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What I've been doing in 2023

This year's been pretty eventful for me so far. Having moved to a wet, windy, dark and cold Ireland in mid-November 2022, I spent three weeks in France for Christmas, and saw the new year in at my mother's house in Brittany. In January I took the overnight ferry to England, and woke up in Portsmouth on my birthday, to a wet, grey day, and mass train delays. Hours later, and still feeling decidedly unsteady on my 'sea legs', I finally got to celebrate with a delectable quintessentially British vegetarian roast at a traditional pub, with one of my favourite people - my little brother.

Then it was back to Ireland, and too many intense weeks of non-stop teaching and studying. The weather was bleak. It was cold. I really don't like being cold! It snowed, more than twice. It rained, every other day. The highlight of those few weeks was getting back to London for a weekend to hang out with my bro' again, and get a new tattoo. So, I decided to leave Ireland...

I was supposed to go to Barcelona (for a clowning course of all things, don't laugh!) after finishing my course, but weeks of stress had taken their toll and I was, in hindsight, burnt out; I made the difficult (and sickeningly expensive) decision to come home, to Guernsey. It was a strange time - I felt weirdly ashamed but the magnetic need to be with my family, with those I love, was irresistibly strong. I spent the next week, not doing street theatre in Catalonia, as I had planned - but relishing the sweet peace of my sister's garden, and the birds, and the light - and that deeply longed-for sense of belonging.

So I passed my course, hurrah! It was testing but finally, it's done, and I can tick that achievement off. Now I'm attempting something far more challenging (for me, anyway) - to pass my driving test! I've started lessons, and they're going ok so far. But I don't think people realise, when I say how small Guernsey is, what that means for Guernsey roads, and driving - our roads are narrow! I've already booked my test but I'm keeping the date a secret for now - hopefully I will have some good news in a few weeks, fingers crossed!

I'm also looking forward to a bit of a holiday in July - it will be the longest I've had off work for four years, as I'll be heading to a music festival (with said brother and his girlfriend) for a few days, followed by a week-long handpan retreat in Austria, which I'm super excited about! So, heads up, I'll be unavailable from the 3rd to the 17th of July...

In the meantime I'll be enjoying all that Guernsey summer has to offer - peaceful walks through leafy lanes, breezy beach afternoons with picnics on white sands, and daring swims in clear but freezing turquoise waters. Maybe I'll find time for some kayaking, and hopefully even catch sight of some puffins, seals and dolphins!

Of course, aside from that two weeks in July I will still be teaching throughout summer - and, hoping to find time to finish my proofreading course, and work on another exciting project I've started.... It's easy to feel lazy during summer, especially when it's hot, so I'm trying very hard to stay focused and continue making progress!

I might need to add learning Spanish to my list soon, but for now, driving is plenty to be getting on with!

Have an awesome summer everyone. Don't forget to keep learning English!

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