December Update

I have recently written two poems. I am very pleased with both. One is a poem for children and the other is not. Both have been entered in competitions (see an earlier blog entry about competitive poetry). To me this feels significant because they are my first creative efforts since leaving school and retiring from my career as a deputy head teacher, something which I have been banging on about for three years or so. In addition, my poem about Seasonal Affective Disorder (And Yet) has been chosen as the last ‘Poem of the Week’ for 2020 at the Yorkshire Times (thank you Yorkshire Times Literary Editor Steve Whitaker for this honour) and the work published here about my encounters with curlew, sparrowhawks and the like has made it into the Nature section under the title One Called Paul (Part One and Part Two).

As a quick update, here are a few photographs taken during my leaving Zoom assembly on December 18th, whereby the classes at school watched the event live via the internet while being safe in their bubbles, whereas my own class were allowed into the hall to witness everything first hand.

Leaving present: painting by Philip Allder of Beckmickle Ing
Other presents from the staff and governors of the school
Cover picture on the front of the Book of Memories
Painting in situ at home
Kitchen table groaning with gifts

December 18th was the most lovely day I’ve had at St. Oswald’s School. It is difficult to get over how brilliant and kind everyone had been (kids, staff, governors, parents and ex-pupils). I was blown away with everyone’s generosity (such wonderful presents), but mainly by the comments written in the leaving book of memories (in which pupils, ex-pupils, staff, ex-colleagues and parents had contributed through a secret Facebook page that had been printed and presented as a book).

I will cherish every gift and every word written in that book, along with the cards that the classes had made secretly in the school …

Now as we get to the end of 2020, my focus will be a creative one for 2021, on which I’ll keep you updated here on my blog of stuff …

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

Jonathan

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