Is This The Real Life?

Or is this just fantasy?

I’ve never been a real anything.

Well, okay, yes, I am in fact a real person.


As I have explained (ad nauseum) on this blog, I tend to flit from one activity to another, pretending to be whatever it is that takes my fancy at the time. Currently, I’m pretending I can play the banjo.


Maybe I’ll be as good as Kermit one day.

This pretend life has not only applied to my leisure activities. Every job I’ve ever held, I’ve spent the bulk of my time pretending I know what I’m doing.

And that’s because for every job I have ever held, I possessed neither the qualifications nor the experience for that particular position. They gave me the job anyway.

I know. I don’t understand it either.

But something changed recently.

At the beginning of February, I was given a fixed contract of three days a week for an eight week term in the school where I’ve been relief teaching.

I filled out the required paperwork and the bureaucratic wheels began to turn.

First, I was given an employee ID number by the Education Department. Having never held an official teaching position before, I’d never had one of these. Apparently this one will follow me all of my days. Mine to keep.

Along with the employee ID, I was given an official Education Department email address. Apparently this one will not follow me all of my days. Mine to give back at the end of my contract.

As far as the Department was concerned, I now existed as a teacher.

[It’s worth just noting here that all potential teachers in this state, even those only undertaking relief teaching, must be registered with the state Institute of Teaching before they are allowed to teach. We do have some standards.]

More was to come.

I was called to the office to collect my badge. A real name badge, not the paper and plastic one I usually wore as a relief teacher. This one even said “Teacher” on it.

Could this be? Was I becoming something real?

Blue Fairy meme

Two weeks ago, the photographers showed up and I had my photograph taken. My first ever official school photograph as a member of staff.

It was like the last piece of the puzzle. I was a teacher.

Being a real teacher has also meant three meetings a week and writing reports.

Pretending can have its advantages.

The term ends this week. After the following two weeks of school holidays, I’ll no longer be a ‘real’ teacher.

I feel a bit like the Blue Fairy has jumped out and said “Only Kidding!”



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The Flying Beetroot: Running Banjos

The Flying Beetroot and Banjos

There’s nothing like a bit of banjo music to give you motivation to keep running. Even if it’s just to imagine yourself on the set of Deliverance and the creepy people are chasing you.

(NB: I’ve never seen the film. If you tell me it’s scary and unpleasant, that’s enough for me. I’ll believe you.)

So, while I update you on the latest from the Flying Beetroot, here’s some banjo music. Don’t worry, it’s not Duelling Banjos. Why would I choose that when I have such fabulous banjo playing from an Aussie band?

[Edit: Oops. Not Australian, British. Sorry. I shall sack my researcher. If I can find her.]

Roll Away Your Stone – Mumford and Sons (2009)


Remember Lesson One? (Read about it here, if you don’t.) I fell over on the very next run. Failed to get up in the morning and had to run in the afternoon after work on another warm day. Then I fell asleep in a meditation later that evening.

I got up in the morning after that. Anyway, who wouldn’t want to see this in the mornings?


I love to see the sunrise (she keeps telling herself).

Or even this (on a not so clear morning)?


This one’s for Sue Slaght over at Travel Tales of Life. It’s our local version of the Golden Gate Bridge In The Fog.

Oh. Except last Thursday. I didn’t get up. I knew I was working. I knew it was going to be 30°C that day. But the 6am alarm came and went. Hey, there were mitigating circumstances involving a visiting dog, an indignant cat and a need to run interference between the two. The upshot of all this was that I had to run 7km in the rain when the change roared through at lunchtime. I was a soggy Beetroot that day.


I wasn’t the only mad person out there. I’m pretty sure the beginner rowers from one of the local elite schools were thinking, “Well, this sport sucks.”

Before you say “get a treadmill”, forget it. Years ago, when I was training for my first tilt at Oxfam Trailwalker, I borrowed a treadmill so I could still train if the weather was bad. I used it once. And decided I’d rather run in the rain.

You’d think I’d finally have learned my lesson but I did the same thing yesterday. More mitigating circumstances, this time to do with technicians arriving at ungodly hours of the morning. More running when I really didn’t feel like it. The Gauntlet Thrower got a few choice words on that run.

So, here’s how things currently stand:

Training runs 3


There is one more motivating factor, aside from the Spreadsheet and the fact that I seem to have made myself accountable to the entire Blogosphere. One of the positive side effects of this training regimen has been the change in my shape. Or rather, a return to the shape I think I should be. I have, in recent times, been developing what is hilariously (if you don’t have one) called a “Muffin Top”. That’s what you get from middle age and too much chocolate. However, after just a few weeks of running, the Muffin Top is shrinking and I now possess something more akin to a pancake (American Hotcake, not French Crepe). Hopefully before this is done, that too will be gone.



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