Friday, 15 December 2006


Having decided to go freelance I then had to hold one of my famous family conferences to check my family was in agreement for me to take the chance of perhaps not earning a salary in the way I always had before. It was quite a momentous decision especially as I'd always been a working wife and mother believing it was not just up to the man of the house to be the sole breadwinner.

Here's a pic of my grown up children, James and Sarah and one of my husband Mick, who is also a teacher, a headmaster and an artist. He's a singer and harmonica player and the front man for Bluesberry Jam, a rock 'n' roll band based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
So, I got the support of everybody and gingerly stepped forward in my new, dangerous role.

My brother and me

Here's a pic of me with my brother. We were always very close as children. In fact my brother brought me up as I went everywhere with him and his gang. They were all older than me so I grew up as a tomboy, being able to do all sorts of daring things that sweet little girls aren't supposed to do, like jump off bridges and air-raid shelters, shinny up the entry walls of our semi detached house in Liverpool, run across tree trunks over rivers and take the position of goalie at the never ending footy matches on the local recreation park where we often had to run away from the parkie........ I also learned a lot of interesting facts of life and language eavesdropping on conversations between teenage boys.

When he left home in 1967 I was distraught and when he did not come back I was often found sleep walking searching for him. Once I was discovered wandering around the main road at the bottom of outr street having left the front door open in the middle of the night.

For strange reasons we lost touch for 22 years but when we got back together again we vowed never to lose each other again and to make up for lost time.

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Mendocino Runs

Mendocino is an old timber producing town and has gorgeous houses, hotels and restaurants......all very pretty and with olde worlde lacey curtains and well kept gardens. The runs are great especially along the cliffs where you get fabulous views, the sound of the sea pounding the rocks and plenty of wind to make the running even more exhilarating.

Spooky kissing Suzie!

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Loving the Llamas!

Here are three of the five (maybe more by now) llamas at the llama cottage in Mendocino. They are really friendly and love eating carrots and always come padding over to give visitors a breathy kiss. They are being saved and cared for by Mel and Sue of Little River Inn fame. I really love this spot and recommend it to any runners who want to have great views, great food and pretty good weather.

Llama Cottage, Mendocino

January in Sausalito

As has become a tradition, after losing my big brother for 22 years and then finding him one day in Anaheim, I go running with him every year in Sausalito. This is me having run forth and back over the Golden Gate Bridge which is one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring man made monuments in the world. We have a whole set of wonderful runs which we do every year and Al's always adding new ones and exploring the wonderful areas around Sausalito. Some of the most gorgeous views can be seen from the MPR, the Tennessee Valley, Fort Baker, the gauge run and the reservoirs on Mount Tamalpais, and simply the deck and prom through Sausalito itself. We also drive up north to Mendocino where we usually run the cliffs, the Pygmy Forest, the Jug Handle Reserve, the Van Damme Forest and the Montgomery Woods. We stay at the Llama Cottage and feed the llamas carrots. As Al is a vegetarian of sorts I usually give up my big red meat eating habits, which I learnt in Argentina, and buy all our food from the Real Food shop: fabulous fresh veggies, fruit and fish or chicken from Molly Stones. One big treat is take the ferry over to San Francisco (the CITY)to go to a show and have supper in the old downtown Tommy's Joint. I have a wonderful time every year and come home fit and ready to start the year.

Life in the Fast Freelance Lane

Well, I'd hoped to calm down at this end of the year after working non-stop since Feb.This year was my first freelance year and it was an experiment. I said I'd give myself a year and if it worked out I would not dedicate myself to one particular school again where I had begun to feel cooped up, restricted, even claustrophobic.I wanted to dedicate the rest of my teaching career to working with teachers and adolescents without having to deal with owners who want to run their place in a way which goes against my educational ideals. I also got fed up with putting out other people's fires and negative attitudes towards teenagers.
So here I am at the end of my first year and I'm going to use this space to write about my experiences as a novice freelancer.

13 th December 2006

As it's the end of the year in Argentina, I've decided to CHANGE HORSES and to start writing about " Life in the Fast Lane" which is how my life seems to have sorted itself out in Argentina, a country known to be laid back and easy going!


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