Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A Midweek message

So we are off to play squash in a bit. Currently limbering up -ha ha! Truth is I've been sitting back reading plays and marking student work. A pleasant sort of a day even though the weather is not so great. Not as bad as up in Auld Reekie though. They've had snow and all sorts up there. Once again D and I will have a jolly drive up the A1. Every time we take this road (which is bad enough at the best of times, especially after Newcastle) the weather seems to be against us. Let's hope it clears a little before tomorrow afternoon when we take the Skoda Superb for its first big spin.

So, Sunday evening (actually Monday morning - oops!) was one of my saddest sporting moments since losing a school hockey tournament to our arch-enemies, Arnold (I flung my keeper pads to the floor in a fit of pique!). Shawn Michaels hung up his boats (or spandex, I suppose) and wrestled for the last time. Now wrestling was one of D's interests that I thought I'd never get into. But actually for sheer theatricality you just can't beat it. I've become a bit of a fan of the Heart Break Kid and am sad to see him go. His final wave is currently my laptop wallpaper. Officially a geek? Yes, I think so...A great final match, though, which you can catch on youtube if your t'internet connection is quicker than ours (we are currently having a battle with Virgin as our broadband is SLOW - system upgrades, so they say). I have Chris Jericho's book on my desk at work and it is amazing what a conversation starter it is....and amazing how many wrestling fans there are!

Anyways, further to my comments on The Wire etc, here's a wee snippet from a conversation with Pastor James Harleman of Mars Hill Church in the States. Now I'm not a big fan of mega churches, in fact I largely think that if the crowds like it, then there must be something wrong about it (call me cynical if you like). But D and I have listened to a number of sermons from this church and have learned loads, especially from their Teaching Pastor, Mark Driscoll. So Pastor James says...

It’s true, some Christians think seeing anything beyond Disney films or PG movies is inherently sinful. However, this usually begins with an underlying premise that entertainment should be “safe distraction” and digestible pabulum for the believer.

The reality is, nothing is “safe” to watch. It disturbs me when Christians follow FCC and MPAA [ratings] guidelines and just assume and consume without discernment with no God-glorifying or evangelistic intent.

Disney films have terrible philosophy and theology. Some of the “family” films out there contain the most subversive content because they are 95 percent wholesome with a subtle twist.

Just because a film seems wholesome or ends happy doesn’t mean it’s godly. In fact, seemingly evil-free family fare that ends with “happily ever after” apart from the cross may be the most dangerous films of all.”

Just the fact that he uses the term 'digestible pabulum' makes me love this quote. The church runs these amazing film nights and he is responding to the criticism he has received over some of the things he has put on the bill. I reckon you could apply it across the board, and not just to Disney films. Check out the Mars Hill Blog and agree or disagree as you wish.

Well, I'm off to read a bit more of Edward Bond's Saved. It is a pretty bleak play all in all and contains one of the most shocking, violent scenes of British theatre history. Of course this is what it is notorious for, but, for me, its bleakness lies in the dialogue rather than the action. I think this is largely true of the modern world - I get much more depressed by people's day-to-day speech than by those big violent moments you see on the news. Bond says that it is "almost irresponsibly optimistic". I'm willing to been convinced!

I'll post over the weekend when we will be enjoying the pleasure of an Edinburgh Easter. Once again, don't even think about robbing the flat. Boris the bear is a trained killer and has recently learned the art of aikido. I'd keep out of his way if I were you.


Sunday, 28 March 2010

An Easter Thought...

...with Easter fast approaching I've decided to provide (in typical Radio 4 fashion) a 'thought for the day'. Easter is my favourite time of year - cute lambs, warmer days (hopefully!), too much chocolate. It became even nicer when, ten years ago this month, I decided that all this Christian stuff had a bit of truth to it. So, with it being Palm Sunday and all that, I guess I could write a bit about waving branches or look forward to the Resurrection. But, in typical contrary Warden stylee, I won't. Instead I thought I'd write a bit about Pontius Pilate.

A strange choice perhaps? But, for me, Pilate's dilemma is the really applicable bit. As I teach at university I (and, of course, my students) are confronted every day by philosophies and theories, and it can be easy to think that these are new ways of thinking. So we tend to put the Bible to one side, try and grapple with them ourselves and end up getting progressively more confused. As I've gone on, I've tried to see what the Bible has to say about all the 'isms' of academia. Surely such an old dusty text has nothing to add?

Well I reckon the best place to start is back in Ecclesiastes. If Solomon says there is 'nothing new under the sun' then that goes for everything. There are no new challenges, no new problems, no new intellectual dilemmas. There are new versions but at their heart the latest theories have their basis in old assumptions and ideas. Now trusting the Word of God is all very well but didn't Solomon get it wrong? In our moments of nostalgia we imagine that the 21st century is full to the brim with new theories that previous generations never had to confront. Nonsense, of course. And Pilate's response to Jesus is a rather brilliant example.

I'm currently teaching a course in Postmodern British Drama. So, what does the Bible say about postmodernism? Well, nothing directly, of course. The guy who coined the phrase in the 1970s, Jean-Francois Lyotard, suggested that postmodernism is an 'incredulity towards metanarratives'. He admitted himself that this was a generalisation, but his central point was that in our modern (or indeed postmodern world) we no longer believe in those big stories that human beings use to make sense of the world. You know the sort of things - Marxism, Gender roles, Morality, Faith etc. That leaves the very notion of 'truth' as an unstable concept.

So back to our Easter story. Pilate's first response to Jesus is to ask a question, 'Are you the King of the Jews?' Jesus' reply? 'Do you say this of your own accord or did others say it to you about me?' Whenever I teach any of these 'isms' I always encourage my students to make up their own mind, and I think this is what Jesus is getting it. Pilate is obviously susceptible to peer pressure and here he seems to have just adopted the words of others and passed them off as his own. Whenever I am told in all sincerity that 'we live in a postmodern world' or 'no-one believes in truth anymore' I begin to doubt the thought processes behind these statements. Perhaps the speaker has thought long and hard (in which case, in my best street language, nuff respec') but 9 times out of 10 I feel that they are quoting from their favourite blog/newspaper/mate.

Jesus says that he 'came into the world to bear witness to the truth'. Pilate's response? 'What is truth?' Our society's continual dismissal of truth is not a new development and Jesus himself had to confront it. The irony, of course, is such apparent flexibility and open-mindedness led to a horrific act of barbarism - the crucifixion. Pilate washes his hands of justice (another metanarrative for you there) and evil triumphs. Lyotard is well aware of this problem and says directly that postmodern thought does not necessarily lead to barbarism. He's right of course and I wouldn't want to be so crass as to suggest that horror is the necessary outcome of such thinking. Nor would I want to make the ridiculous claim that Pilate is postmodern. But it is interesting to make the connection. The notion of truth has been under attack since the snake told Eve that God was telling big fat lies.

Anyways that is my Easter message. Make of it what you will. The new week brings a bit of holiday and a lot of teaching prep. I'm looking forward to some peace and quiet...and a clean house!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

The weekend arrives...

...and I am currently sitting in my office post-conference, pre-assessment. The weather is very pleasant and I might head out for a walk in a bit. D has been out and about in the new car and seems very pleased with it all. It'll be a quiet Saturday night after a super busy week.

Anyways, if we had Sky (which we don't) we'd be watching the glories of Wrestlemania this weekend. Now, I am no wrestling fan; in fact I would go so far as to say that I thought it was a lot of rubbish until D sat me down to watch a couple of fights. It is strangely, indeed almost morbidly, compelling. Although it sounds really 'poncy', I appreciate wrestling for its theatricality. And I'm not alone in this...just ask the theorist Roland Barthes. If it's good enough for Barthes, then it's good enough for me. My favourite wrestler has to be the great Shawn 'the Heart Break Kid' Michaels. D and I watched last year's match with the Undertaker just a couple of days ago, and tomorrow they will be fighting again. Let's see if Shawn can't come out on top this time.

After finishing series 3 of The Wire I did threaten to write a bit more on my decision to watch it and my response to it. So, since I have a couple of hours (don't panic!) to kill, I thought I'd carry on my argument from a couple of weeks ago. Last time the post was entitled 'why I watched The Wire but will not be watching Valentine's Day: the Movie'; this time I am taking as my theme, 'why I watched The Wire but will be going out of my way to miss all the episodes of the latest Andrew Lloyd Webber vehicle on the Beeb'. I think he is searching for Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) after finding leads for virtually every other show in the West End via this format.

So it leads me to my problem with these TV singing contests. I hate them...and I'm not just being a big snob. Tonight (does it start tonight?) a group of people who have a modicum of talent will sing for public approval (and the approval of Charlotte Church no less) on live TV for the dubious pleasure of playing Dorothy in the West End. This 'bit of harmless fun' (check out the last Wire post for my problem with this concept) will allow us to spend our Saturday evenings in a comatosed state in front of the box. Yippee! Not only that but a new bunch of victims will start dreaming of the 'big time' and start saying sadly worrying statements like 'this is my life' and 'I'd do anythign to win this show' etc etc. What such an experience does for one's mental state, I dread to think.

By contrast, on Thursday we watched the last episode of series 3 of The Wire. The end of the Barksdale drug dynasty, the fate of Stringer, Jimmy's apparent transformation, the rise of cold-hearted Marlo and gang, all these stories have stayed with me and continue to get make me think. It wasn't easy to watch, of course. But I feel duly inspired to actually reconsider our urban spaces and the lived experiences of its occupants. And then D came across this rather brilliant website set up by the cast members who, through their roles in The Wire, were challenged to make a difference in Baltimore and beyond. TV that makes a real difference in the 'real world'. How amazing if that! So right on The Wire. It isn't for everyone and, be warned, it is tough stuff. But The Wire has been a revelation for me. It has challenged my perception of TV as genre, challenged my assumptions about the lives of others and, hopefully, spurred me on to actually do something positive.

Anyways, the assessment beckons. We'll be off to church tomorrow and are really looking forward to seeing our new friends at LEC.

Enjoy the sunshine.

Friday, 26 March 2010

A post from work...

...don't panic, I'm not slacking off for the afternoon. Just finished a three hour rehearsal and now on to the drama department conference held in Lincoln for the first time this year. I've poked my head round the door and noticed that they have plum bread and cheese for nibbles. Very promising. We are in the salubrious Lincoln Cathedral Chapter House this evening for dinner (oo-eer) and the chat in the lead up has all been about outfits. Just what to wear to such an event?

Anyways, great news of the day is that we finally have a car - hoorah! I was a little sceptical about our need for car when we moved to Lincoln as work is in walking distance and there are some sweet little food shops near by. I can safely say that I have completely changed my mind and am really looking forward to going beyond Sincil Bank and into the Lincolnshire countryside for wee day trips. We can even get to church! Don't ask me anything about it but it is a Skoda Superb Greenline or something. It is big and good for the enviroment (apparently) so it ticks all the boxes and forces me to re-evaluate my view of Skodas (when I was a kid a common joke was - how do you double the value of a Skoda? Hide a pound down the seat). So I'll let you know how we get on with it. Due to conferences and students assessments I'm not going to be able to use it much tomorrow, though I'm sure D will go for a spin.

Tea and plum bread beckons. I'll post again over the weekend.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A late night post...

...just to show you that academics work jolly hard ;-)
Hope everyone is having a great week. I'm currently bashing through the last bit of teaching before the Easter break. It's Harold Pinter all the way tomorrow. Despite my protestations that I wouldn't start another Rankin book before Easter I ended up finishing (yes, I know...I'm just hopeless) Resurrection Men yesterday, my second Rebus book. Enjoyed it much more that the first. I thought it was cleverly constructed and gave a real sense of Rebus' character. I'm determined not to start another one until next week.

We also finished the third series of The Wire this evening. Another great look at Baltimore life. For the first time after a series I was actually very sad to see the characters go. The untimely demise of the wonderful (see below) Stringer Bell (he was a gangster, I'm sure I'm not meant to feel like that -a case of The Wire messing with your prejudices and presumptions again!) was particularly effecting. I may write a bit more on this when it isn't 23.56 on a Wednesday night!

All being well we'll be in Edinburgh the following weekend for a jolly Easter with the in-laws. Hopefully we'll see Carrubbers folks and the fam then.
Anyways, I'm off to bed...
Sleep well one and all.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A win at last!

Our latest squash tournament continues and last night I actually won two whole games. Granted D won three, but I was delighted by my performance. Really enjoying our new hobby. It also helped me to let off some steam after a very busy day of teaching and marking. Work is all go at present. Lots of fun though! Easter holidays are on the way and we'll have two weeks to catch our breath. I'm hoping to plan the rest of the term during that two weeks...oh, and write the introductory chapter of 'The Book'.

So today has been more marking and last minute preparation for my first lecture on Monday. But we also made time to nip out to the farmer's market at Castle Square. There were lots of interesting stalls and we shared a couple of burgers (ostrich and venison, don't you know!) for our lunch. I'm a big fan of buying locally where you can, and I've enjoyed using our local shops since we moved down to Lincoln. Bought some delicious sausages (which we ate in our Saturday night picnic this evening), some wonderful smoked salmon, hummus, cheese, bread and veggies. In fact, I think we are going to start getting our veggies delivered. I had a box delivered in Edinburgh for a while. It was great fun as you were never quite sure what you were going to get. If you have a spare kohlrabi hanging about, I have a list of recipes to use it up!

No football today as the Imps were playing down in Torquay. They hung on for another win though so things are looking up. Oh, and last night I finished Black and Blue. Although crime fiction doesn't generally rock my boat, I did enjoy this Ian Rankin book. It was certainly a gripping end and I'm considering picking another off the shelf at some stage, probably over Easter. I've also been enjoying a range of new soundtracks bought by D; Alexander is the latest purchase. Nice! I generally intersperse the soundtracks with a couple of my favourite rock tracks. I enjoyed a bit more Peter Gabriel today. We also watched some brilliant footage of Mark Knopfler at Live Aid 1985 this morning. Classic Knopfler complete with headband. We are seeing him in concert in a couple of months back up in Glasgow. Can't wait.

Anyways, I'm off to mark a couple more essays and watch the football league show to catch the Lincoln goals. Man, I think I'm fast turning into a proper fan!


Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Plays, tunes but, as yet, no automobile

Welcome to the mid week blog post. It's been a busy few days as teaching has begun again. Today was the first Uranium 235 rehearsal and it all went very well. The students are brilliant and we did a lot of laughing.

So after a couple of delicious game burgers (yes, you hear right) from our local butchers, D and I have sat down to listen to some classic tunes, though at present we are listening to some Rolling Stones '80s funk - now that I could do without! Honestly, D's unbelievable music collection really turns up some turkeys at times. It must be remembered that he does have at least two Victoria Beckham songs on his ipod and Davey's Disco is the stuff of legend in the Warden clan. Talking of music, I've been listening to a good number of soundtracks recently while I've been writing class plans for Postmodern British Drama. Lots of Avatar, Sherlock Holmes and the Da Vinci Code, smattered with a couple of Peter Gabriel tracks when I need a good singsong.

But the big news of the week...I won a game of squash. Granted I lost five games...but I won one. Hoorah! We're both getting better and are less stiff the next day. The walk back up the hill is a bit of a killer though!

In a run down of this week's reading matter: I finished Habits of the Mind which I enjoyed very much, and I've moved on to a book along similar themes, Two Tasks of a Christian Scholar. I've only read the first chapter but so far, so good. I'll put a proper review up when I've finished. I'm also continuing with the Ian Rankin book. It has got rather exciting and I can't currently see how it will end. I'm not the biggest fan of crime fiction generally, but I'm actually quite enjoying reading about the ins and outs of Edinburgh. It even mentioned my favourite theatre company, 7:84! Still bashing on with the Charlotte Bronte biography in the evenings. It is a lovely restful book before bed. Due to current courses I have also read a number of plays - Chicken Soup with Barley by Arnold Wesker, A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney and Sink the Belgrano by Steven Berkoff. I generally read at least three plays a week at this time of year. Some are old favourites and some are brand new. Next week it'll be plays by Edward Bond and Caryl Churchill so its about to get a little bit violent and shouty (yep, that's an official academic word), but I'm sure I'll cope.

I'm also enjoying reading through Philippians in my quiet times. It is such an amazing book and, after spending last year reading through the whole Bible once and the New Testament twice (phew!), it feels quite good to be able to work slowly through a book and really get to grips with the verses. I've been thinking quite a bit about "God's peace" in Philippians 4. Sounds pretty good to me, folks.

Anyways, Davey's Disco has ground to a halt while the DJ is trying to sort out contents insurance for the flat. Don't worry, it'll be the Floyd loud and proud in a couple of minutes. Still waiting on our new car to arrive...I'll keep you posted on this one.


Saturday, 13 March 2010

The World Cup in Lincoln!

So what have the Wardens been up to in their second weekend back together, I hear you ask. Well, last night we had a jolly evening at Sincil Bank. We now both have red and white scarves so we must be proper fans of the mighty Lincoln City. It was a particularly special night at the Bank and the place was packed to the rafters. We first had a rather poignant celebration of Keith Alexander, Macclesfield manager and Imps legend, who died last week. A minute of silence, the first verse of 'Abide with Me' and a minute of applause for a genuinely nice chap. Football is a funny thing. Generally it makes you want to scream and throw things, but just occasionally there is a lovely moment when you realise the power of the beautiful game. In the midst of the applause there was a brief glimpse of something wonderful and emotional.

Anyways, on with the game. Really a very good match with Lincoln winning 3-1. Even a couple of spectacular goals to enjoy. Up the Imps! At half time on comes England World Cup winner (we won in 1966, in case you didn't know), Martin Peters, to hold the World Cup trophy (yes, the real one) aloft. Quite hilarious really as Lincoln had promoted it heavily as a 'trophy parade'. Despite the pleadings of the excellent Sincil Bank compere, the security man would not allow Martin Peters to carry it round the ground and it was duly returned to its box after just a couple of minutes. Cue much booing from the disappointed crowd. Not even Poacher had a hold. The trophy was whisked away in a Harrod's helicopter (Mr Fayed helping out again) which had parked on the astro turf pitch. At least we got to see the trophy - it was shiny. Lincoln was the only UK city on the FIFA World Cup Trophy tour...for some reason.

And so on to today. A quiet day of marking and tidying. After reading Em's blog posts this week I have been simultaneously wracked with guilt and inspired onwards with a bit of cleaning. I enjoy having a nice peaceful (tidy!) place to live, though our house will never be minimalist. At least the floor has been brushed now. Fulfilling the 'canny Scot' stereotype, we also went up to town as it was free entrance at the Castle. There were owls, archers, re-enactment and, of course, the obligatory fire engine (the fire brigade always turn out for these sort of events). Much fun had by all. It was topped off by lunch at our favourite wee cafe, Zoot.

In a break from essay marking this evening we watched an interesting programme on BBC 2 called 'Requiem for Detroit' while eating a spectacular fish pie bought from a wee shop on the Bailgate. It was a fascinating exposition of the rise and fall of this American city. Really it was a discussion of economics, capitalism and the consumer society. Detroit seemed full of empty buildings and factories, and what I found particularly striking was the way nature seemed to be reclaiming the urban landscape. The ivy climbed up derelict houses, trees grew on factory forecourts. It was really amazing. Although in many ways this was quite a depressing look at the lunacy of consumerism (says I with my Mac laptop and my glass of Diet Coke - yes, I can see the irony!), the final section went beyond the drugs and poverty, and examined the growth of Detroit's cottage industries. Certainly got me thinking. In our society we place such importance on what we have. Everyone is striving for more stuff and, judging by the shocked response of most people to recent economic troubles, everyone expects that this Western consumer capitalist empire will continue forever. It can't of course, and the post-American Dream Detroit illustrates this perfectly. As Ecclesiastes says "As goods increase,/so do those who consume them./And what benefit are they to the owner/except to feast his eyes on them" (Ecc 5.11). The Bible, irrelevant? Hmm...I think not. I'd recommend 'Requiem for Detroit' if you have access to BBC iplayer.

Anyways, I'm off to watch the Football League Show to see if I can spot us on the telly. I might even have a cup of camomile tea. It's all rock and roll chez Warden! Hope you have a great, blessed Sunday folks.


Wednesday, 10 March 2010

More soreness in the legs!

Just to fill you in on the Warden squash challenge which entered its second week tonight...D now has his own racket courtesy of good ol' Sports World and duly beat me five games to nil. A bit disappointing but fun all round, and it really gives you a good workout. Tune in next week for more thrills and spills on the court. I will beat him one day.

So the marking is in and I have a huge pile of essays to wade through over the next few days. Hopefully they are all magnificent. To give myself a bit of a break from assessment I picked up one of D's Ian Rankin books the other night. D has now read all the Rebus books, in chronological order so I thought it only right and fitting that I give them a go. They are crime novels centred on Edinburgh so they mention a whole range of places I know well, including St Leonard's Police Station (don't get the wrong idea...I once assisted in the rescue of a drunken man who was attempting to throw himself under a car) and The Meadows amongst others. It is kinda nice to read books about a place you are familiar with, even if they are about murders etc.

To conclude the wardrobe story, we now have a fully functioning item of furniture. As it happens it just needed a good wallop (obviously we didn't have the knack) and two very sweet gentlemen came and put it together for me. They even took the rubbish away. Hats off to the good people of Pine Solutions.

And so another Wednesday passes and I am gazing at my super-duper photo collage (see below), given to me by my good friends in Rudsambee. Man, I miss you guys on a Wednesday night. Tormis the Penguin is standing pride of place on my desk as I write this. He looks cosy in his red scarf. 'May the Road Rise to Meet You' guys and gals.

Anyways, I'm off to my bed. Sleep peacefully friends.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Coming to the end of a happy (if slightly sleepy) day at home preparing material for two new courses starting up next week. This has meant I have been able to listen to a broad range of musical delights and engaging debates during the course of the day. My highlight was definitely the Food Programme on Radio 4 this afternoon which proceeded to spend a whole half hour talking about marmalade. Surely the only radio channel in the universe to devote airspace to the pros and cons of using Seville oranges. Man, I love the Beeb!

So, I'm bashing on with Habits of the Mind. It was a little slow to begin with but I am now really, really enjoying it. There are a whole range of challenging suggestions and it has really got me thinking about the process of reading, about the benefits of developing a critical way of thinking and the need to understand the 'wisdom of the Egyptians'. Last night a particular quote stood out for me:

Therefore, in reading profane authors, the admirable light of truth displayed in them should remind us, that the human mind, however much fallen and perverted from its original integrity, is still adorned and invested with admirable gifts from its Creator.

Fancy a guess as to the author of this insightful wee comment? John Calvin! And they say he was a narrow minded, misogynistic religious nut! Here he is positively encouraging folks to explore all literature as great gifts. We like a bit of Calvin in our house!

And so the Oscars have been and gone. Best picture to The Hurt Locker which D and I saw at the cinema. It was a pretty terrifying film and an extremely tense viewing experience. Whether films can ever really help us to understand the nature of war, I don't know (although I can still remember my horrified teenage reaction to Saving Private Ryan) but it was certainly shocking and thought-provoking. A worthy winner? I guess so, but I really liked Avatar (even if the 3D technology did leave me feeling sick for three days!). Ah well, what do I know anyways? I am the girl who watches most films holding on to D's arm saying 'I'm scared, I don't like it'.

More days at home this week with lots of plays to read. Also reading a very interesting critique of British post-War theatre entitled State of the Nation by Michael Billington. There is some obvious bias but largely I like it very much and it's helping me to get an overview before I go off and teach it next week.


Saturday, 6 March 2010


So, it's Saturday chez Warden and the first weekend we aren't looking with a heavy heart towards Sunday/Monday when a week's separation looms. This makes for a much more relaxing weekend, proven by a serious lie-in this morning. We then went for a wee stroll in the sunshine (the weather has been amazing all week) and tried out Eskimoo. D has been wanting to pay a visit this place since he arrived so, on our way to buy D a new squash racket (so he has even more chance to beat me - boo!) we nipped in for a treat. This wee shop only sells milkshakes. They have about a million flavours. D went for a chocolate cookie dough and I plumped for a Daim bar. Amazing! I'm not usually the biggest milkshake fan and I enjoyed every slurp. So a recommendation for anyone who finds themselves in Lincoln with a few pounds in their pocket and a hearty appetite.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I'm off to tidy up a bit. Currently living in a bit of a madhouse, though on Monday the folks are finally arriving to change our wardrobe so the big brown boxes will no longer be in the bedroom. They've been there so long that I can't remember what the place looked like without know, like when you take your Christmas cards down!


Thursday, 4 March 2010

Soreness in the legs!

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. My only excuse is that it is assessment week (and therefore crazier than crazy at uni). Although it might also be because D is finally living in Lincoln! It has been great to have him here again even though it still feels a little strange to wake up in the morning and find him there!

We are both very sore this evening after playing squash last night. We've both played a bit in the past but haven't picked up a racket in earnest for a good few years. Unfortunately D won every game but it was quite close...I'll get him one day! We were both pooped afterwards and have felt progressively stiffer all day. The walk up the hill was positively painful tonight!

Lincoln has seen a couple of really beautiful days this week with blue skies and sunshine. We see the Red Arrows flying past almost every day which is a bit exciting. It feels like spring is on the way and that all the snow has finally left us. To chime in with the good weather I've been listening to a couple of new Peter Gabriel albums bought by the boy. I love Peter Gabriel. His music is wonderful and melodic. I particularly like his world music influences and have dipped into Big Blue Ball this week as well as Ovo. Just loving it. If you want a song to leave you with a jolly spring in your step it has to be 'Solsbury Hill'. You can't help but smile when you hear it. This week, though, the song on constant repeat has been 'Sky Blue' with amazing vocals from the Blind Boys of Alabama. Man, what a song.

Oh, and also had a most enjoyable conversation about wrestling with our brilliant tech man tonight (we had both been watching assessments since 8 this morning so I am surprised that either of us managed to string together a coherent sentence!). He was wearing a DX sweatband and was suitably impressed that I even knew what it meant. I'm a bit of a Shawn Michaels fan! His response? "I didn't have you down as a wrestling fan". Never let it be said that I don't have my finger on the cultural pulse. HBK, HBK!!!

So after throwing a quick Rocky Road in the fridge for D's office mates to snack on tomorrow, I'm off to watch a quick episode of The Wire series One and then have a good long snooze.