Saturday, 22 May 2010

Ready to Go

It is Friday morning at 9:40.

We are packed!

We are ready to go!

Just got to wait until 11 am and then we are off to Istanbul - I'm going for two weeks to visit my new school, Mrs I is going for one week and she will be house hunting!

Unfortunately Mrs I can't stay for the entire two weeks, she has to have a minor (we hope) eye operation on Monday the 31st of May, so she is going to fly back next Saturday. Now, you may be tempted to say that it is a bit ungallant of me not to come back at the same time as her, but my new employers wanted me to have a two week handover and if I put it off until later it will mean leaving my current school early - which has some pretty large consequences! We both think that it is best for me to stay for the extra week.

Anyway, camera is ready, battery is charged, I shall put some views up when I get back.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

A change of name (again)

So, I was thinking, I am not going to be in Qatar any longer - what is the point of remaining as qatarbilly and what can my new name be???

I thought of ByzantiumBilly or ConstantinopleBilly, but they just didn't have the right ring.

Then I hit on it,

from now on my web personal will be:


Sounds good to me!

Good News

It has been a long time since I have blogged. I just haven't been able to drum up the enthusiasm as I waited for some good news to blog about!

As you may (or indeed may not) know, for the last 18 months I have been looking for a job as Head of Secondary (or something similar) at an international school that preferably comes without a desert attached to it.

During my search I have become quite the international jet setter! Since January of last year I have been to:

London (on three separate occasions, the longest trip being 3 days), Bangkok, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Dubai, Munich, Bratislava, Vienna, Qatar (twice) and Istanbul for interviews and I have had telephone interviews with schools in Casablanca, Rio de Janeiro, Addis Ababa, Bahrain and Budapest.

I have come second more times than I like to think about! I have psyched myself up for interviews and then crashed and burned when I got the 'regret to inform you...very strong field' email. I got three in one week back at the end of February/beginning of March - that was not a particularly good time. Lots of encouragement from people like Carol, Dave, Amanda and, especially, Harry Deelman from Search Associates who sent me a very long and very upbeat and encouraging email, has all helped to keep me writing new applications. And, of course, Mrs QB has stood by me and been excited at the prospect of going here or there to live and has hidden her disappointment when it didn't happen - she has even been checking the Times Educational Supplement every week for me saying things like "What about Abuja?", "Ascension Island sounds nice", "Have you thought of this one in Manilla?" etc

Well, I have finally come first!

On Thursday I traveled to Istanbul and on Friday was appointed Director of Secondary at the British International School of Istanbul. BISI is a very happy school which has grown strong following a sometimes turbulent past. It is perched on the top of a hill overlooking the village of Zekeriakoy which is at the northern end of the Bosphoros on the European side and the school has views of the Black Sea. The whole area is a huge forest and you literally cannot see the wood for the trees!!! Having been starved of forest views like this whilst in the Middle East for the last 13 years, the massive amount of greenery makes your eyes ache!! In the spring the whole area is a riot of flowers - Turkey exported tulips to Amsterdam!, in the autumn it must be the golds, reds and browns of New England because all the trees I saw were deciduous and, apparently, in winter the view is white!

Mrs QB and I will be going to Istanbul next Sunday for two weeks so that I can do something of a handover with the current Director prior to me starting properly in the middle of August. We are both looking forward to spending a bit of time there and I will be taking my camera and so will put some photo's on facebook and on my blog (which I will be starting up again now that I have something interesting to put on there!

You cannot believe how many times in the last 18 months I have wanted to write this email. Well, it is finally written and knowing that I do not have to take a Thursday off work to fly to Copenhagen (or wherever) for a weekend, leaving in the early hours of Thursday and getting back in the early hours of Sunday and then being in work on Sunday morning (for those not in the Middle East, our weekend is Friday Saturday) at 7am, is an enormous relief.

By the way, talking of weekends - for the first time for 13 years I will be going back to Saturday and Sunday as the weekend - that is going to be weird!!!

Well, folks, that is the news I have been waiting for so long to tell you. Mrs QB and I shall now sit back and wait for the requests to visit us in Istanbul to come pouring in. Get your dates in quickly 'cos I think there may be a rush!!!