I decided not to work as an examiner, marking GCSE English Literature, a job I've done for eight years every June/July, on top of my schoolteaching.
I'm not sure I will ever sign up to examine again, even though the hefty cheque was welcome. But, during June, I kept finding myself in the garden with a gin and tonic and a book, or writing for a whole evening, or wandering around the town looking in shop windows, or watching an episode of Flog It, and thinking, 'Why does this feel strange?' Then I'd remember, and a frisson of pure delight hurtled through my veins yelling 'Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!'
Looking back today through my past writings for the Times Educational Supplement, I found a copy of a 'diary' piece they published in 2007, my first year as an examiner. It will tell you all you need to know about why I thought it was time I had a year off.
Here's the piece. It's pre-empty-nest stage, too, which has just given me another little frisson, only not joy this time *sobs*.
DIARY (summer 2007)