The ‘c’ word.

One week back at the chalkface. And how many words have I managed to add to the word count of my current blockbuster-in-progress since I returned from my UK holiday? Zero. Oh well, I knew it was going to be tough. I could always stop blogging, I suppose. Or sleeping.

Like the Ukraine, I’m in a period of transition. Upheaval might not be too strong a word for it. It’s all change and things have got to settle down. I must once again find my rhythm, a routine, into which I can find the opportunity and energy to sit down and write. I’m not crying about things. I’m being pragmatic. (That way I might stay sane.)

So why am I blogging about writing when I’m not – writing that is? The blog’s always been about the trials and tribulations, the journey, of trying to make it as an author of note, so I suppose that anything to do with anything that impacts on that aspect of my secret life should be recorded for posterity.

This week I’ve been on an orientation week with my new employer. This was on the European side of Istanbul. Next week I will be moving to the campus where I’ll be working for this year, which is on the Asian side of the Bosphorus Channel.

My commute (the ‘c’ word in case you still hadn’t twigged) this week has taken an hour and forty-five minutes each way. Gulp! you might be forgiven for thinking. In truth, and much to my surprise, I’ve enjoyed it. Really. I’ve used a right old mixed bag of transport and I’ve rubbed shoulders with the ‘common man’ in these parts. (And one or two of them don’t half pong.

Am I just procrastinating? Sigh.

The new people in my new job seem nice enough, which is good. Only one small hiccough this week. I might as well relate it. Sharing is caring and caring is sharing and all that.

There are quite a few new overseas teachers like me just started. They come from all over the globe to give the school a real multi-cultural feel. I like that. It’s a melting pot of difference.

During the parts of the week where we had no seminars or meetings we were kept busy with various tasks to work on. I was asked to look at the English language curriculum with a view to ‘tightening’ it up a bit. Another colleague – Canadian – was asked to cast their experienced eye over the school’s assessment policy. The school also has a Chinese teacher this year and he was given the job of performing an inventory and organising the office supplies. It all felt like we were being tested in some way.

Senior management checked up on us on Friday. I’d managed to complete my task. Jo, the Canadian, had finished his, but when we entered the office looking for Chen to see how he’d got on, the powers that be were very disappointed to find that nothing had been done and the shelves were still bare. No one knew where Chen was. And then he burst out of the stationery cupboard and shouted, ‘Here I am!’ in perfect English.

6 thoughts on “The ‘c’ word.

  1. OMG, that ‘C’ word, I hate it. Turned down a very good job at a university once because of it. I was on a temporary contract at a college in the next county, been on it for 18 months. I had to travel down the M1 every day then across the next county to get to my place of work. The University job happened to also be in the next county, but north instead of south. I just did not want the hassle of sitting in slow moving traffic morning and night. I have never once regretted it because I then got a job virtually on my doorstep. But, I suppose a plus for you is the ferry, it should give you inspiration, like my motorway drive did, because when I was about to reach my county I could see in the distance one of the biggest power stations in Europe: I wrote a poem about returning home. Lost the poem and can remember very little about it now, but just think: a title for another book perhaps? ‘Murder on the Bosphorus Ferry’. Good hunting with the job and hope it settles down soon.

    • Thanks, Pat. That ferry jaunt twice a day was something special while it lasted. Today I started making the trip in the school teachers’ bus. An hour each way. Thank God for my Kindle.
      Best wishes as always.

  2. Dear Oliver, thanks for this. I look forward to your blogs, as they always make me smile. BTW apparently we should all now be saying ‘Ukraine’ instead of ‘The Ukraine’ ‘ as apparently the country has managed to mislay the definite article at some point in the last 20 years. This is according to the BBC and the CIA Book of World Facts anyway. I find it quite difficult to remember this, and usually compromise on those occasions I find myself talking about the country (huh?), as in: “In t’Ukraine it’s always raining”. Which just makes me sound a bit Yorkshire. Keep up the writing, commute or not. SA

    • Hi Sarah
      Good to hear from you. Glad to know you enjoy the blog still.
      Believe it or not I actually read that BBC article you linked. How fascinating and thought provoking. I can’t say why I put ‘the’ in front of Ukraine, for example, other than I think it sounds better than without. Not very scientific is it? And all those other places in the world. Weird language.
      Determined to fight the good fight and not to allow the ‘c’ word to defeat me. Mind you it’s nine o’clock here. I should be in bed already for my early start. Sigh.
      Best wishes.

  3. Don’t keep blogging so much – you’ve faithful readers out here just dying (literally?) to read that newest thriller! No progress at all? Jab a stick in your eye repeatedly – that will get the creative juices flowing!


    • Hi Clinton
      Enjoyed your comment thanks. I can’t seem to stop blogging, even though I know it gets in the way of the serious stuff.
      Acer #3 is with the gent who does my proofreading. I’m looking forward to publishing that. And I am back to writing this week. My second Booker and Cash is back on track. Busy, busy, busy.
      Might give the poke in the eye a miss this week but I’ll bear it in mind for my next bout of writer’s block..
      Best wishes.

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