Tag Archives: Christmas

The Stopwatch

I’ve inherited a stopwatch. It’s not a beloved family heirloom, it’s a mark of personal progress and I’m feeling the pressure with every second.

September 2020 brought around a whole bunch of surprises. Namely a new path in my journalism career. Having spent sometime during lockdown, indulging in a number of community arts project, I accepted a job offer in the medical sales/beauty industry. I quickly realised that lips, nips and tucks were most definitely not my thing and after agreeing to produce a media strategy for the company, we parted ways amicably.

Nest came the summer holidays, which in reality were nothing more than an extension of the previous two months the kids had been off school. Eat Out To Help Out was launched and we were able to get out and about more, thanks to the good weather and more people wearing masks.

As September loomed, I was worried about affording uniforms and school shoes and winter coats and birthday celebrations, hoping my part time charity job would keep me afloat.

A conversation with my former journalism lecturer lead to a Zoom call, and a flurry of Whatsapp messages and eventually an interview, complete with ‘You’re on mute’ hilarity.

I’ve officially gone full circle. I began my professional journalism career with an NCTJ Journalism Diploma at The City Of Liverpool College, and now here I am, teaching shorthand and Essential Journalism to the next cohort of budding reporters. It’s an incredible honour and they’re a great group too.

I’m now 9 weeks into the job and I’m still loving it and still as overly optimistic about education as I was back in the summer. My students are bright, determined and showing real promise of walking into the industry with portfolio’s bursting with published work. It makes me really proud to have played a small part in their journey. A journey which takes just 18 weeks on the fast track NCTJ course. The days fly by. Between classroom taught lessons, industry work experience and days spent out filming and interviewing, blink and it’s Christmas.

I came into work today, ready to teach a fun filled afternoon of Teeline Shorthand. I was rummaging around in my desk drawer for a white board marker that worked and came across a black box. I’d not noticed it before. I can only assume it’s been there the whole time and I’d paid it no mind.

Inside is a polished, silver stop watch. The very stop watch which ticked away hour upon hour of shorthand practise when I was a student in this very classroom. The sight of it used to give me shivers. Clicking the start/stop button brought all my memories flooding back. The discovery of the stop watch made me a little more sympathetic of my students’ and their battles with shorthand. It’s a real skill, one that takes hours of consistent practise and no bullshit excuses.

We’re hurtling towards a jam-packed exam schedule, which naturally raises the stress levels for all involved, students and staff. We’re also hurtling towards Christmas and hoping for normality. Or maybe you’re looking towards New Year and hoping 2021 will bring relief from the lockdown, Covid and stress? I know I am.

If only we could just stop the clock for a moment, and breathe.

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Black Friday

Bloody hell, everything seems so difficult just now. Heads up, this is a rant + breathe = gratitude type post. Just to bring you up to speed. 

So, the country has gone to shit. If you disagree with anyone on social media, you’re not only wrong, you’re also a kn*bhead as well. Everton can’t decide on a manager nor find their balls to sack the current one and to make matters worse – there’s more brawling going on at the school gates than ever before – and once again, it’s the parents not the kids that are fighting.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year. Disgusted I’ve not blogged since Spring but with comic work, ALL the what’s on at The Guide Liverpool, new podcast series with The Blue Room and three kids growing at a speed of knots, I’ve had about four days off. I spent my laptop free time in Paris – on the anniversary of the Yellow Vest Protests. You should have SEEN the tear gas and police parades. Spellbinding.

About the brawling. The school my kids go to if falling apart. I know parents who moved house to get their kids into the catchment area just a few years ago. The latest Ofsted was a shambles and nothing seems to have improved since. In fact its gotten noticeably worse. Police involvement in adults fighting and persistently using bad language in the school yard and resulted in some deep discussions about our future in the suburbs.

Letters have been written. Applications to new schools complete. Now we wait. And wait. And wait. Does anyone home school these days? Drop me a line, genuinely interesting in how that all works.

Comic book work should see a shift in the new year thanks to a brand new story and a little confidence boost from my friends in Texas. Ever wondered what would happen if the River Mersey ever burst its banks and engulfed the city? Bringing with it some big ass monsters?

This summer I interviewed Sister Sledge, I rocked out at Kings of Leon and interviewed so many inspiring people including former England Netball captain Ama Agbeze. I also assumed the role of Auctioneer for the very first time for the amazing, Clare House Hospice. Alongside celeb chef and Sunday Brunch presenter, Simon Rimmer, I was able to help raise more than £130,000 for children and families who need it most. An incredible 2019 highlight.

Doodling aside! I trained as a sports journalist as the sensational use of language that bridges punditry and media, has always fascinated me. Earlier this year I joined the guys at The Blue Room EFC podcast and gave my two cents worth on the Everton focused chat. It’s a brilliant laugh and I’ve been welcomed with open arms. So much so that we’ve launched a brand new strand of the podcast and now, Youtube channel.

Women on The Ball is a monthly podcast with Everton Womens captain, Lucy Graham and players Simone Magill and Maeva Clemaron and me as your host. Want to know what it’s like to be a female pro footballer? Tune in!

This week I joined the gaffer at The Guide Liverpool, the one and only Jay Hynd on a secret press trip down to London. We crossed the most famous zebra crossing in the world and visited the iconic, Abbey Road Studios! Stuff of dreams.

As Christmas rapidly approaches, you’ll find me writing gift guides, helping others to promote their independent businesses in Liverpool and donning my blue santa suit to rock up a BTR Santa Dash 5th medal! If I make it around the 5k course!

How’s your 2019 been?

 

 

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