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We're moving!

But not far. Seriously. Our new place will be less than a 10 minute walk from our current flat, which is awesome as we won't need to move doctor's and it is right by the school Megan works at.
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EXCITED!

We get the keys 30th July and officially move out of our current flat on 20th August. So plenty of time to move all the stuff and have our check-out inspection.
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(no subject)

Because I haven't really updated since I got back from holiday over 2 weeks ago:

  • I went to Deaf Club with Megan on Friday and it was an absolute baptism of fire. Next time I'm feeling overly confident about how well I am learning sign language I shall recall how absolutely lost I was for the majority of the evening. It was useful though - I learnt a few more signs and did manage to have some rather stilted conversations in BSL.

  • I am absolutely dreading Easter holiday work. The bad side about being a supply teacher rather than a permanent class teacher is that I don't get paid during the holidays and so have had to take up some Easter holiday camp work. The days are LONG and the camp I'm working at always feeling majorly stressful. But it's money, so I'll just have to suck it up. Good news is that I persuaded them to pay me an extra £10 a day to cover my travel expenses, so thats one bonus to when I have worked there previously.

  • On a Monday and Tuesday I have regular supply work in a Year 3 class and this term has been pretty stressful as we've had to perform a play AND make hand-bound books. It wouldn't have been nearly as stressful if the other teacher (who is their permanent class teacher) would actually pull her weight. It's very hard to fit in writing and making a whole story book AND play rehearsals, when the other 3 days a week the teacher seemingly does fuck all. But thank fuck it's all over by the end of this week. Bring on the new term, it can't be as hectic as this one!

  • Megan, Nina and I went to Julie's house last night for dinner to watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and catch up. It was nice. Megan and I of course wore our robes (any excuse). I'm very excited by the fact that Nina, who when I first met her used to derisively scoff about Harry Potter, is now actually reading the books and sparks conversations about Harry Potter. We can theorise together - its awesome. It'll be even better when she finishes them all (she's currently on Goblet of Fire) because then I won't worry about spoiling her in all these conversations we are having.

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Happy New Year...

My New Year's Eve last night was a bit of a bummer.

I was really looking forward to enjoying a chilled, but booze filled evening, with my wife and our two best friends, Nina and Julie. But another girl, Jane, from our roller derby team was complaining loudly on facebook how lonely she was and how upset she was to not have any plans for New Years Eve. So my friend Nina, who was hosting, took pity on her and invited her.

She is a fun sucker. She sucks the fun out of EVERYTHING.

Jane kept dropping weird comments about how New Years Eve is really just an arbitrary date and just another day blah blah blah. Then why were you so upset to be spending just another day with no plans?? Spend your arbitrary date at home and stop raining on our parade you big dud.

At five minutes to midnight, she decided to start having a rant about how shite her work was. At 5 minutes to midnight. Dude. This is not the spirit of how anyone wants to bring in the new year. I was pouring prosecco while she was ranting. FUN SUCKER.

At only half past midnight, Julie decided to go home. I'm not sure if it was because Jane had sucked the majority of fun out of the evening, or if she wanted to go home and continuously text a girl she is interested in that she met on Tinder. She spent the entire night glued to her phone talking to her and had been skyping with her the previous day until 5:30am. It annoyed me. You can spend the whole night texting some girl, but you can't enjoy a proper new years eve with your best friends? Ugh.

Thank fuck, Jane decided to go shortly afterwards. After moaning for ages about how she would have to walk across town to get home. I'm not sure WHY she was moaning - it seemed like she was hinting for a solution. But each solution we offered she wouldn't  take. We looked up buses for her, we offered her a taxi, she was even offered to crash the night at Nina's house. She declined all of them and yet still ranted on. My wife and I don't drive, so we couldn't give her a lift even if we hadn't been drinking, and Nina had drunk way over the limit. Eventually she left.

Nina, Megan and I then actually had an ok time, watching a random penguin documentary in sign language until 4am when we got a cab home.

Happy New Year!
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The wand chooses the wizard...

My first wand was a Cherry/Maple wand from Alivan's.

I was particularly pleased that these wood types were available because my surname is Cherry and I have had a long held fascination with Canada. My favourite ice hockey team are the Toronto Maple Leafs, I love maple syrup and the prettiest leaf shape by far is the maple leaf. So this wand seemed like an awesome fit.

My second wand was Hermione's wand.

It was a particularly pretty wand. I loved the carved design and felt it was by far the best designed of all the official character wands. She is also my favourite character.

But unfortunately, some how over the years, they seem to have gone missing. I think they are in my parent's loft. But I have asked them on multiple occasions to look for me to find it and they have said that they are unable to look/find them. Frankly, I think they just can't be bothered to look, which sucks, because it leaves me with a tricky decision to now make.

I got some money for Christmas and have decided to purchase a new wand. But which wand do I get? Do I replace one of the wands that I previously owned? I really liked them, but what if my parents finally find them again - I'll end up having two the same when I could have had a third design.

At HogwartsisHome I was stamped with Cedar wood

So I'm wondering if I should maybe get the only official cedar wood wand we know of, and the one pictured in the tag above: Professor Slughorn's. But I don't like Professor Slughorn at all, and I don't particularly like the design  of the wand. It seems so simple to pay around £40 for. However, I do like the description of cedar wood, and I think it mostly fits:

Cedar wand owners often possess a strength of character and unusual loyalty. You will never fool the cedar carrier, as this wood finds its perfect home where there is perspicacity and perception. One should be careful in crossing a cedar wand hold, especially if harm is done to those of whom they are fond. The witch or wizard who is well-matched with cedar carries the potential to be a frightening adversary, which often comes as a shock to those who have thoughtlessly challenged them.

I do also like Neville's wand made of cherry wood. Oddly, for some reason, cherry is one of the woods we're unable to be stamped as at Hogwarts is Home. It seems weird for a main character's wand wood not to be a stamping choice. It was also the wand wood of Gilderoy Lockhart and Mary Cattermole.


Decisions, decisions.

So what wands do you guys have, if you have any? And how did you pick them?
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A very Harry Christmas!

This week has been lots of fun. I am feeling SO festive and ready for Christmas!

Last week, for our present to each other my wife Megan (luna_shovegood) and I went to the Warner Bros Studio Tour to buy Hogwarts robes. We thought about ordering online, but the sizing was so confusing that it was a good excuse to go again. I'd been to the tour once before and Megan had been twice already, but new things had been added AND it was Hogwarts in the snow!

One of the things they added was the Hogwarts Express! Was awesome to see inside the carriages of the train they used for filming as well as sit in green screen carriages.

Megan and I went to a Christmas market with our friends Julie and Nina on the Saturday night. It was such a small market, but nice nonetheless. Megan got into giggling fits about wool made from yaks, that none of us really figured out why. I had tasty mulled wine and smoked bratwurst. Although I was slightly distracted by my phone because it was Hogsmeade at Hogwarts is Home...

Speaking of which, Hogsmeade was AWESOME! I did ALL THE THINGS. So great! I got to fangirl about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that I am SO EXCITED FOR. How on earth am I going to wait until September 2016?!
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Then yesterday (Tuesday) we went to our friend Kelly's house, where she had organised a small gathering of people for mulled wine, mulled cider and ridiculous amounts of baked goods around her fireplace. It was so cosy and lovely and tasty and I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO MUCH! There was a 'mince pie off' which 3 people decided to compete in: Kelly who made cute little mince pies, Susie who made deliciously flakey pastry mince pies and Rhea who made vegan mince pies with coconut oil. All were awesome, though it was declared a tie between Susie's and Kelly's. I think Susie's pastry and Kelly's filling would make the PERFECT mince pie.



Finally today, after buying the very last of my Christmas presents (I almost forgot to get my Dad some beers), Megan and I decided to have a little photoshoot with our rabbits and let them share in the festive spirit! This is George, Charlie and Albus.



Tomorrow we need to make my father-in-law's present. We're baking him a cider and five spiced cake - he requested a home baked cake for Christmas. Hopefully it goes okay... Then he's picking us up in the afternoon to take us back to family for Christmas. I'm excited :D
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
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Hogwarts Roller Derby

Hosted by The Concrete Cows: Milton Keynes Roller DerbyThank you so much for having me. It was MAGICAL! Same again next...

Posted by Mindy Cherry Photography on Saturday, 12 December 2015


In November, I had the pleasure of two of my greatest passions colliding: Harry Potter and rollerderby.

My wife Megan played as a Gryffindor, despite really wanting to be on the Ravenclaw team - she didn't get a choice, the sorting had said so! My friends Marie (Ravenclaw), Heather (Ravenclaw), Carol (Gryffindor) and Julie (Hufflepuff) were also playing. My friends Sarah and Lindsay were NSOing (non-skating officials).

It was such an awesome day. I bet it took fucktons of organisation, so I really hope that they hold another one next year and didn't find all the organisation too overwhelming. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!
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(no subject)

Today has been a good day.

I went to my previous school to see their nativity play - my old class were the lead characters. The children were so thrilled to see me. And the parents were so lovely too. Got big hugs from many of them. Felt so nice.

After, I had a really lovely chat with my old headteacher and the deputy head. It ended with them offering me private tutor work, working with pupil premium children after school in Year 2. Many of whom I taught when they were in year 1.

I'm very pleased. I know I would enjoy it very much and it is comforting to know I will have a some income should I not get the museum position I am applying for.

It was also a big esteem boost for them to seek me out specifically for this role because of the "fantastic relationship you have with those children and your deep understanding of their needs". After all the shit I have delt with in teaching recently, it was nice to be reminded that I AM actually good at teaching.

Right now I'm feeling very festive in Starbucks with a gingerbread latte, waiting for a classmate from my sign language class to turn up so we can practice.

Bring on 2016!
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*waves*

Hey!

So after an extended period away, I am back.

I am currently on garden leave from my most recent teaching post - something that was absolutely needed because I was stressed to breaking point, but something that makes me feel equally uneasy. I'm having to be very reflective right now on if I should continue teaching or not and coming to the conclusion, that perhaps it would be best to not. I think after hopping through a few different schools in the past 3 years, and not really being able to settle anywhere, I must conclude that there is a common problem among the profession of teaching and its not just about problems with each individual school.

The stress poured on teachers is immense. I used to pride myself about working best under pressure - I always did exceptionally well in jobs with high targets and in exams where I felt pressure. But teaching... teaching is another kind of pressure altogether, and I just don't think I am up to the job any longer.

I am a good teacher. I did well in observations. But to be good, it is to the detriment of my mental health and my other relationships. I can suffer problems regulating my mood at the best of times, but when stressed for long periods it becomes nigh impossible.

I'd like a job where I am still working with children and families, but where the pressure is not so intense. Perhaps a job that I don't take home with me and constantly think about all the time. A job that just pays the bills and affords me possibilities of fun activities when I'm not at work.

So aside from career dilemmas, I'm excited for Christmas and have been bubbling with excitement about all the Harry Potter related revelations there have been over the past year. My tickets are booked for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I'm also looking forward to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Given my garden leave and my excitement about Harry Potter, I've been yearning for people to talk to about Harry Potter, missing the community that I used to be a part of. Fortunately, they are allowing me to rejoin them, and so I await my sorting. :D