Malcolm and Jola’s Monthly Journal
“I lost myself in the summer rain…”
Sorry it’s taken a while, but welcome to our latest Monthly Journal. I’m tempted to change the name of our regular newsletter to ‘Malcolm, Jola, Ela and Chris’s randomly ridiculous ramblings…’ I would like to say that the reason that we haven’t written a Journal for such a long time is that we have been too busy. But that is simply not true; instead I have just been too slack. But having said that, so many interesting things have happened to us in the last three months that it will be difficult to list everything here.
At the time that we wrote our last Monthly Journal (back in October) we had both just started work again after the summer holidays. Not much has changed on that front. Jola is still teaching English in Pre-Schools during the week, going to Uni and working on her thesis over the weekends and teaching Sunday School once or twice a month. I’m also still teaching English. I have almost learnt all of my students names; and I know all of the English text books inside-out. It’s not as interesting as it used to be, but now I am getting better at my job. Soon I think I should ask for a pay-rise (funny joke).
Our kids are continuing to grow up. We have been very fortunate that our kids have not suffered from colds and flu’s like they did at the same time last year (in-spite of the flu epidemic that swept through Poland in late October, early November. Chris continues to improve his vocabulary, both in English and Polish, I think he is starting to understand both languages quite well now. Ela likes to think that she is teaching all of the people that come to our house English. Sometimes I am tempted to take her with me to school and get her to teach my students with me; but I think that I would have to pay her then… They have been stuck inside for the past few weeks due to the weather and they are slowly learning how to play nicely together. Chris likes to play by himself and Ela always wants to play with someone else, but not Chris. But they are learning.
In November, thanks to a few comments made by our Monthly Journal readers, I entered a ‘Novel Writing Event.’ It was very interesting and I managed to type out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It was the first time that I had ever written something that long. It was an action/adventure novel about some guy called Bob, aptly entitled ‘Bob’s Big Day.’ Unfortunately after writing it I haven’t had the motivation to edit it (or even read it again), and so I don’t really know how readable it is. But if any of you want to have a read, then send me an email and I’ll see what I can do to get a copy sent to you (by email, don’t expect it to be published) for your reading pleasure (or horror as the case may be).
We had a fantastic Christmas and New Year. The kids loved getting presents from all over the world, and we loved eating Christmassy food. We spent about a week with Jola’s parents. It was great fun because Jola’s brother came with his partner and her son (who is 3) and so the kids spent most of the time playing together (I’d like to say nicely, but that would be a lie).
Now that Ela is almost five we have to start looking for a pre-school for her to join later in the year. Fortunately for us, Jola knows the directors of all the local pre-schools so hopefully we will be able to find a place for our little ones later in the year. She has also been asked to work in a new English language pre-school that my boss is starting up later in the year. It’s all very interesting because we are slowly learning that Jelenia Góra is a lot like Tassie, in that everyone seems to know everyone else. For example the director of the pre-school that Jola wants to send our kids to, knows that she has been offered a job by my boss. Another example of this was the other week when some people from the local water authority came to inspect our pipes turned out to be students that I taught last year.
I understand that the weather in Europe has been in the news in Australia lately. Well, just to put everyone’s mind at rest, our winter (so far) has been quite mild. There is snow and ice and the river is frozen over in places, but not too much. The temperature hasn’t dropped below minus 20 yet; certainly not bad enough to write home about. Today when I went to the shops it was only minus 12. We didn’t have a white christmas, which is something I am very grateful for.
In the next few months Jola is going to finish off her thesis and we will need to decide what to do next. It will not be difficult for her to find a job in a pre-school, but we need to decide if that’s what we want to do. I will need to start filling in forms for my permanent Polish visa and possibly apply for Polish citizenship. We also need to find out about whether or not Jola can apply for Australian citizenship from Poland or whether we will have to go back to Australia. And I will need to decide if I want to turn English teaching into a long term career, or whether I should try and find a job as an accountant in a local firm…
That’s probably enough for now. In addition to the pictures we have here, you can also look at the pictures that we post on Facebook.
Malcolm, Jola, Ela and Christopher Guy