Friday, 24 August 2012

Screens, screens, screens

So, this lunchtime at Chez Warden my desk looked like the Batcave as I had three different screens on the go trying to keep up with the Guardian Higher Ed chat (I was a panelist and had a very jolly time) while attempting to solve some image issues for a journal article. I am hoping that everything worked just fine.

It has been a good week of projects and I have got most things done, including my Lincoln Academy lecture which is now finished at 49 minutes ish. It feels pretty good actually. I feel very privileged to be giving a Lincoln Academy lecture and it has been a great reminder of the need to make academic work accessible to a broad audience. This is a great challenge. I also did a bit of thinking/walking/thinking/walking about another book project which I have been putting together for a while. While wandering along with my notebook in hand I met a small frog that we have called Jumpy. That means that in our beautiful garden we have Harry the hedgehog, Cyril the squirrel and his girlfriend (who doesn't have a name at the moment), the duckies, the bunnies, the brave Ranciere-loving fieldmouse, Zach our neighbour's wonderful dog, a deer that hides a lot and Jumpy. It's practically a zoo! I love living here.

At the moment work is taking up a good lot of time and I am really enjoying it. In our relaxing evenings we have been watching two new HBO offerings - Veep (which I am not all that fond of, although last night's episode had some very funny lines) and Newsroom (which I love but led to a very long conversation between me and D the other night).  HBO are just the best! I've also been working out, enjoying a bit of golf and cooking more. I've finally found time and inclination to get back into cooking. When we first moved to Lincoln we left behind a huge kitchen and acquired the tiniest box ever. It made cooking a little more difficult and I got out of the habit of experimenting and simply hanging out in there. I'm glad to say that I've refound my vigour over the past few weeks.

Anyways, I have a couple more jobs to do before Friday is finished. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Back to serious work

So, having spent the past month living between Lincoln and Stockport (thanks Mum and Dad for being great hosts!) we are finally back at home and I have a month to do five different projects. I am managing my time very carefully right now using a cool new app called 30/30 which I would recommend to anyone trying to manage their hours effectively. I have got loads done already today and have squeezed in a tough workout (I have refound the wonderful Zuzana on youtube - her workouts are short but fierce!). Lunch is beckoning and I have to freeze a lot of meat during my lunchbreak. On Saturday D went all 'American grill' on me and smoked a piece of pork for 12 hours straight on his new BBQ. I am not a huge meat eater but it is absolutely amazing! And there are so many leftovers!

I am always relieved when a big sporting event finishes, especially the Olympics. It's been fun but I'm glad not to have to keep checking what's going on in the handball! In fact last night I deleted my London 2012 app from my phone. TV takes up considerably less of my time when there isn't 24 hr sport on. We are not very 'Team GB' in our house and my favourite moment of the games was Michael Phelps in the pool. He is just unbelievable and seems to be a genuinely nice chap. I guess the Brownlees' successes in the Triathlon were a close second. Alistair ran his 10K only 20 secs slower that Mo's. That is incredible!

Last night, in an attempt to avoid the horrors of the closing ceremony (opening ceremony was good, closing ceremony looked bad from the rumours so I steered clear - my Twitter feed this morning confirmed that this was a good plan), I sat back at read Neil Peart's (Rush drummer's) amazingly sad book Ghost Rider. It is great and extremely thought-provoking. I then cleaned the BBQ, tidied the bedroom and kept one eye of the golf (hoorah Rory!) which D enjoyed very much. Rock n' roll evening!

The month of August is completely clear. I have NOTHING in my diary at all. This is how I planned it (I've not just run out of friends, although...) as I really want to crack on with research work. I absolutely love my job and am just getting a taste of what my sabbatical is going to be like - long days with no distractions, an open Macbook, good music, tea and some real, manageable goals. It is a little duller outside today than it has been but the birds are happily jumping about so all is well.

Anyways, lunch beckons if I'm to keep on track for today. Lots of new articles and conference papers to bore you with are planned for this afternoon. I have finally started the article I have the funding for (probably a good idea to start that one!) and am loving the material. It is fascinating!

Hope everyone is having a good Olympic-free day.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Olympic obsession

Afternoon one and all,
Isn't it funny that when the Olympics come round you watch twenty times more telly than normal. The world's greatest sporting event actually compels you to be less active! D is still working for the Olympic family and I am still working my way through archival jolliness, so we are still between Manchester and Lincoln for the next week or so.

The archive has been amazing thanks to the good people of John Rylands (Manchester) and the wonderfully readable writing of Basil Dean who is fast taking over from Ewan MacColl in my affections. I am currently writing two papers on him and I love his work more and more. I am currently finishing a couple of old projects before starting on the next challenge. I remembered how much I loved my work this week!

But the most exciting moment of yesterday was getting snapped by the paparazzi in Wagamamas where Dad and I had gone to enjoy a bite of lunch. Unfortunately it was in the Daily Mail but even so. Here is the link. We are in the corner behind the guy in the blue anorak. As usual I had no idea who the 'famous' people were.

The next few days there will be more Olympics, the starting of a new article and a visit from our lovely Edinburgh friends. Life is a great deal of fun right now.