Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Evening folks,
So the title may look a little cryptic but today is the final day of the Twitter-tastic AcBoWriMo. What is that? Well, it stands for Academic Book Writing Month and has been run by the good people of PhD2Published. In November a bunch of scholars from across the world have been trying to write as much as they can. Now, my contribution to this scheme has been a little limited for two reasons: 1) I have had a crazy teaching schedule and 2) I have finished my big book project and have spent the month faffing around just improving syntax here and there - this never adds up to a big word count, sadly.

But this week has been much better as I've combined writing with Shakespeare assessments, and have sent two articles off this week - Hoorah! Go AcBoWriMo friends! The Shakespeare has been excellent. Monday night was a Victoriana version of 'Pericles' and last night was a particularly bloody take on 'Titus Andronicus', surely old Will's weirdest play. The second years have done us proud.

And so the rest of the week is taken up with meetings, reading (inter-library loans are in!) and more Shakespeare. At the end of the week the Lincoln Christmas Market is in town and we have wonderful friends coming to stay. What fun in store!

Hope everyone is doing great!

Friday, 25 November 2011


So today is my birthday! Thanks to everyone for making it special! Tonight we are off out to a new restaurant called Melanies in Louth. D booked it as a special treat. This is after having a wonderful lunch out with my friend, Ali. Food all the way today. On top of that I have spent the day rejigging a journal article that I'm hoping to send off tomorrow.

Despite my best intentions, this has been a week of marking and meetings. Next week the research starts again properly, coupled with some of the second year Shakespeare productions in the LPAC. I am hoping to find some quiet corners to finish off some ongoing projects, fill in some more grant forms and get some conference proposals sorted. Am very excited about this!

My two other big bits of news this week: 1) I finally sent the very final copy of the book to Palgrave. It is due out early next year so get your copy ordered! and 2) I was awarded an HEA fellowship which means that I have a certificate to prove I can teach! For this I had to write a 5000 word project which I really enjoyed getting to grips with. It feels great to have this under my belt.

Other than that, D and I have been trying to master the old Sonic the Hedgehog games (we have a retro games compilation on the PS3). Unfortunately I am as rubbish as I was when I was 11 and borrowed a friend's Sega Mega Drive while she was on holiday. I have absolutely no idea at all! Oh, and D did another mega online shop, this time including ten more cans of sweetcorn, ten large cans of garden peas, eight large jars of pasta sauce and enough bottles of juice to form a small bridge leading from our lounge to our bathroom. Hmmm, the culinary opportunities are endless!


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Is that term over?

Well, the answer is 'yes' insofar as teaching has come to an end. This term has been a little on the crazy side so, I must admit, I'm glad to get back to a little research. And, with my first years doing such an incredible job with R.U.R., I don't even have a performance to worry about! So looking forward to seeing the final production! I've continued my ponderings that began in Edinburgh, though I haven't come to any particular conclusions yet. That's tomorrow's job. I have four projects to finish before Christmas. It might be a little ambitious!

We've had a couple of happy days with our friends this week. Last night we enjoyed the Bellowhead gig at the Engine Shed with Darren, Ally and familia. Today the wonderful Luehrmanns travelled down from Leeds. It was so good to see them all and to meet baby Liam for the first time. We feel very fortunate to have such good mates. Tonight is peaceful - online food order, a bit of music, a bit of left-over work, and perhaps a film. It is much colder than it has been and I'm afraid I have succumbed to the central heating. Saying that, I really like the hot water bottle and rug approach.

And, apart from setting myself the challenge of re-learning a beautiful Gaelic Christmas song called Taladh Chriosa in time for the festive season avec guitar chords, that is about it. This week it is meetings, tech rehearsals (nothing more exciting than getting the studio lights on!) and research projects, including the very final read through of the Book. Oh and someone's birthday...though this has passed me by entirely up to this point.

Hope everyone is having a great Fall/Autumn

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Wonderous Stories

And yes the title is right, before you ask. So, I am feeling loads better although my throat is still a little dodgy. Health always feels brilliant after you've been sick. I even played netball tonight for the first time in probably 17 years! Woah, how old am I! Any old hockey friends reading this, I should say that I did let out a wee smirk when they told me you couldn't take more than one step and there was to be no contact. We always used to mock netball girls as wimps. Tonight, however, my legs are pretty sore!

We had the most wonderful weekend in Edinburgh. Sorry to all those I wasn't able to catch up with! We enjoyed seeing friends and family so much. I had the most fabulous of days in the National Library reading some plays and, most importantly, reconsidering my research ideas. In typical Dickensian fashion I went for a walk around my favourite thinking space: the Museum of Scotland. It is a great place full of shadowy corridors and places to hide. I did so much thinking and reassessing over the weekend about a whole load of stuff. It was encouraging, challenging, inspiring and fun. I might blog later about all the things I have learned.

Saturday night we headed over to Glasgow for a Yes gig. Man, those guys played well! Geoff Downes was on fire and had on a lovely pair of trousers. We had a great night and, as I sat in the SECC, I turned to D and said, 'I am about as happy as a person can be'. I just felt overwhelmingly blessed in every way.

So, here we are in the final week of teaching. Inevitably my flat is a bit of a heap. But D and I are enjoying a replay of Monday Night Raw (wrestling) amid the mess while drinking tea and eating Tunnocks tea cakes (a wee nod to Auld Reekie there).

Hope everyone is feeling really good.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Getting better!

Dearest blog fans,
Sorry for  a lack of posts recently. This has been the past week...sore throat, first year assessments, grant application panic, coughing, trip to Oxford for the CLSG conference on heroes, very quiet illness-dominated Sunday, second year assessments, more grant panic, trip to Liverpool for the wrestling arriving back at 2.30am, teaching, more first year assessments, sore chest, delicious chicken dinner....erm, that's taken us up to about fifteen minutes ago.

Phew, what a week! I just can't believe how chaotic life has been over recent days. So, let me fill you in on a couple of those things. The British Academy grant application is now in and done. Huzzah! While I'm not really expecting anything to come from it I am very glad to have gone through the process and just about survived. Grant applications are very odd indeed. Anyways, D and I went on a jolly to Oxford on Saturday. I attended the Christian Literary Studies Group Conference. I really like this conference as, not only is it really interesting, it also suggests that you can be a person of faith and not a moron or intellectually deficient. I find that encouraging. And it all takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Corpus Christi college. Ah, academia!

And Monday night we finally made it to a live wrestling event at the Liverpool Echo Arena. It was WWE Raw to be precise and anyone who doesn't get my growing obsession with Pro-wrestling should feel free to switch off now. The atmosphere was great - a real mixture of people (hence the forthcoming academic paper on audience ) - and the crowd gave a real welcome to CM Punk and booed Cena mercilessly but with good humour. There were a lot of Zack Ryder fans but, for me, Dolph Ziggler and the fabulous Vickie Guerrero stole the show. There is no way he should have lost to Morrison (a wrestler I like very much) and he sold the moves brilliantly. Anyways, after trying to navigate the world's most ridiculous road system (have you tried to cross the country recently? Road works everywhere!) we finally arrived back at 2.30am. All in all a great night. OK, so it wasn't the best Raw show ever but the whole experience was terrific.

So, I have one more day of assessment and then I'd better get it all written up and sorted. That's next week's job. And then finally get this book finished. Being ill has put the whole thing back a few days. I'm hoping that recovery is just around the corner. My voice has sounded ridiculous all week.

We are enjoying our post-tea cup of tea (ain't the British weird with their tea thang?) with D's new Rush DVD. It is the show he saw some months back in Manchester. Those guys sure play an energetic and impressive set. I'm not a huge Rush fan but their music is constantly on D's ipod so I have developed a certain appreciation of their music over the past few months. That said, on Saturday we are seeing a band I am really looking forward to catching again...but more of that in the next post.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

With a husky voice

So after a very jolly weekend in Cardiff with Smelly and the 'rents I woke up on Monday morning with a bit of a sniffle. Off to Boots I trotted and strong pills have kept the symptoms at bay. However, my voice sounds extremely interesting and I'm hoping it'll hold out for our rehearsal tomorrow. I have even succumbed to putting the heating on.

Life continues on apace. I'm hoping that things will calm down pretty soon but until the Book is finally completed, all my outstanding grant applications are in and teaching has finished I am not expecting it will. D and I try to take a little time out in the evenings where we can and are currently enjoying an early birthday present in the form of the Shawn Michaels v Bret Hart DVD. The Hitman looks nervous and tense, Shawn (on the whole) seems pretty relaxed. We'll see how they go when they start talking about Montreal! It seems the perfect warm up for next Monday's rather mad trip to Liverpool to watch Raw. In a joyous break last night I got to spend a happy evening watching the Disney film Enchanted and eating pizza with two of my favourite girlies. It was such a lovely treat after a long day of assessments.

So, here I sit tonight with the Manchester City game gently pulsing in the background, proofreading the Book one final time. Friday is this week's research day and I'm going to lock myself away with only the Book to keep me company...and perhaps Kermode and Mayo on Radio Five. Can't wait! Until then it's evenings only on the Book.

Hope everyone is doing well. Isn't it exciting that Autumn is coming? I love this time of year - it is beautiful and expectant.