I found it!

This whole getting married business is very exciting, and despite my best efforts not to, quite frankly I’m a bit obsessed. I browse marriage blogs daily (Love My Dress is a big favourite) and buying wedding magazines is becoming a bit of an expensive, and entirely unnecessary, habit. If I included every cool or quirky idea I’ve seen my own wedding will end up being a cluttered mish-mash and everything will be lost in the chaos. Not to mention costing a small fortune. So I’m trying to reign in my imagination, I’m collecting ideas and hopefully as the months pass (only 9 and a half months to go!) I’ll be able to pick out the best, and most achievable ones. 

All that said, one thing has already been decided. Yesterday I bought a wedding dress! A few weeks ago I went on my first dress shopping expedition. Along with my mum and bridesmaid Claire I went to two dress shops whilst at home in Blackpool. Although I found a couple of dresses I quite liked the selection was pretty uninspiring. There are so many similar dresses that it feels like everything is just a variation on a theme. I had no real idea what I was looking for but I knew that these dresses weren’t it. In all my wedding research I’ve been drawn to the vintage style weddings. You know the thing – floral tea cups, retro sweeties, VW campervans and candy coloured cupcakes. It will come as no surprise to those who know me that we aren’t having a church wedding and we’re just after something a bit more informal…

So, I knew I wasn’t going to settle for one of these off the peg dresses before I’d investigated some vintage possibilities. Which is how Claire and I found ourselves heading down an alley off Argyle Street in Glasgow yesterday to find Dragonfly Dress Design. We were quite early for our 11am appointment and so were delighted to discover the Hidden Lane Tearoom and had plenty of time for tea, and cakes too of course! 

We managed to find Lisa’s studio through the winding corridor of a bright yellow painted building and in her tiny studio where she not only sells and reworks vintage dresses but also makes bespoke creations I found what I was looking for. Or rather, and here’s the magic part, I found what I was almost looking for.  And after some discussion with Lisa she explained exactly how she’ll be able to turn my original 1950s wedding dress into exactly what I’m looking for. Obviously I’m not going to give too much away here but by completely removing, recutting and rebuilding the top of dress before putting it all back together again I’m going to get the dress of my dreams. And what makes it even more exciting is that it’s a dress that no-one else will ever have had. I’d love some way to find out who wore the dress originally and what their wedding day was like, but even though the dress belonged to someone else and has seen one wedding already, by the time Lisa has finished working her magic it’s most definitely going to be MY dress. 

Anyway, that’ll have to do for now. It’s a school night and it’s past my bed time. I’m counting down the days until the summer holidays (only 10 school days to go). I can’t wait for the last day of term to get here…despite the fact that it means I’ll be unemployed. On that note however, I’ve got two more applications in the pipeline at the moment so we’ll have to wait and see if I get anywhere with those – fingers crossed please, dear readers!

Swings and Roundabouts

Right. It may have come to your attention (or rather it probably hasn’t) but I haven’t written a blog for absolutely bloody ages. And it’s definitely not because nothing has been happening – life certainly is progressing full steam ahead round these parts of late…

Just over two months ago the lovely lovely boy asked me if I would marry him. It wasn’t entirely a surprise but I had no idea he was going to ask when he did. Of course I said yes and seeing as it was the school holidays at the time I spent pretty much every waking hour looking at wedding websites and had a date set and venue booked within 2 weeks! So almost a year to the day after we got engaged we’ll be getting married at a lovely hotel in the Lake District. Preparations are continuing apace – I’ve even done some dress shopping although I don’t think I’ve found ‘the one’ yet.

As if getting engaged wasn’t exciting enough, a week later we also decided to buy a house. My flat wasn’t even on the market but it was a bargain and exactly what we wanted so we just decided to go for it. Unfortunately the housing market isn’t working quite so much in our favour as far as selling the flat goes but hopefully we won’t be stuck with it for too long. If it comes to it we can always rent it out but I’m kind of hoping it’s not going to come to that. The one benefit to the fact that it’s looking very unlikely we’ll sell the flat before we get the new house is that at least we aren’t under any pressure to move everything on one day. We’re moving during the summer holidays which will make things easier. And speaking of school holidays we come to the less positive aspect of life at the moment…

I am now just three weeks away from completing my probation year as a teacher and I have achieved everything I need to to become a fully registered teacher. I am lucky that I live in Scotland where the government runs a teacher induction scheme which guarantees a teaching post for everyone who successfully completes a teacher training course. However, what the government doesn’t seem to have is any sort of plan as to what will happen to these teachers after they have completed their probation year. Quite simply there are far more jobs than teachers. In these current tough economic times teachers aren’t taking early retirement at the rate that was predicted and over the last 5 years or so the government vastly over-estimated the number of teachers the country would need and so allowed many more people on to PGDE and B.Ed courses than was needed.

For me the problem is compounded by the fact that in recent years many schools have taken the decision to allow pupils to stop studying a modern language after two years of secondary school, further reducing demand for language teachers. This means that some schools have teachers who are now surplus to the needs of their school but as the council has employed them on a permanent contract they are obliged to find them a job elsewhere. This leads to teachers on temporary contracts finding themselves without a job as they are replaced teachers on permanent contracts subject to a compulsory transfers. 

On top of all this Spanish is rapidly overtaking French as the language of choice in Scottish secondary schools and although I’ve been learning Spanish myself since February I’m certainly not going to be in any position to teach it for a good few years yet. What all this means, for me and for many other probationers, is that I am three weeks away from being a fully qualified, unemployed, teacher. The last time I wrote a blog I had just submitted my application for a permanent post to the council. I had an interview towards the end of April and then after a long wait I finally found out this week that although my application was successful there is a ‘lack of appropriate vacancies’. I am able to sign up for the supply teaching list but that’s certainly no guarantee of regular work or indeed any work at all. I’m going to keep looking, the councils round about are advertising new vacancies almost daily and I just have to hope that something suitable will come up – and that I can beat all the other people out there looking for jobs. 

But the simple fact remains that if it comes to the start of the school year here in August and I still haven’t managed to find a teaching job then I’m just going to have to get a job doing something else. With a up coming wedding and a new house I just can’t afford not to work. Which sucks. And above all it just seems like a big fat waste of my time, the time of my university lecturers and the time of the great teachers who have supported me through the last year. Not to mention the cost to the Scottish government of training all these teachers who are possibly never going to teach in Scottish schools. It’s a bloody crazy state of affairs. And one that I have been stupid enough to put myself in the middle of.