A Travellerspoint blog

The End of an Era

Last days of Work.

I guess the first step in leaving Hong Kong is to leave my job and I have now done just that and worked my notice. My original intention was to work for this academic year then leave, but with Peter's eyesight now so bad, he really needs me at home looking after him, so I had to quit.

It has been a very hard time for me and Peter. I've felt I've been letting him down and by leaving I have felt I'm letting my kids down, too. I really regretted ever taking my last contract.

Although I have quit, we have no plans to leave Hong Kong yet. We are going to enjoy a bit of relaxed time here before we go, without me being constantly worn out from my job. Plus sorting out our stuff, our house, my m.p.f. etc is going to take quite a bit of time

This blog entry is for me to save some of my final memories of my career.

In my last few weeks there always seems to be a beautiful sunrise when I go to my seven a.m. ferry.

In my last few weeks there always seems to be a beautiful sunrise when I go to my seven a.m. ferry.

And another one.

And another one.

It's not just me who has left work recently. One of our very hardworking and friendly amahs left a week or so before me.

Goodbye to our lovely amah, Jenny.

Goodbye to our lovely amah, Jenny.

I am so fat in this picture. I need to spend some of my retirement exercising.

I am so fat in this picture. I need to spend some of my retirement exercising.

The week before I left there was an Art lnset Training Day run by one of our most artistic teachers. We also had a huge, delicious lunch, generously paid for by one of our head teachers. Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to photograph the food.

The artistic teacher is the one wearing the poppy, which she crocheted.

The artistic teacher is the one wearing the poppy, which she crocheted.

We had to make our own paint brushes from twigs as part of learning about stone age art.

We had to make our own paint brushes from twigs as part of learning about stone age art.

This somewhat faded newspaper display was on the wall of the home economics classroom where the inset was. It had been up since 2002!!! The year I started working there.

This somewhat faded newspaper display was on the wall of the home economics classroom where the inset was. It had been up since 2002!!! The year I started working there.

I will miss many things from work: the lovely friends I've made over the years, the children and the view over the harbour from our corridors.

Harbour View.

Harbour View.

Harbour View.

Harbour View.

My dear friends organised a leaving and birthday lunch for me and gave me a huge framed picture with many photos taken at school over the years. So thoughtful of them!

Me with my gorgeous gift and my cup. Everyone tells me I've had the same cup for 19 years. I think they are probably right.

Me with my gorgeous gift and my cup. Everyone tells me I've had the same cup for 19 years. I think they are probably right.

Me with my lovely gift.

Me with my lovely gift.

Admiring my lovely gift.

Admiring my lovely gift.

The food was delicious. I loved the homemade spinach paneer, the fried rice, the seven layer dip and the wonton dumplings most of all.

The food was delicious. I loved the homemade spinach paneer, the fried rice, the seven layer dip and the wonton dumplings most of all.

Cutting the cakes. I discovered a new talent as a candle clapper outer. Much needed nowadays as you can't blow out candles any more due to covid.

Cutting the cakes. I discovered a new talent as a candle clapper outer. Much needed nowadays as you can't blow out candles any more due to covid.

Cutting the cakes.

Cutting the cakes.

One of my bosses had scheduled a staff meeting on success criteria but this was just a facade for a surprise afternoon tea she had organised for me. Of course, I knew nothing about this and was already stuffed senseless by then, but it was still so lovely. I was starting to get very emotional. As a Scot, and a Glaswegian to boot, I'm not very good at emotion. Except that I'm quite good at anger. My boss made a lovely speech about me and it was obvious she had put so much effort into it. I had to get up and make a speech, too. I started off alright, then I broke down and started crying like an oversized baby until I finally had the good sense to sit down and shut up. I somehow managed to do all of this while being covered in jam. Not my finest hour, but probably how I'll be remembered.

Afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea.

Me with the afternoon tea spread.

Me with the afternoon tea spread.

My lovely ta Sam.

My lovely ta Sam.

This was all just too emotional for me.

This was all just too emotional for me.

On my final day my kids were understandably very unsettled. We made toucans, an art activity they had previously lost by being naughty, but managed to achieve this time. It was fun. We posed for a whole class photo. I wouldn't normally put photos of my kids on here, but naturally they were a huge part of my last day.

Shame we all had to have masks on.

Shame we all had to have masks on.

Right at the end of the day, a group of parents arrived with a huge bouquet of flowers for me. Yes that was me in tears again! So emotional!

Parents bearing gifts.

Parents bearing gifts.

My beautiful bouquet.

My beautiful bouquet.

One of the parents made a speech thanking me for all my hard work and called the children out to give me a big cuddle. I was so worried they'd squash each other or that I'd end up falling on top of them. Teacher mentality till the bitter end.

Mass cuddle.

Mass cuddle.

Mass Cuddle.

Mass Cuddle.

Mass Cuddle.

Mass Cuddle.

Posing with some of my children.

Posing with some of my children.

Some members of staff came to say a final goodbye then it was finally over.

Goodbyes to close friends.

Goodbyes to close friends.

We start them young in my school.

We start them young in my school.

Posted by irenevt 22:09 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Amazing memories to have!

by hennaonthetrek

Yes, still a bit emotional about it all.

by irenevt

Has well as memories in your head, you have many photo memories. By the way, you are only what you said f** , being you were stood next to a slim person. All the best to you and hubby. Alec.

by alectrevor

Thank you for the good wishes for Pete.

The problem here is everyone is thin!!! Noone left to stand next to.

by irenevt

That's a big step to take but I have a feeling you won't regret it once you've got through the first adjustment phase. I hope you enjoy your remaining time in Hong Kong. Sorry to hear about Peter's eyesight but hopefully with you not working you'll be able to enjoy doing some things together. Sending hugs 🤗

by ToonSarah

Thank you Sarah, no point in regrets. It is done now. I was making myself ill trying to do everything and I could no longer cope with it and Peter had a very poor quality of life. We will just be considerably poorer, but we'll survive. Hope all is good with you.

by irenevt

If it's any consolation, I lost 50 pounds the year I retired. Something about more exercise and less stress. Oh yes, and more sleep.

You may have less money, but the extra time spent together will be well worth it. Time together is a treasure.

I hope you have a wonderful retirement. You are obviously dearly loved.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally, I have started off doing a lot of exercise. I hope I'll keep this up. I could certainly do with losing some weight to feel healthier. All the best.

by irenevt

I left teaching not by my choice at 48, and I've had several jobs since then before I finally retired at 62. But I was teaching 6th 7th and 8th grades and I knew the teacher they got to finish out the year for me was excellent, so it wasn't so emotional - plus there was no going-away party or anything.

And when I did retire, I did lose weight. I had gained about 5 lbs for each year I worked.

by greatgrandmaR

Hi Rosalie, at the moment I need to look after Peter. Perhaps later I might do some part time work or something. I'm hoping all these weight loss theories prove true.

by irenevt

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