Thursday, 28 February 2013

A quick break from my brain

After finishing an article this morning and then making changes to the Introduction for the next book, I have spent the afternoon thinking about whether I can write an entire journal article in a month and half for a special edition on modernist performance. Despite two hours of thinking and scribbling, I am no closer to finding an answer to the question so I thought I'd take a quick break for a blog post and see if that doesn't clear things up. It would be quite an undertaking on top of everything else so I want something that a) won't take too long to write b) I have done most of the research for and c) I feel might fit into another project just in case I don't make the deadline. I may have stumbled across something...

Life here continues apace. It is nearly March! Today the sun is shining and the ducks have been laughing themselves silly for most of the day. I have hung washing out for the first time this year! I am more than delighted that Spring is on the way. More than ever, I am totally done with Winter! University life is very busy, by and large, with lots of teaching and extra bits and pieces. We've still had time for some fun though, including a rather lovely trip to Derbyshire with Mum, Dad, Smelly and Stu for Smelly's birthday. Hot tubs, massages and runs through the forest were the order of the day. Just lovely! D and I have watched a few films and have got back into season two of Treme after a bit of a break. He's been reading lots and lots on his long train rides; I've been reading books on theatre historiography when I've had the time! I have a pile of fun books to read which I'm looking forward to getting to at some stage. We've been discussing holidays and have so far drawn a blank although D seems to have a few ideas as of last night. Last week we had a friend to stay who is a missionary in Papua New Guinea and had amazing, inspirational stories to tell.

Other than that, things continue as normal here in Lincoln. I've been returning to one of my favourite topics recently: planning. Formal planning forces us to think about what it is we want to do, what we are qualified for, what our dreams are. I love it! My current plan is coming together well and, for the first time in a long time, has specific aims and objectives even if they are not necessarily entirely in my power. Perhaps more on that when I finish it.

Anyways, my currently untitled document is beckoning me back so I had better add up the weeks and see if this rather mad project is even doable.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Chaos and peace

If I have to fill in one more funding application I might go mad! It is silly season in academia land where all the deadlines come at once. At least I can cross some of them off my list today! Anyways, I have combined funding admin with book chapter writing (the next one is just about done), dissertation proofreading for my students, teaching and reading lots of Auden. Life is quite peculiar just now as one day I am running around like a mad thing at uni and the next (e.g. today) I am busily writing at my wee desk in rural Lincolnshire. It is a little like having two lives! Next week is Reading Week and we get to welcome the next intake for interviews. It makes for a chaotic but jolly fun five days.

Apart from work, life is relatively quiet. I enjoyed some time on my horsie Tommy on Saturday and we've watched a few films. We've also been catching up with Borgen, my current favourite show. It is brilliant. I love Birgitte. I've enjoyed some workout time with my punchbag - D recently put together a new mix tape (or the C21 equivalent anyways) for my workouts with a selection of tunes, many of which are wrestling related. Talking of wrestling, here is a wee picture of me presenting at the recent conference in Bordeaux.

All in all that's about it really. Tonight will go: workout, shower, dinner prep, D comes home, eat dinner, make pancakes, watch RAW, read new book about an athlete called Kathryn Bertine (really excellent), get ready for a chaotic Wednesday, snooze. It really is all rock n' roll here.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Wrestling both on and off the page

My trip to France was really excellent. I started the week feeling unusually anxious about it, wondering whether my GCSE French would enable me to even get to the venue, let alone allow me to understand anyone. Actually, it was a wonderful trip - very relaxed indeed, some truly excellent scholarship and some amazing food. I ate at least two delicious pastries every day! It made me realised that my interest in pro-wrestling and performance is actually a legitimate scholarly pursuit. Expect some articles out in the near future. Bordeaux is a beautiful city and I visited all the major attractions, despite the freezing cold weather. After the conference, I had the whole of Saturday to drink lots of coffee and simply wander about. I also (and trust me, this is quite unlike me) did a little clothes shopping, a complicated business when you can't quite fathom the sizes or how the discounts system works. On my flight home, I finished the original book version of Les Miserables, truly a novel that will stay with me for the rest of my days. Hugo was a genius! It is better than the musical and the recent film.

As well as that I have been working on a standalone book chapter on fascism and theatre (nearly done), faffing about (e.g. editing) the second chapter of the Book, and teaching futurism which has been very jolly. I am always surprised (and grateful!) that the students run with the ideas and documents on the Modern European Drama course. If you don't enter this course with an open mind then you are simply done.

Apart from that I have been getting better with my punchbag, drinking lots of soy lattes from our new campus cafe, watching the first episode of the new Stephen Poliakoff series Dancing on the Edge (despite his pretentiousness I really love Poliakoff) and rewatching the rather good boxing film Reel Steel, excellent not simply because Hugh is in it but also because it has a rather engaging story and some pretty great boxing moves.

Anyways, lunch beckons before an afternoon with Kermode and Mayo's film review and chapter 3. How I love days like these! I think I enjoy them even more than I did when I was on sabbatical as now they are interspersed with teaching days - individual scholarship and inspirational pedagogy...wicked combination.