Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Saturday, 1 April 2017


I am retiring at the end of this academic year. I can't believe it. After 34 years at the chalk face I am calling time. I have handed in my resignation and a week or so ago my replacement was appointed. A strange day in some ways.

I will have worked for the state for 34.5 years, a total of 72,930 hours.  21,000 hours will have been unpaid overtime which equates to 12 extra years -  so I will have worked 46 years in principle.
If I take into account the longer holidays than most of the work force,  then this reduces to an extra 6 years or so free overtime for the state. Since 1984 or so I have worked an average 55 - 60 hour week. Sometimes it has been 45 hpw. Sometime, 80 or so.

It has been a privilege and honour. I have worked with extraordinary teachers, parents and support staff. I have learned so much from thousands of amazing teenagers and colleagues. I had the truly amazing privilege of teaching my own children although I suspect neither of them would quite see it that way from their perspective!!

I've been able to lead school expeditions around the country and as far afield as Africa, do fieldwork in stunning places and train teachers across the nation, parts of Europe and as far as The Gambia.

And so from August a new chapter begins.

I struggle to imagine a life without young adults in it. They have made me laugh and cry; they've both aged me and kept me young; inspired me and left me proud and in awe of their achievements and creativity. For a while though, they will still be with me as I do some regular supply teaching and I am fortunate to have many living along the road in which I reside. And maybe I will volunteer for a local youth sailing charity for a while.

And then time for me and her indoors. Travel, more time with our parents and siblings and of course.......lots more time with Arwen!

I'm looking forward to it.


Joel Bergen said...

Congratulations, Steve! I am 3 months into retirement now, and I'm loving every moment of it! SWMBO and I purchased an RV and have many trips planned for this summer. I also plan on spending much more time aboard Ellie - on nice sunny WEEKDAYS when everyone else is at work hahah! Enjoy your overdue and hard earned retirement my friend. I know you will. And we all look forward to reading about your adventures. Cheers!

robert.ditterich said...

Congratulations Steve, and best wishes for the wind-up till August, and then some great times thereafter.

steve said...

Thanks Robert. I am going to do some writing, travelling and vlogging. And of course sailing Arwen.

Paul Mullings said...

Well done that man, the light at the end of the tunnel reached....

steve said...

Thanks guys. Looking forward to it. Some way to go before then including exam groups and dreaded OFSTED. So can't take eye off ball just yet but as you say Paul, light at end of tunnel. Enjoy the RV Joel. We will be off travelling and then may be we will get a caravan and tow it around Europe. Still plenty of the UK we haven't seen yet.