Update July 2017: teaching teenagers, planning trips and still waiting for my day in court


A gratuitous piece of London graffiti

So who would think that it would take so long to wrestle your apartment back off of a non-paying (or erratically paying) tenant? It’s almost five months since I arrived back in the UK and we still haven’t got a court date yet. They say English law runs slowly, but this is so slow it feels as if it is in reverse.

Well desperate times call for desperate measures and I took a job, teaching in a summer school out in the English countryside.


This is Chichester…

I was attracted by the fact that it came with free accommodation. The accommodation wasn’t that good; there was no lock on the door (meaning that I had to carry my computer and other ‘valuables’ with me at all times) and I had to share the bathroom with a bunch of pubescent Italian boys, who would wander in and out whilst I was stood there in my towel (even though there was clearly a picture of a girl on the bathroom door, but like I said they were Italian).

Once your students have seen you wrapped in a bath towel, I fear you’ve lost any authority you might have had in the classroom.

I’m not a teacher though anyway, by any discernible measure. I have about as much authority in a classroom as a zebra on crack.

I lasted three weeks, out of a four-week contract, which I count as a success. That’s 75% after all.


selfie, anyone? some of my students

These schools employ tons of people when they open up and then when student numbers dwindle they just cull off what they no longer need. Yet they complain about unreliable staff who just don’t turn up or how people just ‘don’t want to work’. Meanwhile what seems like a good rate of pay at the start buckles under the weight of extra classes and meetings, paperwork and preparation time. If you put it on an hourly rate then I doubt it would make minimum wage and yet expressed as a ‘per week’ rate it didn’t seem so bad.

However that three weeks of work will pay for my day in court, if we ever get to it, so re-sult.


My tenant (although to give him that title does rather imply that he pays me rent), all angry and hard-done-by as usual

Meanwhile I found myself back in London a week earlier than I’d planned, still homeless and still waiting for the wheels of English law to turn. It’s July and so I’m paying silly money for a small single room.

Then I thought, ‘it doesn’t make sense to carry on paying tourist-rate rents to stay in London in the rain when I could pay less, have an apartment to myself and be in the sunshine’.

So for August I am moving somewhere warmer and cheaper.

4 replies »

  1. Hello Sarah. You know the saying: if something is too good to be true then it normally is. So not surprised summer job was not that great. Give my love to the sun when you see it. Safe travels xx

  2. Good luck moving to somewhere warmer, it is pretty chilly here at the moment. That sounds like a nightmare with your tenant, hope it all gets sorted soon.

    • Yeah the whole situation has been depressing me. It’s not so much the cold that bothers me but the endless drizzle. Sometimes I just want it to rain and get it over with rather than the endless damp days.

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