Monday, 23 July 2012

Still in perpetual motion

Wow, and so the travels continue apace. This week we've been up to Edinburgh so I could assess an MPhil, attend some meetings and read some jolly books. And then it was straight to Manchester as D is now officially working for the Olympics for a few weeks and I am enjoying the archival delights of John Rylands library. So for the next month we are diving our time between Manchester and Lincoln. We are going to get used to the Woodhead Pass!

In between all the travels we have enjoyed a bit of sunshine, met up with some folks and watched The Dark Knight Rises. D loved this film and I enjoyed most of it. It was certainly thoughtful and interesting. For me it touched a little on the dreaded emergency/disaster film genre. Unusually though, it had a number of surprising story turns which I didn't see coming AT ALL. This is always great in a film.

And tonight Dad is lighting up the BBQ to celebrate a super sunny evening. I am trying to brace myself for three weeks of Team GB patriotism. I LOVE the Olympics and LOVE the sport but am a little less convinced by the 'woo woo Team GB are best ever ever' obsession. As far as my own sporting prowess goes, I was back to running this morning after a week with a slightly dodgy knee (my own fault - I ran too far!). It felt good to get back to it.

Here's to a summer of sunshine and sport.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Perpetual Motion

So, I am beginning to forget what my own bed looks like! After seeing The Boss in Manchester (listening to his whole back catalogue right now), our lovely Minnesota friends came to visit for a couple of days before the three of us headed off to the University of Leeds for the Performance Studies international (with a small ‘i’ – I don’t know why either) conference. It was four days of chat, listening to papers (a mixed bag but some really great stuff) book promo. Three highlights: watching a great group doing Kathakali Indian dancing in a swimming pool, an amazing paper on mass performance in the French Revolution and a fun authors’ event with the good folks at Palgrave. It was a pretty unusual conference for me but good fun and I got to hang out with some great folks.

When I got back (10.30 Saturday night – academics are slackers, right?), my fab brother and sis-in law were there with our niece. While I had been sitting in darkened university seminar rooms all day, they had been to a duck race and eaten ice cream. We spent Sunday together before they headed back up the road to Auld Reekie and D and I went down to Northampton. So, a few weeks back D won a competition. He never wins anything so it was a bit of a surprise. Here was the prize: a day out with Lexus – chauffeur driven, lunch at Heston Blumenthal’s pub The Hind’s Head, a trip on the Thames and a night at Windsor races. Turns out we are pretty rubbish at betting (which I found rather encouraging for two Presbyterians!) but rather good at eating a mountain of food! It was a wonderfully unusual Monday! It also gave us the opportunity to celebrate D’s 30th birthday which actually fell right in the middle of my conference so I wasn’t even there to spoil him. We spent the night in Northampton and sped back this morning to get to work. Phew! I think I now have a few days at home!

My research summer is just beginning so I’m getting everything sorted out in readiness. Today I worked my way through a raft of emails, caught up with correspondence from the conference, rejigged all my online profiles (website, etc) and then carried on with a book that really needs to be back in the library tomorrow. These preparatory days are always fun and inspirational.

Oh, and a final congrats to our wonderful third years who are now graduands after officially receiving their marks this week. Looking forward to graduation now!