When something doesn’t feel right.

As I go through the teaching job hunting cycle at the moment… applying, getting invited to interview, either deciding to go or not to go, attending etc… I had an interview yesterday for a “good” rating academy along the south coast for a Teacher of Girls PE and Outdoor Education. 

On the same day as my application was submitted I was invited to an interview that was happening 2 days later and decided to attend as, even though it was challenging at times, I had previously enjoyed working within an academy and was keen to see what the teaching role fully involved, it sounded interesting, especially the Outdoors side of things.

So I travelled down to Swindon to evening before, then on to the South Coast from a 5am start to get to the academy in plenty of time. About 7 hours of travell time altogether.


The usual sign in, introductions, meet the other candidates, greet the department, have a look around happened… then I decided to withdraw my application then and there.

Much to the surprise of myself, it just didn’t feel RIGHT.

The academy was lovely. You could easily see happy members of staff, the building was well looked after, the students had plentiful resources, the P.E department was one of the best I’d seen, yet it felt so stifling to me. Artificial. Unnatural. I’ve been so used to the processes, systems, support of an academy I thought that fitting into another would probably work in the long term, and it might still? Just maybe not right now?

At least this experience has given me a better understanding of what I would like, job wise and location wise, in the future. I surprised myself by leaving and not continuing, but then I didn’t feel like I wanted to stay. Some people I’ve spoken to said I should have stayed to gain the experience, to give myself a better chance etc. (didn’t feel this would happen as one of the candidates was already employed in the position, just on a temp contract and having to reapply), and/or to be polite and finish the interview ; though I argue, it’s better to be honest to yourself than drag yourself (and others) through what probably would be a painful interview!

So the job journey continues!

Just somewhere where there are mountains…


 – Just Joanne 


Six weeks left!

It has only really occurred to me recently, since the email sign up for graduation has gone out, just how little time is left at my second placement, then there’s only a couple of weeks at university then I am to leave North Wales to head back down south. In fact, including the May half-term holiday week, graduation/last day of university is only six weeks away… how… sad a thought? I think that’s what I’m feeling, it’s hard to process it all because so much has been going on and there’s still so much left to do!


Other than a lot of freelance work I don’t have anything solid planned yet. It’s not overly concerning me right now, I’m sure something will happen, even if it is supply work. I have to get over “this” to focus on “that“!

I know I will miss North Wales, mostly because there’s so much yet to explore but being here has taught me that even the most beautiful places can also be the most boring and unsavoury places can have beauty within them. It’s not often the location but who you share it with that makes the difference. I think I’ve been very fortunate to share this lovely location with the most kind, helpful and generous people I’ve ever met, yet it doesn’t feel right to me without the dog and the other half. The security of familiarity, combined with the adventure of exploring somewhere new will always be better shared with others.


Now, I just need to spend my time convincing those two that America is the way to go… I think the dog would be up for it!

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-Just Joanne


Yet another DofE, and exhaustion.

I felt rough this week, so much so that I had to leave work on Monday due to feeling exhausted from doing too much over the past few weeks- it has all finally caught up with me and I just needed a rest; so my blog post has been late. I’m still feeling a bit sluggish today.

But! that’s not to say I actually rested much on my time off from work, between sleeping and unscheduled trips to the bathroom I managed to finish two units of my Level 3 Forest School training ready for posting this week. Only two more to go and they require a looooot of writing! Boo.


Bailey, my very faithful companion, slept soundly on the sofa after spending time with the dog walker (who is very good btw; Tara’s Happy Tails; highly recommended). He sleeps in some very interesting positions and looks darn cute doing so! His support when I was feeling ill was poor, but what he lacks in bedside manner was forgiven for the affection he showed, as I laid on the other sofa unable to move, was in plentiful and welcomed.

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The weekend just gone was the school’s Silver DofE practise and this is what caused me to feel exhausted.

I said I would help on the school’s DofE expeditions at the start of the academic year and did look forward to this one (as it was back in South Wales again and I always like DofE). My favourite teacher peeps weren’t on this expedition, so it felt very different, from all the previous ones.

Staying again at New Court farm, we were treated to the fabulous views once again and spoke once more to the lovely owner. I will never tire of this view.


Bailey being a poser on the campsite field.



I was helping supervise a group of boys with whom I’d been with them when they completed their Bronze expedition in the Ross-on-Wye area; they were a good group then and was a brilliant, capable group this time (minus the girls from their Bronze group). Absolutely no issues or concerns with how they’d manage themselves all weekend. The only issue all weekend was a leaking water bladder/reservoir so an emergency stop at Cotswold Outdoor to pick up water containers was needed… that’s it. Bliss.


Leaving the start point.


They started their first day heading over Rhos Dirion from the reservoir to Newcourt Farm. They had the best weather for it and the views were wonderful. You could see for miles from the mountain.




Beautiful mountains on a beautiful day in Wales.



Bailey admiring the view from the tent.


The second and third were all low land walking around the area and heading back to the campsite in the evening for a bbq. They discovered that fields containing cows aren’t shown on the map, that sheep are everywhere in Wales and that Go Pro batteries don’t last very long.


Another glorious night sky. Venus is visible.


I did manage to watch the vows of the Royal wedding on Saturday. We turned up at a pub checkpoint and inside was a group of middle-aged bikers sat at the bar, watching the wedding – nothing usual there? Their conversation did get quieter when I ordered my drink and they pretended they weren’t interested in the wedding… hmm, I did wonder…


The Royal Wedding.



As I’ve mentioned previously, the whole weekend went off without any major hitches. It was just three days in the glorious sunshine waiting around for them to turn up at their checkpoints, topping up water, and watching them go on their merry way. Bailey enjoyed playing in the Wye River at the finishing point…



The finishing point.



So I’ve been back to work today. The Year 11’s have been taking their GCSEs and still have a lot more to sit. This time of year always brings back memories of mine and having to sit in the sports hall surrounded by my friends, each one of us wishing we’d revised more and had spent less time outdoors (not really!). So, it’s been ‘full on’ with revision, exams and teenage emotions lately and I’m sure they’re looking forward to the end of term break coming up.

There doesn’t look to be much in the way of ‘winding down’ on holiday next week for us though. We’re all off to the Lake District, our annual May holiday. This time staying in a cottage near Ullswater. I hope to swim in the lake, climb some mountains, add to my Wainwright’s total, visit the Museum of Keswick for the exhibitions, climb, eat some yummy food and drink in some nice pubs.

Very much looking forward to the end of this week – I have my bags packed already!

– Just Joanne