Ex Cathedra


“The love that lasts the longest is the love that is never returned.”
- William Somerset Maugham

Rather than post a new quote every few days at the top, I thought it'd be easier to start each post with a quote. One that may or may not illuminate what follows.

Remember that idiotic government scheme I was on? I'm still on it.

Eight weeks ago I had a kind of miniature nervous breakdown. I suddenly started crying for no apparent reason, and couldn't stop for the next six hours. My doctor certified that I was unfit to work for a month, and renewed the prescription a month later.

I talked to some trusted friends about it, and they tell me it's not unusual to fall apart for hours or days at a time.

The doctor tried to get me to try the antidepressants and therapy she was on, saying they helped her cope with the stresses of being a GP. But I declined - I don't need drugs or psychobabble, I need a worthwhile life.

The time away gave me the chance to sort out in my head what I actually want from the rest of my time on this godforsaken planet. Seeing the world, doing something useful for others and talking with intelligent people seemed like good ideas - and being an EFL teacher seemed a jolly good way to get these things, plus a secure career.

There's also music, writing, and being happily single among non-professional aims.

The idiotic scheme recommences on Monday, from where it left off. I tolerated a lot of bullshit from those running it, and I'm not going to slip into doing that again. Sometimes intolerance is a virtue, and sometimes it's a necessity.

With luck, I'll be accepted on the next cycle of the TEFL course and only have to put up with the scheme for a fortnight. Assuming of course I don't lose patience.

With less luck, I'll be deferred till the next cycle, and if I'm really unlucky I'll be doing it over Christmas. Whichever.

The weekend is all booked up. Saturday I'm getting drunk in church - the exhibition I spent this morning helping to set up is officially opening, with free wine and pretentious artists in abundance.

There's also a model of my ancestral home, Drax power station, made out of papier mache and cotton wool.

And on Sunday...I'm meeting up with C, who is also going on a course for a change of life and career. Holiday tour guide! So while I teach English to the modern Chinese middle classes, he'll be showing the English middle classes around ancient China.

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