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Thank God it's Friday

Monday I spent the weekend mulling over the TES poll that finds us content, "happy" even, and feeling it's not such a bad life to be a teacher. What? They only surveyed 500, so that explains that. Ah, but then there's the small print. People over 40 are the most dissatisfied. People over 50 like me just shout "lemme out".

Tuesday I wake up in my nice detached house and drive away in my new Peugeot. I have a couple of weeks in Greece every year. Yup, I have the occasional glass of wine. Yup, my hubby, an ex-teacher, is beside me with the brochures for next year. He was a headteacher but managed to get out before he ended up in a psychiatric ward. He spotted in the same TES that one company will actually insure heads against going loopy with up to pound;1,000 in benefits. "Doesn't quite fit in with the idea of a happy, contented profession, does it?" he says, twitching. "If I'd known I could have made money out of going barmy I would have stayed longer."

Wednesday I couldn't find anything in the survey about how well we all sleep, or do not sleep, as the case may be. I belong to group two. I don't count sheep, I count policies we've written, or chant short-term, medium-term and long-term curriculum plans. I tried everything last night - triple-action efamarine, a vile brew called Sleepeasy, evening primrose, and ylang-ylang oil.

Thursday I couldn't sleep because I was worrying so much I was getting palpitations. Every time I meditated, I heard my heart thumping. The palpitations were so loud one night my husband thought the central heating was on the blink. I went to the doc. It looks like they're cured, but now I can't sleep because I lie awake listening, just in case they start again.

Friday We're going to choose our holiday this weekend and have booked a meal out. My husband suddenly perked up last night. "Hey, Times Ed page 27 says you can claim tax relief on work-related expenses. Next time you can't sleep, count them all and when you get sleeping pills, just make sure you get a receipt."

Harriet Thomas is a reception class teacher in Leeds

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