Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Boss

So, I am going to have to be very careful not to simply get all gushy in this post. For last night I fulfilled one of my little dreams by seeing the incredible Bruce Springsteen live in concert. We both took a day of annual leave and headed off to Manchester to stay with the parents. The rain was horrendous as we travelled across which (obviously) meant that everyone drove at 2 mph with an air of panic. Parking at the M&Ds (thanks for the picnic Mum!) we went into Manchester on the train and arrived in the city centre with the clouds looking a bit threatening again. As we started walking to the Etihad stadium (boo, boo!) the rain began again...and carried on for the next four hours non-stop. As we were standing on the pitch I decided to invest in a plastic poncho bought from an entrepreneurial Mancunian outside the ground. Good decision! We got absolutely soaked through to the skin! But at 7.15 the rain stopped just in time for Bruce to arrive.

There are a number of things I love about Springsteen: 1) he plays both folk and rock (in fact most of the time he combines the two) which means he appeals to both me and D 2) while his voice is instantly recognisable, his music is incredibly varied 3) all his music makes you feel emotional, either like crying over lost loves or dancing about or getting all politically hot under the collar. Music should move us and there is no one like Bruce for this 3) he is a very generous, sweet guy. He spent lots of time in the audience even allowing one wee boy to sing and another girlie to dance with Jake (sax). The band played for nearly 3 3/4 hrs - beat that One Direction or whoever you are 4) he plays an amazing show. This guy is 62 years old and has so much energy on stage. Just incredible 5) (and I say this with a little embarrassment) he is just gorgeous! D laughed at my admiration of Bruce's rather impressive back muscles.

Anyways, ahem, we had a great night, stood up for nearly 9 1/2 hours non-stop (back soreness), got wet and then dried out with a dance, and totally fell in love with wonderful Bruce. It was a total privilege to have finally seen him live.

In other news: this week we have our great friends Joanne and Will arriving for a couple of days, I have a couple of meetings and then the three of us are off to the PSi conference in Leeds (missing a certain someone's 30th birthday - I am a terrible wife) . See you there if you are going. And a week on Monday I have another wonderful celebratory treat to look forward to but more of that next week...


Monday, 18 June 2012

Our little zoo

Now that we live in the country we find ourselves surrounded by animals. We have a load of ducks who come to be fed every morning. My favourite is nicknamed 'Baby'. He was left alone when he was really young and we didn't think he'd make it. But he is a bit of a maverick and is far happier on his own. Lots of these ducks were born in our back garden. We have a hedgehog that persuaded D it was dead until it shuffled out of sight when he wasn't looking. And we have a lovely little brave mouse who continued to seat next to me while I read Jacques Ranciere's 'The Emancipated Spectator' this afternoon. There are hundreds of bunnies that spend evenings chasing each other and a little deer who occasionally reappears. It is wonderful to have so many friends out here. We were joined by the Scottish section of the fam over the weekend and, although the weather was horrible, we had a great time. It is mega to share all our animals and peace with lovely folks.

After the excitement of the Book, the past few weeks have been relatively quiet at work. My time has been taken up with finishing my PSi paper for next week (sorry, where did July come from?), rewriting a horrid article that I have been battling with for months (NB corner turned on this one today - I think I might have finally found a point to it all!), second marking and getting things ready for the external examination meetings that are coming up this week. I have also spent a few hours each day reading. This is something I do every year at this time. Making the transition from full-time lecturer who researches to full-time researcher period is not one that is always easy to negotiate. So, I like to ease myself in by reading a selection of inspiring (hopefully!) books. This week on my list I have the aforementioned Ranciere (have made it to the end of chapter 1 and am actually rather excited to see where it is going to go next), Beckett's 'Krapp's Last Tape' and Joseph Conrad's 'The Secret Agent'. These are all books that I can justify as work. I guess the transition is going to be all the more fascinating this time round as I am heading into my sabbatical.

And finally...happy father's day Dad and Dad in-law. We are so glad to have you both! We have an exciting gig coming up this weekend - I get to see one of only two musicians still on my 'need to see live' wishlist. One of these is Peter Gabriel, the other is... Well, I'll post about that next week. Oh, and if you have a couple of weeks free then we have put our Germany/Switzerland photos on Picasa. Just click on the photos side bar on Molemaison.

Until next time...

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Wedding bells!

D and his buddies have headed off for a golfing tournament and I have a peaceful day at home to get on with some jobs, do some reading and watch some sport. But so far today I have spent the morning reorganising my online profile. I have been a little bit shoddy with this, using similar passwords for all my accounts and keeping far too many spam emails in my inbox. Last night this bit me firmly on the bum as some wee rogue sent an email from my account to all my contacts. No harm done but I wouldn't buy what they were trying to sell you if I were you! Anyways, security all updated and let that be a lesson to me.

A peaceful day is a very jolly prospect as the past week has been a busy one. We have finally finished the marking and everything is uploaded ready to go. As I have a sabbatical coming up this is my final marking session until this time next year!

But the most significant moment of the week was the marriage of my sister (regular Molemaison readers will know that she is affectionately known as Smelly) to her Welsh golfer boy. We had quite a party to celebrate! She looked absolutely beyond beautiful and I got to fumble my way through bridesmaid duties. I was glad that she had also chosen her best mate as her chief bridesmaid so all that getting excited about the dress/sorting out the train/holding the flowers stuff was taken care of. When you little sister gets married you know that you are getting old!

Other than that, here are the things going on chez Warden: eight new baby duckies were born in our garden, D has been tinkling with his new BBQ (now we just need some sunshine!), I tried a bit of sprinting around my regular running paths and nearly did myself in, and we watched 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' to see the Swiss mountains where we stayed a few weeks ago. Hilariously, they even used Lauterbrunnen station, the scene of D's bout of altitude sickness!

I'm off to make some tea, do some washing and enjoy a bit of sunshine which is currently peeping through the clouds.