Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas one and all...

...and here's to a peaceful and contented 2012!

New year's resolutions? Check out my new post for Phd2published on risk taking.

See you in the new year.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas is coming!

So, last week we ended up with an unscheduled trip up to Scotland for D's Granny's funeral. It was a very peaceful event and we even sang 'How Great Thou Art' outside with the birds singing. It was sad but we were glad that the whole thing went so well. D then returned to Lincoln and I stayed in Edinburgh for two days camping out in the library. I managed to combine 'new project' reading and 'old project' additions. Lots of interesting stuff.

We then had a happy, quiet weekend enjoying afternoon tea and lunch with friends. It is really nice to have a weekend like this just before the busyness of Christmas arrives. And since then, I've been bashing on with marking, although today I took a wee break to enjoy our students performing The Snow Queen at the LPAC. What a great job they did! The children were absolutely engaged, the set looked beautiful, and even us jaded academics joined in the songs. It was lovely to finally see all the hard work pay off given that I have seen a load of 3rd years wandering around looking exhausted for the past few months. I can see why now! They did the department proud!

Here is a video of them in rehearsal:

While not trying to sound like a total slacker, I have actually taken a day of annual leave tomorrow so that I can take my Mum to watch Company at the Sheffield Crucible. It has had amazing reviews so far and I'm very excited to see the great Dan Evans playing Sondheim live!

The rest of the week is taken up with Christmas parties, final wrapping, house tidying, marking, article refining and packing. We are looking forward to a great Christmas break with family and friends. And hopefully some snow! Anyways, I'll give a wee Christmas post before then. Cup of tea and more marking beckons!


Saturday, 10 December 2011

Saturday morning in front of a screen

So, I am currently jiggling around with an application for a research opportunity (ooo, that sounds cryptic) so I thought I'd take a quick head-space break and write a post.

The flat may still be in a bit of a mess but our tree is now up, complete with home-made fairy (the nearest I get to craft!). I'm not feeling particularly festive but preparations are getting done, slowly but surely. The second half of the week was spent calming dissertation students (I was only partly successful with this role!), filling in more grant applications, writing module handbooks, reading Romantic Moderns and catching up with the washing. Today's jobs are: tidy house, make macaroons (the easy way - cheers Nigella!), do the ironing, work on applications, rejiggle a journal article, and go out for dinner with friends. A lovely, varied day in store. The wind has abated here which is certainly good for us residing, as we do, on the third floor.

And the big question of the day - can you make ground almonds by just grinding almonds in my food processor? I will try it out and report back.

Anyways, on with the application. I feel as if I am waiting for so many reviewer's reports and grant decisions at the moment. It does make checking your inbox slightly more exciting! Hope you enjoy a peaceful Saturday.


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Post-show sleepiness

If you were to walk around the University of Lincoln's Performing Arts department today you would find a great crowd of folks wandering about like zombies, perhaps searching for a last minute costume or perfecting a dance move. This goes for staff and students alike. The tech team seem particularly worn out. We are gradually reaching the end of a mammoth two weeks of performances. Late nights, early mornings and (last night) running around trying to find cardboard boxes to make into robots! But it has been a lot of fun despite the general exhaustion and we have seen some great performances. I was particularly proud of my first year class last night who pulled off a really interesting version of Capek's R.U.R. complete with blue robot blood!

What else has happened in the past week? Well, the Christmas Market came and went. We had two wonderful girlies from my undergrad days to stay. It was so good to see them. There is something about spending a couple of days with people who know you so well! The market was unbelievably busy but we did have a go on the dodgems which was fun (D drove, I had my foot on the accelerator!) and ate chestnuts in the cold. Other than that, I've been reading the wonderful Romantic Moderns by Alexandra Harris: an incredible, inspiring book! I also had a new article posted at PhD2Published. Check it out, particularly if you haven't read through this remarkably useful and well-edited website. I have lost a number of ladder matches on WWE12, have had my heating on a little too much and have eaten just a little too often at the Engine Shed, Lincoln's student union.

And that is my world up to tonight! Research time is on its way. I still have two articles to finish before Christmas, as well as a couple of grant applications. Our house remains undecorated, although I might shove the tree up tonight. We spent Saturday night watching Peter Gabriel on DVD and making snow flakes so I might stick those up too.

Hope everyone is getting in the festive spirit. If you are in Edinburgh or Stockport then we are so looking forward to seeing you over the Christmas period. If you are awaiting a card from me then I promise they are on their way. And if you, like me, are crawling towards the end of term then "strengthen ye the feeble hands and confirm the weak knees"...