Tag Archives: Retirement

You’ve come a long way baby….

group of people holding wine glasses

Photo by andres chaparro on Pexels.com

Hard to believe that I have reached the point in my career where I am now being asked to give speeches at retirements.

I admit to being absolutely filled with dread when asked to speak at the retirement of four languages teachers, one of whom had a profound influence on my career. Not to mention that I was going to be in the company of the teachers with whom I had gone through my teaching adolescence with. The teachers who very probably saw me at my early stages wobbling about like a baby giraffe. Not really knowing if it was new year or new york. The teachers who seemed so glam, sophisticated and who used to roll their eyes whenever I recounted stories of a crazy weekend of adventures at the dancin’.

So where do you start? Well apart from the gin bottle and pray everyone else is well oiled before you start speaking?

I did my research, talked to colleagues and friends and put on my lucky pants.

I met up with a few of the old gang for an apero beforehand. It was lovely. In fact, it was really lovely. Despite the fact I had not seen a number of them for years, the chat was great and the laughs aplenty. The old relationships were resumed, I felt 22 again and they were again laughing at my escapades. I found myself with new members of the department that I had trained – who were let in to some of my antics as a new teacher. The less we talk about that the better.

We met up with the rest of them and if retirement makes you look that good, sign me up now. Here were these elegant women and men who still managed to make me feel like I was a burst couch. (Despite the fact it was a 10/10 for the shoes – a gold sparkly pair of KGs) A few eyebrows were raised as we updated on jobs and where everyone was. Yes, even a scheme girl can do well you know. “you’ve come a long way from the days you were skipping out at 3.30″

You are right, I have. What do you don’t know is that when you came in 8.45, I’d been up since 6am so get to my desk for 7.45 to get the disco on at the top end of the corridor.

The speeches were not scheduled till after the meal and as it always had been – the meal was a long affair, and I just lined up the grappa to have if I survived.

My former boss, mentor and friend was first up – as ever, accomplished and with a few notes on her phone.

Then it was me….7 pages in pencil. Yes, really. It’s the translator in me. First version, scored out bits, arrows, different colours and handwriting only I could read. (I should have worked for the Secret Service)  It was a joy to see the faces as I was able to quote from references, interviews and friends.  We discovered some special talents that they had forgotten about – guitar playing, running, netball, etc…..

I was particularly chuffed to use the line ” If you want to blame anyone then look no further – two of you interviewed me and let me in……”

To talk about the impact and legacy these four amazing women have left on teachers and children alike was great but it did leave me wondering about who fills that gap?  I am biased, I know that – but the enthusiasm these women have always had has not left  them and they leave a massive hole in the teaching tapestry. They did come a long way. And have a long way to go in their new adventures.

For the record, I didn’t cry and the grappa was welcome.

Then we went to the dancin’ till about 2.15am  – oh yes we did. As did the oldest retiree in the group.  You can take the girl out the department……..


A star is born……



Ooooft, what a busy few days. I seem to have been spending a lot of time saying goodbye and congratulations to people as they move on to new chapters. It’s hard professionally when you realise that people you love working with won’t be there to hold your hand when you need it. Despite my best efforts at pretending I can do it all, I quite like that there is always someone else to rely on! I had the joy of meeting a new colleague this week with whom I am really looking forward to working with. We have quite a lot of shared history and people and that always makes it easier to break the ice. He spoke of how he’s just been left in a wee office to crack on with things and he certainly has done but that must be hard when you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of.
The wee lady wasn’t well again and it’s the age old balancing act. No question this time and the work was emailed in and I stayed with her. I do feel guilty when I am not in work but again, while I am in I’ll try to give 100% and when I’m not there you have to hope that whoever is in front of your weans in school is doing the same.

Friday was a retirement and that was a bizarre experience. Always interesting to see people you work with or have some kind of professional association with socially……
Yesterday was a hen day that was great fun. The girls gave our P a great send off. Afternoon tea and lots of bubbles. The EMA awards were on and quite a few of the stars were staying where we’re having our afternoon tea. We rolled up to a red carpet – couldn’t have asked for a better entrance for our girl! Lots of fans waiting outside and there were cries of check out the shoes….yes major Manolo points yesterday. I can’t feel my feet at the moment so that’s a good thing no?

Mammy points – 8/10 the crazy weeks are over now, thank god,
Methodology – no mark for that today
Manolos. ‘Most def a 10