Sunday, 19 February 2012

Chilling in my hammock

D reminded me that it had been a couple of weeks since I last posted here. Sorry for the lack of comment - I endeavour to do better in future. Plans for the big move are going well. We now have a sofa on the way (we have never owned our own sofa so that is exciting) and we've started sorting out removal companies. D also invested in a 'house warming present' for me - a very large hammock. This might sound like a weird present but last year while wandering happily through the stalls of Granville Island, Vancouver, I tried out a lovely hammock and promised the sweet guy who wanted to sell it to me that if I were ever to move to a house with a garden, I would buy a hammock. And here we are! I'm hoping that lots of folks are going to visit to enjoy happy afternoons swinging and snoozing in my new present.

Things continue to go well in all other areas of life. I am very fortunate to be working with imaginative, inspiring students this term. They are just great! Research is plodding along nicely with two articles currently tentatively accepted by great journals. The first proofread through the book is done and the second (and final) proofread is scheduled to take place on the week we move. Great timing on my part!

As well as work, this week has been taken up with a thought-provoking trip to the cinema to see Grey (it's about more than just wolves chasing Lian Neeson), a jolly visit of a sweet gentleman involved in mission work in Moldova, trying out our local chippie for the first time in 2 years, getting into college basketball on ESPNAmerica, and, last night, travelling through to Holmfirth (of Last of the Summer Wine fame) for the Steve Hackett gig. We had a really amazing night - total legend, great band, fab crowd and brilliant venue. But more of that later in the week when I've got the photographs up. There's a cracking one of me and Steve for your enjoyment.

D is away working in Warwick for a couple of days so I'm home alone. Today/tonight will be a mixture of weekend sport, reading Mansfield Park, swinging in my hammock (which is currently up in the lounge!), Facetiming my sister, ironing and sorting things our for the week. I might even sneak in a little snooze. Be sure to pop back over the next few days for the gig review.


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Things change quickly here!

So, since my last post (which was only a few days ago) a major thing has happened in the life of the Wardens. We are moving house! We have lived happily in our wee flat here in the centre of Lincoln for 2 years but we were both beginning to feel like a new challenge might be in order. On Saturday (did I mention this?) we went to see the most beautiful house in the country. I then spent three days agonising and, yesterday, decided that we would go for it. It reminds me of those incredible country houses in Austen novels (a la 'Sense and Sensibility' after the move rather than Pemberley, you understand) and I think we will have a wonderful, peaceful place for us both and, hopefully, for all our friends and family to visit. It is in a little village called Nocton, only 7 miles from Lincoln. But it feels like proper country with woods and little post offices and long walks and a massive garden. We feel amazingly blessed (though a little shell-shocked) and it is only costing us a little extra per month. The sweet gentleman who owns it showed us round and clearly loved the place. We feel like custodians for something very special indeed. Anyways, in preparation I am going to spend the next few weeks reading 'Mansfield Park'. I can finally be Fanny Price. This has been my dream since I was a little girl, at least since I decided that Fanny was a far more interesting character than Elizabeth Bennett. Imagine me wandering through the grass each morning drinking tea. In fact, best of all, why not come and stay for a few days. Will update all our mates on our new address in due course.

Only the packing, the cleaning and changing all those addresses to go now. Yuck!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Reflections on writing a book

Blimey, not sure what happened there - apparently we found ourselves in the second month of the year! Anyways, all is well here in Lincoln although we've just slip-slided our way into our car park with the snow falling down.

So this week has been mostly proof reading the final copy of the Book. Talking to my research mentor yesterday, I realised that there is quite a lot of me in the book. I get to certain sections and hear the music I was listening to as I wrote - Trevor Rabin soundtracks, beautiful John Wetton vocals, exciting Peter Gabriel tunes. Or I see certain rooms or landscapes - chapter five reminds me of sitting in the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), Edinburgh looking out over students enjoying sun-soaked picnics on the Meadows; the Introduction reminds me of arriving in Lincoln and having to grapple once again with my theoretical framework; chapter four sometimes reminds me of wandering around the National Museum of Scotland searching for inspiration amidst the Medieval paintings and Celtic artefacts; any mention of a MacColl play takes me right back to the North Reading Room of the National Library of Scotland. Occasionally a section of an argument reminds me of a conversation at a conference or a fortuitous chat with a colleague. I suddenly find myself proofreading a moment that was particularly difficult to write or provided a stimulating moment of revelation. It's really rather amazing (and frightening) that so much of me is in a non-fiction book! This project has been my primary focus for ages and has been my (sometimes irritating!) friend through my PhD, through testing times of unemployment, through a wonderful three months at IASH, through my postdoctoral teaching fellowship where I had to get to grips with Canadian literature in three weeks and on through my first full lectureship learning about performance and the joys of the workshop space.

And now it's coming to an end and will be on the shelves (or at least on the cyber-shelves of Amazon in a few months). It feels as if I am saying goodbye to a mate but also as if I am finally taking off a particularly uncomfortable pair of shoes! I'm now looking forward to getting on with other projects and leaving British Avant-Garde Theatre to make its own way in the world. Apologies for the prosaic Saturday night ramblings!