Having spent the previous week whisking up lemsips for her ailing husband and having to deal with all three kids while he suffered on the sofa with man-flu, Sarah was looking forward to a more relaxing week.
She was a part-time teacher, so with one week to go before half term she felt that there was a glimmer of light at the end of what had been a very busy half term. At school, focus was sharply on the looming exams and there had been a lot of hours put into getting her pupils motivated and up to speed on revision. Marking had been plentiful and the continued gloomy weather had not helped her mood.
On Monday, her morning run had been thwarted by the incessant rain and she felt twitchy that her new exercise regime had been disturbed by something so frivolous as the weather. However, she decided to spend her time writing instead, something that relaxed her and allowed her to drift off into a world away from hoovering, packed lunches and final demands. Where other people secretly indulged in chocolate or fancy cupcakes, Sarah immersed herself in words, soaking up their sweetness and savouring the sounds they made on her lips as she read back the lines she had penned on the screen.
Her mind wandered to Wednesday. Finals day. She had been overwhelmed when all three of her blogs had been shortlisted in their respective categories and even though she dared to dream that one of them might make it to a final six, she was realistic enough to realise this would probably not happen. She had a lot of tough competition, talented writers who, like her, poured their heart and soul into their blogs. For just one of hers to be selected would be beyond thrilling. She bit her lip and berated herself for dwelling on it.
Sarah awoke on Tuesday and grumbled at her alarm. She had set her iPad to greet her at 6.15am with Aloe Blacc’s ‘I need a dollar’, originally with the bemusement that it would motivate her to get up for work and earn some pennies. The novelty had worn off weeks ago, but even though she vowed each morning to change the tune, by the time she had sorted the kids’ breakfast and had that first, heavenly cup of tea, she had quite forgotten about it.
This particular Tuesday, Sarah could feel that something was not quite right. A tingling sensation in her nose and a slightly woolly head. Putting it down to a slight sniffle and that last glass of Chardonnay, she shrugged it off with a couple of paracetemol and an orange juice chaser. However, as the day progressed the feeling magnified and during her final lesson of the day, she acknowledged the fact that she had caught the mother of all head colds from her husband. Sensing her weakness, the pupils had been rowdier than usual or perhaps it just seemed that way. The scraping of chairs echoed around her aching skull and as she bade her class ‘Good Afternoon’ her voice came out as a muffled croak.
She stopped off on the way home to pick up some cold and flu tablets and treated herself to an early night. She only worked two days a week so there was only Wednesday to get through and then she was off for half term.
Sarah awoke on Wednesday with the feeling that someone had crept in during the night and wadded her head with cotton wool before giving it a good whack with a sledgehammer. She fleetingly wondered whether she should call in sick, but with the thought of having to set loads of cover and put the extra pressure on other staff, she decided that she could dose herself up and struggle through the day. The morning came and went without too much bother. Yes, she had used up an entire box of tissues and, yes the Benylin was wearing off, but she was surviving. Typically, she had break duty to endure and with the weather being its usual miserable self, by the time she got back to lessons, she felt awful. Dismissing the class for lunch, Sarah sank into her chair and thought ‘Ugh. Wednesdays.’ Wednesday……hang on! She flicked open her iPad and clicked on the little white bird. Scrolling through, she saw it…’@BritMums Announcing the #BiBs finalists!’ Holding her breath, she clicked on the link and searched through the categories and then her stomach gave an almighty flip as she saw the final six in the ‘Writer’ category. There, nestled in the middle of the list was Supper and Syntax. Her beloved creative writing blog, the one that had taken all her courage to create as she laid her writing on the line, open for the criticism and indifference of its readers. Years of writing, finally lifted from the pages of her old notebooks and put out there for the world to see. And now it had made the final of the national Brilliance in Blogging Awards. Her eyes glistened with humility and pride. And she found she was suddenly feeling a lot better.