When I was working for the Local Authority in my previous job, I missed the day in day out contact with the same set of children ... that indefinable thing that is generally what makes people choose to teach in the Primary sector rather than the Secondary sector.
But having been back in the classroom 18 months today, I realise that I miss a number of things from my old job. I miss the buzz of leading training courses and the chance during the holidays to spend time on a piece of professional thinking (that sounds really poncy, but when you're teaching your own class, it's so hard to just sit and reflect on new research and so on). In particular, I miss some of my former colleagues.
When I worked in the Advisory Service, the Consultant team was a mix of men and women. For most of the time I was the youngest Consultant there, but there was a nice balance of ages which contributed to the banter.
And oh, do I miss the banter.
Don't get me wrong, I work with some great people now. But we are a wholly female staff (including the caretaker) and I miss working with blokes. I miss 3 in particular, who made the times I was in the Office completing paperwork bearable: Mr Grumpy (who was a teddy bear really), Biker Boy and Mr Smooth, who could have me rolling on the floor with just a raised eyebrow.
Blokes have a different perspective on things and between these 3 (plus my stalwart friend whose desk butted onto mine), I could chat about music, books, theatre, film ... in other words those things that I enjoy but often leave A cold. Actually, that's not fair on A - he does enjoy going to the theatre sometimes and he likes music, but a lot of what I like music wise he just hates. What he likes is a tiny subset of what I like (to get all mathematical about it).
I also miss the flirting that you get when you and your colleagues have reached that stage in life and relationships that you're all secure enough to trade double entendres and know it won't cause offence or mean you daren't take the lift with them. A bit of gentle flirting oils the wheels of a working environment - it did in my previous life pre-teaching too.
So why the musings? Well, I miss talking about the best 10 albums in the world ever or whether Mrs Tulliver from Mill on the Floss needed a good slap or who was seen at the theatre at the weekend (and I'm talking audience as well as performers). I haven't had a good list-type conversation for ages (you know, top 10 holiday destinations, who would you be stranded on a desert island with, best gig you'd ever been to type of thing) - it just doesn't seem the kind of conversation the people I work with now have.
So in honour of Mr Grumpy, Biker Boy and Mr Smooth, here is my current list of nominations for Perfect Album (no fillers, no saggy bits, no tracks you don't mind missing to go and put the kettle on ). they are in no particular order , mainly because it changes every day! Some of these I had on LPs in the dim and distant past, but have been played so much they are showing their age. All of these are ones that got copied onto my iPod pretty soon after I got it, but they are also ones that make it into the CD player on a Sunday morning when I'm reading the paper.
So go on then - what do YOU think is the Perfect Album?
Revolver: The Beatles
Led Zeppelin IV
The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses
Coming Round: Clear
The Joshua Tree: U2
Woodface: Crowded House
Hatful of Hollow: The Smiths
Greatest Hits: Squeeze
Dear Catastrophe Waitress: Belle and Sebastian
(What's the Story) Morning Glory?: Oasis