Black and white mandala


I returned to work at school two weeks ago and I have found it has resulted in a lot less time for me to indulge myself in my creative, artistic pursuits.  The evenings and weekends seem to disappear in sleep as I’m so tired.

I do seem to be coping a lot better with the stresses and strains of being a teacher, which is a good thing.

The mandala above was finished earlier this week.  I am debating whether to add colour and/or shadows or to leave it as it is.  I shall see how the fancy takes me over the weekend.

Theta 2


I completed this yesterday.  It’s approx. A4 in size.  The major outlines were worked with an Umber Letraset Promarker with an ultrafine point.  The fine details were done using a UniBall UniPin fine line permanent pen.  There are gold highlights worked with a UniBall metallic gel pen.  The shading was done using a Derwent Graphitint pencil, Storm shade, and a water wash.  It took many hours of work…I lost count!

I’ve discovered Zentangles over the past few days.  The similarities between them and my art are remarkable, though I think my art has incorporated such things for a long time now without knowing about them, though it seems the first Zentangles were names as such in 2004 by their creators, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.

I have also found out that NeoPopRealism was created by Nadia Russ in 1989, and she used lines and repetetive patterns as a way to heal herself and her life.  This is taken from her website

“In 1989, Nadia Russ (aka Nadejda Maloletneva) invented the new art style, very unique art form of visual arts. Sensitive and emotional, Nadia was trying to get rid of her stress and frustration when things in her life were going wrong. But wrong was, then in 1989 and a few more years, almost everything. She drew with ink pen the line, turning into different shapes, figures, faces. Sections, that appeared, she filled with different repetitive patterns. Nadia never uses eraser. If she makes a “mistake”, it disappears because of the following patterns that balanced the whole composition. This drawing is meditative. Later, she was using the same concept when she created her oil and acrylic canvases. This art form called NeoPopRealism; she created this term January 4, 2003. The artworks of Nadia Russ are in different museums’ permanent art collections worldwide and in private collections all over the globe. “

Of course, doodling has been around for a very long time … and I often think of this kind of art that I do as ‘doodling’.  It is also very meditative and it can be the one thing that cheers me up during one of my darker days, something I look forward to coming home to at the end of a tough day at work.  It has a similar effect upon my soul and mind that the first mug of hot tea on arrival at home does – a huge inner sigh on the conscious, subconscious, physical and spiritual levels.

I am finding it interesting to look at the Zentangle patterns and how they can be constructed, and I’m even trying some of them out in a sketchbook.  Ultimately, my art flows, with no conception of what the finished piece will be; that has always been the case with my art – I really do just go with the flow.

*Added Tuesday 11 Feb 2013*

I have been told that Indian Mendhi designs predate Zentangles and NeoPopRealism by a very long time thanks to 1artviewer on deviantART.  These are the kind of designs that are applied using henna to the hands/feet of brides.

You can read more about these designs on Wikipedia and can see more on this website.

Of course, and I’ve mentioned this many times before, I’ve drawn inspiration from prehistoric rock art, as well as neolithic and bronze age art, early celtic and anglo-saxon art too.

*Edit ended*

Half Term at last!

3pm last Friday didn’t  come around quickly enough.  It’s been a short yet incredibly pressured half-term.  The pressure has come from the inspection, voice problems, and another problem that has affected my sleep, stress levels and health adversely.  I’m glad it’s over and I can have a week away from the madness without anything hanging over my head.

My only plans for this week are art, reading and sleeping, well apart from the other absolute necessities of life such as bathing and eating and so on.

It’s always quite tough for me to be alone to start with, but by the end of the week I’ll value my solitude.  It will have allowed me the time and space to just ‘be’, to relax, to rediscover myself.  Then, I will feel thrown back into the fray for another manic half-term.


Synchronicity 1

Synchronicity 1 © Angela Porter 2012

Approx. 16cm x 12cm

Rotring pen, Sakura Glaze pen, Derwent Inktense pencils with water wash on heavy watercolour paper.

Small, intricate, full of spirals and swirls.  Typically me when in a fussy, detailed mood.

Many of the patterns and shapes are inspired by ammonites, nature, cells, Romanesque architecture, Prehistoric pottery and rock art.

Synchronicity because there have been a lot of  ‘coincidences’ noted in my life recently.

Back at work

Oh the joys of teaching!  There is an element of sarcasm there.  The lack of respect, manners and cooperation seems to have increased over the summer – either that or I’m getting old, having passed the 49 year mark during the long holidays.

I find myself emotionally drained at the end of each day after the constant hard work to get pupils to stop making assorted weird noises, disrupting the lesson in a myriad of ways, and just trying to bet them to be polite.  I feel ‘battle weary’.  Yet, teaching should not be such a battle.

The worst thing for me, however, is the effect this has on my creativity and the time to create.  I miss the hours I could spend creating art during the break.  If only I could earn enough from art reliably and sustainably to become a full-time artist…or writer…or or or…


Well, yesterday, the Autumnal Equinox, saw the end of the hypnotherapy course.  I have an extension to complete the case studies, so the work isn’t quite over for me.  I managed, finally, to get a merit in one essay – hurrah!

Not sure if I’ll be able to start a hypnotherapy practice up for a few years for various reasons, but I’d like to keep my hand in and practice the skills I have learned until I’m ready to take that plunge.


Yesterday, in fact the past week or so, have been rather weird.  I’ve found myself very emotional, on the point of tears or past the point of holding them back on a number of occasions, including today.  I have no idea exactly what is the problem.  I thought it was hormonal, but I’m not too sure about that now.

Anyway, the hypnotherapy wasn’t the only ending this week.

I resigned from a committee that I perhaps have stayed on for a few months too long.

I’ve had various bits of a jigsaw puzzle about a friendship that ended a few months ago.  I’ve spent most of this time blaming myself as I was made to feel it was my fault.  However, the jigsaw pieces show that it isn’t my fault at all!

All this is quite apt for the equinox I think.


… one voice.  Stolen sometime last night.  If found please return.

Yup, I have acute laryngitis yet again.  My voice has completely vanished.  I discovered this when I got into work this morning, went to say ‘morning’ to a colleague and all that came out was a random squeak.

A two hour wait in the doctor’s surgery to be seen and I’ve been told to stay off work for at least a week, possibly two.   Total voice rest – no whispering, as that’s worse than talking.  I’m a teacher, so no voice means no can do my job…not unless they’d let me teach via Tweets or text messages – which I very much doubt!

Ho hum…what to do that doesn’t involve my voice…art…hypnotherapy script creating and essay writing…reading…film watching…practising my listening skills…

Almost the end of the Summer break…

Prehistoric Fertility 2 – A work in progress

Prehistoric Fertility 2 WIP © Angela Porter 2011

Dimensions – 23x30cm, approx.  Silk fibre needle felt on a black felt background.  Embellishement with beads, metallic and Japan threads, and custom-made sequins.

Photographs never seem to do my work justice, simply because I’m not a photographer.  There is no idea of the shimmery nature of the work, the way that the gold Japan threads used to outline various parts of the needle felt define the shapes and provide a channel along which the colours seem to flow like oil on water.  There is no sense of the texture and heights/depths that the needle felt has brought to the work, nor to the patterns and textures the beads give.  The colours still look garish in the photograph, yet in the actual piece they are more subtle and muted.

I have spent many hours on this so far – around 30 I would guess.  Every moment has been a pleasure, and I’ve even caught myself looking at it and smiling at how well it is working out – unusual for me as I’m my own worst critic, and it’s a step forward that I can appreciate the beauty in my creative work.

Last day of the holidays

It’s finally arrived.  Today marks the end of my freedom to a degree.  Tomorrow I return to work, to a structured day and all the ups and downs that go with the job that teaching is.  My time for art and other pursuits will become very limited.

I had a list of things to do over the Summer, and I’ve achieved few of them, however I have achieved other things, and that is good.  What is better is I’m not beating myself up about the tasks undone.  There’ll be time to do them…

I will miss the slow starts to the day, the spontaneity of trips and visits and time with friends.  Friday afternoon I spent with a friend in a local cafe-bar, drinking, talking about art and other things, working on art, having nice food and laughing before going to take the weekly meditation class I lead.  I will miss the opportunity to do those kinds of things.

On the positive side, it won’t be long until the next school break, and there are the weekends too…

There’s definitely a coolness in the air in the mornings and evenings.  It’s a feeling I associate with the coming of autumn, the return to school, the start of the new academic year and a sense of hope of better things to come, a hope that was usually misplaced, and still is.  However, I still hope that a new school year and a new term will bring new attitudes, opportunities and good achievements.

This year, the new attitudes must be towards myself and my expectations of me and how I react to the poor attitude/behaviour of others.  The Summer break has allowed me to relax, to become who I am meant to be.  I like this person, I like the contentment within me, I like the confidence that comes with it.  What I don’t want is to lose this with the stresses and strains of teaching.  There’s a challenge!

One of the tasks left mostly undone over the Summer was too look for an alternative career/job, one that will allow me to use all my personal skills/talents/gifts in a positive manner.  I’ve been stumped as to what to do, and looking around at available jobs there is nothing that seems to fit me, well not yet.

So that’s another task for the coming weeks – to keep looking at available jobs, to seek advice, suggestions, to continue the audit of my personal skills to help me focus on what  I could do.

I have been thinking about training as a hypnotherapist.  The biggest stumbling block for me is finding the money to pay the fees.  I’m making enquiries about that…so finger’s crossed!

The incipient return to work has been causing some anxiety and worry with me.  My meditation this morning was filled with thoughts of things that need to be done, ideas as to what to do, worries about things that cause me emotional pain …

Lazy days…

So tired

This has been another weekend of sheer laziness.  All I’ve done, mostly, is sleep or read or just potter and potch around the place.  All I can say is I must need this quiet time for whatever reason.  I’m most probably emotionally exhausted after a long term and a long year at school, as well as from such a busy fortnight with things happening in the evening.  No, not partying, but various classes and workshops and talks.  It all tires one out.  Perhaps this quiet time will mean that I recover sooner in the summer hols so that I can enjoy more of them.

Part of me is being hard on me for not using the time more productively, for not being busy, busy, busy.  Part of me is patting myself on the back for listening to myself and taking time out.  I wouldn’t sleep if I wasn’t tired or didn’t need it.  I’d have the inspiration to create if I was fully charged.  And if I catch up somewhat with myself I’ll have time in the summer hols to find the inspiration and lose myself in things that bring me pleasure.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

I went to see this on Friday afternoon.  It was good, but somehow anticlimactic.  I can’t put my finger on it, perhaps it’s simply because the book had so much more in it, or my imagination is so much more vivid.  Or maybe it’s because it’s come to an end, for now.  I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more of the wizarding world in the future; I don’t think J K Rowling can keep away from it for much longer!

Fallen Books

I’ve been reading these books by Lauren Kate.  It took a while to get into Fallen, but since I have done so I’ve been engrossed by them (hence the weekend of reading!).  I read Fallen in three or four days, Torment took just two days, and I’m stuck into Passion now.  All I can say is I’d never thought I’d be reading and enjoying books that had angels in them!  Wizards, witches, sorcerors, orcs, elves, fairies, nac-mac-feegles, and others yes, but angels?  I’d recommend the books as a lovely escape with exciting and heart-wrenching moments, as well as moments of that perfect, romantic, sensual love that can only exist in dreams (I think – though if anyone can offer me hard proof that such a love exists, then please tell me; I’ve never experienced it!).

Arty stuff.

My artistic endeavours this week have centred around my latest sketchbook which has pages being filled with work inspired by a photograph of a leaf skeleton.  I’m working with different media, developing shapes and patterns and colours and so on with the aim of producing some textile work.  All I know is that I’m enjoying the time I get to spend on it, which isn’t enough really.  It’s not long, though, until the long holidays…not long to go.  I just need to remember to borrow back my books of inspiration, particularly “Drawn to Stitch” by Gwen Hedley.

I’ve been asked to create a piece of textile art similar to this one for someone at school.  That’s a summer holiday project I’m sure!  Other projects will come from my sketchbook work, I think.  I’d also like to spend time trying to work out how to do landscapes…my way.

Weight loss…

I’m considering joining Slimming World to kickstart myself into eating healthily, taking care of my body via the food I eat, and losing weight.  Over the past couple of years my weight has steadily increased and I’m now where I was the summer after I finished with the long ago ex, which was some 13 years ago now.  I’ll have to be incredibly brave and firm with myself to actually go to a meeting, and then incredibly strong and firm with myself afterwards … and forgiving should I lapse momentarily too.  Believing I deserve to look after myself, treat myself well, be kind to myself is still a huge stumbling block for me.

I’m hoping that the work that has been done with me over the past three years or so will have done the equivalent of ctrl-alt-del and restarted the programs that are ‘me’ as they should run, well most of them; kind of like having the viruses removed, or at least the ones that have been identified.

Warming Winter Stew

Aaargh!  Today!

Today has been a frantic day in work.  Problems with mobile phones on in class, one madam actually was on Facebook!  Confiscation and all the hassle that causes ensued.  The noise today has been … almost totally unbearable, as has been the general lack of cooperation and respect.  I’m beginning to think there should be a total blanket ban on mobile phones in school.  They’re causing no end of trouble and disruption to lessons now.  The school does have a telephone system itself and if there is a reason to contact parents, or a reason for parents to contact their little darlings then it can be done via that system.  It always used to work perfectly fine as I remember.  The rules about having phones turned off (not just to silence) during lessons don’t seem to work, and the problems/issues that result from this …

So, I am so glad to be home.  I was met, unusually, by my pusscat who purred and fussed around me until I followed him upstairs to make a huge fuss of him (and he of me) before he settled back down to sleep.

Now, I am sat tippytapping at the ‘puter keyboard and my nose is being comforted by the delicious smell of a winter veggie stew cooking on the hob.

There is nothing like a hearty stew to warm the cockles of ones heart, or to comfort an over stressed me.  I will be making dumplings to go in it a bit later on in it’s cooking.  Then, when all is cooked to perfection, I shall enjoy eating it while cwtched up under a cuddly and warm fleecy blanket.  I’m sure the warmth and the goodness will sooth my frazzled emotions, will calm my jittery nerves, and I will feel so much better.  I already do, in fact, as the process of caring for another living creature and then taking the time to create a healthy, hearty feast for myself has been an example of self-caring.

Stew Recipe

No quantities will be given,  just ingredients … I’m very much an instinctive cook and just seem to know how much to put in by looking.  Of course, I vary the ingredients depending on what I have available or what I fancy.

Onions, fried in vegetable oil.  Today I added some Quorn Steak Strips and fried them until they were browned.  Next I added some roughly diced swede, parsnip carrot and potato and coated them all in the quorn and onions.  Red split lentils and pearl barley were then added and stirred around to coat them in the cooking juices.  Pepper and salt were added and then boiling water.  A couple of Just Bouillon veggie stock cubes, a sprinkling of mixed herbs, a couple of cloves of garlic finely sliced (they’ll disintegrate during cooking) and a healthy dollop of English Mustard.

It will take around 45 mins to 1 hour for the lentils and pearl barley to cook.  Around 20 minutes before the end of this time I will add dessert spoons of dumpling mixture – approx. 4oz of self-raising flower mixed with 2oz of veggie suet, salt and pepper to taste and maybe a few more mixed herbs.  A little milk and water is used to mix it to a sticky dough.  The lid is replaced on the pan and it’s all left to cook for 20 mins or so.

Served with a good shaking of veggie worcestershire sauce, it is one of the most comforting winter dishes I know!

I like to have more parsnips than swede and carrots; they give such a lovely, sweet flavour.  Sometimes I will add brussel sprouts and mushrooms to the veggie mix, but not today.  Sometimes I don’t use the Quorn.  Sometimes instead of putting potato in the stew, I’d boil or bake potatoes separately.  Today it’s a one-pot feast!  And there’s plenty there for tomorrow too!

And now I definitely feel a lot better!

Crystals and other things

The return to work … and stress…

Well, it’s just over a fortnight into the month and me being back and work and juggling everything else that goes on in my life such as taking and going to meditation classes, meetings, workshops, talks has meant that the time I have spent at home has been almost total ‘down time’.  Chilling with mugs of tea and a DVD or several is about all I’ve been able to do.  It may be a good sign that I am taking that time out and not filling my time up with busy-ness.

Stress hit a high on Friday with a confrontation with a pupil … and the fear that I may have done something wrong, that I will end up being told off for it, and yet common sense tells me that I did nothing wrong (apart from shout a little loudly). I was annoyed and angry with myself for letting my temper ooze out, though I regained control very quickly, and gained a stress-headache as a result of keeping things in.  There was no chance to let the temper out as I was on the roller-coaster of lessons yet again.  I wish I could have a ‘get out of lessons free card’ like some of the pupils, just for a few mins to gather myself back together.  I now have another set of negative automatic thoughts and reactions that now need de-programming, or perhaps that need revisiting in the light of some further insight.

Having said that, this was a lesson I had to take as soon as I got to work after a counselling session that ended just half an hour or so before the lesson.  It was an emotional session, with me trying to face up to my emotional eating, self-image, self-confidence, self-esteem and weight issues … sometimes I think I should just phone in ill.  I have leave of absence for these sessions simply because I give up my non-contact time in the week to attend them so that I have no classes to be covered.

Any suggestions for a career change for me?

I think this may be the only way out of what seems to be constant source of stress in my life, and with the way attitudes towards education have changed, both among parents and pupils and the low value placed on education and the lack of respect for teachers from parents, pupils, government and the wider society it’s not going to change, is it?  A way out, but I have no idea what else I would like to do or could do (bearing in mind I do need a certain income to pay the bills …).


Thinking about stress, I’m always trying to find ways that work for me to relieve stress in my life and so stop me becoming totally drained and heading towards a dark place.

Meditation certainly helps no end, but that takes a fair amount of time, time I don’t have in the normal school day.  Morning and night not a problem, but during the school day … not even at lunchtime do I have time that is mine.  So, I do look at other things.  Square breathing that can be done ‘on the fly’ to regain control of some part of myself and my emotions, for instance.

Crystals may be another way of helping myself … though I’m not always convinced about such things.  I also have mixed views about the rape of our planet, our home in the Universe, for it’s precious resources that cannot be replaced, well not in our life-time at any rate.

I did have an interesting experience with a tumbled piece of sodalite that I purchased after a particularly emotionally harrowing counselling session a year and a half ago.  I was fondling it while having a make-over in the Body Shop.  There was a cracking sound and a piece of the sodalite had broken off and crumbled.  Now, I’m not strong enough to do that, there were no obvious flaws that I could see in the mineral, and it would most likely have broken into two pieces if that were the case, but to crumble into what looked like blue sand …

Crystal therapists and ‘experts’ I’ve related this tale to tell me that was a sign that some powerful healing had happened, and that such breakages are not uncommon.

The scientist in me is very sceptical about anything like this, even though I know that I did end up feeling better sooner than I thought.  There was a sudden easing of my emotional distress, whether that was due to the crystal or the make-over or just a little bit of time and space I don”t know – too many variables to say which one it was!  Or maybe it was just a combination of them all.


Sodalite from
Sodalite from

Sodalite unites logic with intuition and opens spiritual perception, bringing information from the higher mind down to the physical level.  When used in meditation, the mind can be used to understand the circumstances you find yourself in.  This stone instills a drive for truth and an urge towards idealism, making it possible to remain true to yourself and stand up for your beliefs.

Sodalite eliminates mental confusion and intellectual bondage.  It encourages rational thought, objectivity, truth and intuitive perception along with the verbalisation of feelings.  As it calms the mind it allows new information to be received.  Sodalite stimulates the release of old mental conditioning and rigid mind-sets, creating space to put new insights into practice.

Psychologically, this stone brings about emotional balance and calms panic attacks.  It can transform a defensive or oversensitive personality, releasing the core fears, phobias, guilt and control mechanisms that hold you back from being who you truly are.  It enhances self-esteem, self-acceptance and self-trust.

Sodalite aids, among other things, the throat, vocal cords and larynx and is helpful for hoarseness and digestive disorders.  From The Crystal Bible, Judy Hall.

Well, that most probably covers all I’ve mentioned in my experience of sodalite, as well as issues I’m working on.  I do remember just finding myself attracted to the sodalite in the display of crystals in the shop, which was Exquisite Earth in Merthyr Tydfil.  I also remember the owner telling me to look up the crystal in a copy of ‘The Crystal Bible’ by Judy Hall and at the time it perfectly suited the situation I found myself in, and still do.  However, I am working my way through to the other side, and I am certainly a lot, lot better than I was back then!


Art has taken a bit of a back seat to life in general lately.  I am hoping to lose myself in some art in the very near future – such as as soon as I’ve finished this blog entry and got a mug of tea!  I don’t have a lot of time this afternoon as I have a talk to do tonight.

Currently reading …

My reading list is really odd at the moment :

‘I can make you thin’ by Paul McKenna

‘The Spook’s Battle’ by Joseph Delaney

‘After Death Communication’ by Emma Heathcote-James

‘The Physicists’ View of Nature, Part 2: The Quantum Revolution’ by Amit Goswani

So, you can go figure!

Focusing on the positive

Being Star Wars-ed?

Well, now, where to start.  I know, I’m going to Star Wars you!  Here’s a quote from Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

“You’re focusing on the negative, Anakin. Be mindful of your thoughts.” – Obi Wan Kenobi

Over the past week or two, there have been numerous times when I’ve felt I’ve been in a Star Wars movie, being given advice about The Force.  However, the advice given by a dear friend of mine and my counsellor has been about focusing on the positive, good times and things in my life.   The counselling work has been about rebalancing my view of me and my life.  This has involved condensing the negative perceptions of myself and my reactions and thereby reducing their significance and expanding on the positive perceptions with evidence to support it.  The positive evidence, and focusing on the positive is not an easy thing for me to do.  To acknowledge my successes, my achievements, the times I’ve been praised and gained acclaim, these are times that are easily brushed aside.

All the same, I have endeavoured to focus on the positive.  I’ve made a concerted effort to write a list of good events, good feedback, things to be grateful for in my offline journal at the end of every day as I sit in bed before sleep.  I do write about problems, confrontations and so on still so that I can reflect on them, work my way through them, and come to a balanced perspective on them, but I have been doing my best to write down a gratitude list.  And even on the murkiest, darkest, trouble-beset days there are things to be grateful for.

Jedi philosophy, Buddhism, eastern religions … all seem to tie in, don’t they?  I remember seeing the first Star Wars Film – Episode 4, A New Hope.  It was the first time any kind of belief system had struck a chord within me, and though I knew the film was fantasy, the ideas would eventually ignite my own search for my personal brand of spirituality.  And it turns out that things for me aren’t too different from the Force!  Is this worrying?  I think not!

New phone

That time had come around again – the renewal of the mobile phone contract with T-mobile.  This time, I opted for a new phone rather than the £10 per month loyalty discount as the price for my tariff had plummeted considerably.  Essentially, the new bill is £20 a month, compared to £26 with the discount or £36 without the discount!  Brill!  And what phone did I get.  Well, the lovely chaps at T-mobile recommended the Motorola Defy to me, seeing as I have no idea about phones, am not interested in fashion statements and the like.  I wanted something that would be durable, easy to use, and they told me I also would want a phone that would let me use my unlimited internet allowance too.

Well the phone arrived, I was totally bemused for a while, but within a few hours was comfortable with it, and now find it a marvellous thing to have with me!  I certainly won’t get bored when waiting … I must remember to carry my glasses with me as I am getting eye-strain from looking at little letters on a little screen close to me.  Oh the joys of being long-sighted!

My favourite app so far is Google Sky, which was free for me to download and one of the student teachers at school was most disgusted at that as he’d have to pay to get it on his iPhone!  Result I think!  I also downloaded, amongst other things, a nice meditation timer which I’ve yet to use but is likely to prove useful in the future.  I’ve not got music on the phone yet, but there’s no rush for that either.

Having said that, the weather reports have been very useful given all the snow and traffic chaos that has ensued.  And it’s been nice to cwtch up nice and warm in bed and email/message friends rather than get drafty-cool sat at the ‘puter.

So, I march on into a new realm of communication, wondering why it took me so long!

Snow – bleurgh!

I’ve already mentioned the snow.  There’s not been too much of it around South Wales, generally, but enough to cause chaos at times with travelling.  The main roads have mostly stayed pretty clear and I’ve found it perfectly fine to get around, though I’ve not been to the higher reaches of the Valleys.

A bonus has been a couple of days at school with few pupils in.  Small classes, quiet, calm.  It should be like that all the time!  It’s amazing the difference it makes with just 5 or 6 out of each class – the mainstream class sizes then become around 25 to 27.  I’m a lot calmer, the pupils are a lot calmer too.  How on Earth class sizes have been allowed to creep up to such huge sizes.  Some days I feel like I’m engaging more in crowd-control than actually teaching.

New career needed … ideas anyone?

The good thing about smaller classes and the snow is that it reminds me of how teaching can be, how it would benefit the pupils and the teachers.

As I type this blog entry, it is now raining here.  I hope it washes away the snow and ice quick-sharp!

Arty stuff

I’ve not been able to settle to do much art in the last couple of weeks.  I seem to have been either tired or dashing around from place to place.  But that’s ok.  That’s how life is at times.

I have completed another auragraph for a lady, but I won’t post a picture of it until she’s had it and had a chance to show others it, if she wishes.  It is personal for her.  I have another two to do, and I hope to get one done later today.

Music and railways

Some musical events are coming up for me.  Firstly, I’ll be playing my flute with Marcus (of Marcus Music, Newport, South Wales) and his wife, Pauline, at the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway on the 19th December.  Christmas carols/songs will be the order of the day.  Pauline asked if I would go and play with them again this year, which was really nice of her to do so.  That’s as long as I can get there given the weather conditions!  I always enjoy playing with Marcus and Pauline – no pressure on me with them at all.

There’s also the school Carol Concert coming up, where I’ll be playing flute in the orchestra and singing alto in the choir.  In years gone by it’s always been a stressful time for me and I often come down with tonsilitis, pharyngitis or some horrible form of ‘flu all brought about by the stress of performing in school, which goes back to my school days as a pupil!  I wish I could find a way to get over this … I really do.

However, it’s always nice to play with other people, and I do wish I could do so more often.  I’ve not found people to do that with … yet.

Things have taken an interesting turn concerning the railway and myself recently.  The creaking door that was still open by just a nano-metre has finally been closed.  To be honest, this is a relief to me.  I can now walk away from there without any guilt and find somewhere else to volunteer my time where I can learn and also teach others things.  One adventure has come to an end, many more await me.  That is perhaps a sign of a more positive me about me!  The only problem is getting me out there to take part in the adventures!

Looking back…

Psychedelic Butterfly © Angela Porter 2010


The image above …

…was drawn around 2 years ago while I was on bereavement leave after my father’s passing.  It’s proven to be the most popular of my art that is on display at my deviantARTsite.  It’s also ended up on a T-shirt available from TabootArt

Why did I put an older piece of art here?  Well, this hasn’t appeared here, it was a piece of art that broke newish ground for me, one where I discovered my love of pen and ink drawing and the fussy, intricate, ornate style of working that I like to do, yet still keeping it fairly simple, and this week has been too busy for me to do much in the way of art!

This week

This week has really been an odd one for me, as well as a busy one.

School has been … school.  Monday and Tuesday were very vexing days.  Monday because I had pupils fly off the handle at me simply because I’d politely asked them to do something like ‘Finish that piece of work’ or ‘Turn around and concentrate on the work please’.  Tuesday I had a stress headache that miraculously disappeared as I walked out of the door to go home.  I wasn’t the only one having difficulties and feeling this way.  There’s something up in the heavens methinks.

Wednesday was a day on a course run by the examiners of the GCSE exam my year 10 and 11 pupils study for.  That was a good day, away from school, going through things of value to me, and chatting to other teachers about their experiences.  It was really good to have a break from the madhouse that school has become.

The rest of the week in school was much more mellow, thank the good lords!

I have been doing my best to focus on the pupils who benefit from my teaching and contact with me.  It can be difficult when all hell seems to be breaking loose (hell in school being things not quite going as I want and some confrontation from pupils, the fussiness and the uncooperativeness.  I don’t have classes that are totally out of control or throwing things or fighting and so on …. it’s calmer than that in my room, but the ultra-perfectionist in me still can’t cope with things not being 100% perfect!).

And thank you to the lovely lady who left such a lovely comment on my previous entry here – Interwoven.  Her words cheered me up greatly, and helped to return the focus to where it could be.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

I went to see this film on Friday straight after school.  And that was a good choice, a nice end to the week for me.

I actually enjoyed it – it was heaps better than The Half-Blood Prince, which was a very poor adaptation of the book in my humble opinion.  This was much better.  My only regret was forgetting to take a pack of hankies with me and not putting on waterproof make-up!  Even though I know the story so well, the sad points still brought tears to my eyes, and there were a number of them along the way.

I look forward to Part 2.