One of my fondest childhood memories is going to St George's Park near my home and swinging. Swings are amazing. I think they give you a sense of freedom, an exhilaration seldom experienced elsewhere. For the inexperienced, they can be frustrating. You sit... wanting to swing high, but needing that push. Then you learn to swing your own legs to get the motion going. Sometimes someone comes along and gives you a push, sending you to new heights. Ever get brat kids (or an exasperated parent) that come along and yank your chain, bringing you to a grinding halt? Then there are the days when all you want to do is sit and gently rock back and forth, watching the world move around you. That is often when you end up swinging so high and out of control, you are terrified you'll fly off and end up among the rest of the space litter orbiting the earth.
Lately, my life has been a bit like an afternoon at the park... particularly the swing set. For so long, I sat in the swing, not moving and very frustrated. I'd get the occasional push, but had no idea how to keep the momentum up. Later, I learnt the fine art of getting my swing going and keeping it going... at least, as much as I could, occasionally being yanked to a halt. More recently, added to my own momentum, I've been getting random pushes from various directions. This past couple of weeks has been one of those times. My swing is about to head me off into orbit.
Tat and I have been busy. We are at the stage where we can't take on new students, especially those who insist on having lessons in the popular time zones. One couple wanted us to teach at 10pm on a Friday. Don't they know Friday nights are sacred?! Ok, the reason we're turning them down is that it wouldn't be safe for a woman alone to be heading out there and back so late at night. Our only free day is currently Sunday. The couple wants Saturday afternoons too. The hard part has been for Tat, as she is better with the more basic students and most of our applicants have been basic. My time is taken up with preparing everyone's lessons when I'm not actually teaching. One of our students has asked permission to have the lessons bound. I'm duly flattered. Most weekdays, we head out before breakfast and finish up after 10pm. This morning, I was up at 4:30am to teach a before-work student. For some reason, Electropaulo (our Electricity supply company) decided to work on the post right outside our bedroom window for half the night. I feel like a zombie! But, all in all, the busy-ness is good. I feel productive and a steady(ish) income is flowing. Students vary from kids through to teens, through to a journalist preparing for a summit in Australia, to a girl going to work in England for a year, to bankers and more... nothing like bit of variety. I got feedback from a student that I had for about a month some time ago. He has been shipped off to England. Apparently my accent prepared him for the weirdness of other English accents. Glad I could prove useful ; )
Ah! Someone yanked the swing's chain. Most of you know that Tat had plans to visit her godmother in the UK and have been asking for progress reports. All three of us applied for new passports at the same time. Jurgis and I got ours back ages ago. Tat's was missing. Apparently (gospel according to the consulate), they changed the standard for the photos around the same time that we applied. Jurgis and I slipped in under the radar, it seems. Tat must have been the last to be processed and hers got caught. We've waited all this time only to be told that we have to resubmit her application. Frustrating!
Our summer started a tad early. We've had temps in the mid 20's for a while now. By Thursday, we'll be up to 32°C (90°F). The city where one of the cousins live was up to 39°C (102°F) recently. I wonder what summer will be like... definitely not a walk (or swing) in the park.
On the subject of swings, take a look at this I found when I was on a hunt for a swing photo. Could you imagine having a house like this. Well, more a room really, but still.
Oh and this is just great! With taking public transport as much as I do, I could have so much fun out there! Click here.