A Year Is A Long Time


The  eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that at the start of this month, this blog was a year old. Amazingly, I have been writing down my musings on life, the allotment and our kitchen for a full twelve month period. What’s more people seem to be interested in what I write. It has been a truly humbling experience to read the comments that many of you have left.

I started the blog as a way of documenting aspects of my life as I made a big change in my life. A year ago I was preparing for the beginning of the school term knowing that it was the first time in 15 years that I would not be greeting a new class and getting to grips with 30 new names. Instead I was preparing for the start of my children’s school year and the school run every morning and afternoon. During the period I had had off work sick, the allotment and my kitchen had provided me with some solace and I hoped that sharing some of this with the world may help me in my recovery from depression and anxiety. A year on I am undoubtedly in a better place. I still have low days (weeks occasionally) and can be easily irritated by the most simple of things; but the crippling anxious fear and overwhelming sadness I faced last year has subsided. To some extent this is due in part to the blog and the fact that I made the decision to be open about how I was feeling. Its meant I have accepted how I felt, and many people have commented about similar feelings, as well as offering support.

Having time-out from working, and perhaps most significantly, time-in with the family, has enabled me to re-evaluate what I want from life. I realised that I need to spend time on my own more, I need to socialise more, I need to be creative, I need to cook…..the list goes on. Over the year I’ve had the chance to work out what I want to do, and how it may allow me to have a happier life. So, this September I’m starting another chapter of my life. Over the next few weeks and months I’ll be launching into the world of work again. This time, not as a teacher, but as a baker. Baking bread has been  real therapy for me; the slow, physical, process of baking real bread is a really mindful act and I want to share that with others.  I’m going to start baking; initially on my own, but with the idea of establishing a Community Bakery project, where people can come together and bake for the local community.

Its a bit of a change, but one that excites me, and (if you knew how I felt a year or so ago) being excited about something is a big step.


Spring has Sprung

You make me feel so young
You make me feel like spring has sprung
Every time I see you grin
I’m such a happy an individual

Mack Gordon “You Make Me Feel So Young”

Spring is the season at the allotment when things start, and need to start, happening. Despite it not quite being March, every visit to the plot brings another shoot or stem emerging from the ground. Some seeds have been sowed, with many more to go, and new life is starting to peep out of the seed trays in the greenhouse.

My life is a little like the plot at the moment. Like the allotment, my emergence out of the dark and malaise of depression and anxiety is showing a few signs of life. As we enter spring I feel that I’m starting to turn a corner. I’m beginning to think about the future and what I might do with it. The allotment has shown me that I can succeed at things, but crucially my break from work has also taught me that I need a life that works for me and all the family if I’m to be happy.

Last week I found a jar of seeds saved from last year. Unfortunately they were a random mix of unknown seeds; but I’ll sow them and see what emerges. In a way I’m in a similar situation to the pot of seeds. Inside I have the potential to do a lot of things, but what will it be and what might stop me finding it? When will the shoots emerge, and what will it grow into, are still questions I ponder on.