Yes, end-of-year show yesterday, reports today, and then just one more morning to go - with all this week's school-related busyness and pre-summer holiday gift-giving, it's hardly surprising that teachers were on my mind as I photographed this skirt.
Though specifically, actually, it was art teachers.
Perhaps it's the pompom trimmed hem or simply the colourful, swirly swishyness of the whole thing, but yes, I think of this as an art teacher skirt - in a fantastically comfortable, utterly lovely and I-don't-care-how-stylish-anyone-else-thinks-it-is kind of way. An initial measurements fail led to a lovely, tidy but HUGELY too big waistband with invisible zip, so after some highly frustrating seam ripping it's ended up with a yoga-style knit waistband. FYI guys: yoga-style knit waistband + legs draped in rayon challis = BEST SKIRT EVER.
Yes, rayon challis. Now I know what the fuss is about - this stuff is pure gorgeousness. It's Sinister Swarm from Anna Maria Horner's Field Study range, which I have long coveted and to my total astonishment managed to WIN in a rather generous giveaway by Jane at Pelly Melly. THANK YOU Jane!!
Which brings me to the other reason that teachers were on my mind this morning. Because as I was taking my photos, I remembered that Jane is a French teacher. And not only do I owe Jane herself a massive thanks for getting rid of this beautiful fabric, I also owe a huge amount of gratitude, and in fact a great deal more in life too, to French teachers in general.
My secondary school French teacher was Mrs Harrison, a woman with the no doubt generally unrewarding task of getting English girls to learn foreign words, and who was probably therefore rather pleased to recognise both an aptitude and enthusiasm for languages in the incredibly shy 11 year-old that was me. For the next four years, until she went on maternity leave, she kindly, gently encouraged me, and in the process set me up with probably the most useful life-skill I have. (It's also my favourite. Truthfully: French even beats sewing).
One of the things Mrs Harrison told me was that when she was learning, she used to try to think in French, because once you can do that, you know you've got it. So I spent almost all of my teenage years persistently translating my own thoughts as I was having them (did anyone else notice, I wonder?), all along knowing that at some point I'd "get it" too. I didn't study languages at university, but I did know that once I'd graduated I'd be going to live in France for a year to become really, truly fluent. The frenchifying of my thoughts turned into daydreams of a garret flat with shutters in Paris, plus a sexy French boyfriend-with-Vespa and a convenient family home with swimming pool in Provence or the Pyrenees. All soundtracked by Air and Daft Punk, of course.
When it came to the practicalities, it turned out that France was not my destiny. Native English-speaking admin staff were (and still are) in high demand in Brussels, and if my colleagues were ever-so-slightly put out that I refused to speak a word of my mother tongue with them, it never showed. They corrected my blunders until eventually, finally, I got there - and never looked back.
Then I met and later married a Flemish man, and accidentally learned to speak Dutch too. The year in France turned into 15 years (and counting) in Belgium, and to be honest, I don't think a be-stubbled French bloke on a moto would have suited me really anyway.
So, these are the entirely untranslated thoughts in my head when I think about this skirt. A little detour from the sewing - let's call it the scenic route around this post, and my little ode to those here who have one day left until their eight well-deserved weeks of holiday.
Back in the gritty reality, we also have this going on:
My first ever foray into bra-making territory! Drum roll please - it's a glamorous adjustable strap to make my bras racerback-friendly...
Now, it's exactly the same as the plastic straps I saw in the shop (and didn't buy, because my version is not-plastic). But of course, because of the way it hooks on, it doesn't lie flat across my back. Is this a design fault with all bra-strap adaptors??? I demand to know!
See the floaty flaring...
I think I've found my summer non-school uniform :-)