So a combination of the remorseless and ever-increasing workload, constant anxiety about work which is pervading my sleep too often, and ever-increasing blood pressure (3 increases in dosage in the last 6 years) has made me realise I would be nuts NOT to give myself a year out. SLT are vaguely supportive and I think will have me back. Either way - I owe it to myself not to die of a heart attack before I retire. So far my plans include a month teaching in Nepal, some trekking in Pakistan, volunteering in the rain forest in Brazil, working with animals in New Zealand, and doing some agriculture work on the Cook Islands. Then coming back to do some tutoring before - hopefully - finding another full time teaching job in a high-demand (i.e. science) subject. I will miss my husband but he understands. I obviously need to think about money/pensions etc and am still paying off my mortgage. The plan is to come back, resume work (with my mojo regained) and continue until I retire at 60. If anyone has any thoughts, ideas or cautions for me I would be very grateful. But teaching is slowly breaking me apart - mentally and physically - and I need to fix myself somehow.