turkey in front of me!

We were very blessed because we stayed at an amazing place called HERMES hotel-new town behind us/old walled town to right, harbour in front and beach to left-paradise! We had a 180 degree view from our room and cool breezes blowing over the balcony right onto our bed each night.

The food-ah the food-breakfast with thick yoghurt that would not even run off the spoon, golden honey and the best olives and fetta I have ever tasted!

Every night was a feast of Greek food and great local wines-some dieting coming up!

One day we visited Lindos-on a donkey up to the Crusader fort and then by foot to the Acropolis and to look at St Paul’s Bay-what an amazingly sacred, strange and wonderful place it is!

So-now in Norwich and soaking up history, ghost walks, spending precious moments with my son Jesse and re-connecting with my earth-Norwich being the city of my childhood. When I am here I always have this strange feeling of peeking into all the corners of my past, looking at what my past might have been if my parents did not migrate and staring into the faces of Norfolk people my age and imagining I might have known them!

So-I am feeling a bit sad to leave but also eager to get back and see children, parents, Joanna, friends etc. Danielle has manged ICE so well and I am looking to giving her some well earned time off!

We have had a parent pass away so some sadness as this lady was very dear to the local community and to us!

So-2 days to pack and worry about excess baggage, soak up all the history and son-love I can and then the long journey back. I feel like I am re-surfacing after a massive, deep sleep with the most wonderful, strange dreams!

I would somehow like to create a montage of all that has happened-want to pin down these ephemeral images and see a pattern-and get a shape to it all. Maybe when we look at all the thousands of photos I will be able to consider this.

I think my brain is simply soaked in so many new images and it will take a while to sort them. I wonder if this is how kids feel when a lot is happening and they are not sure which bits to concentrate on? This could be why art always seems to help them-think it might help me as well!

 

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