Thursday, 28 March 2013


So, since my last post Spring has not arrived. This means that I have marked dissertations under my duvet rather than outside in my sunglasses with a cool drink and the dulcet tones of Radio 4 in the background. This is absolutely not good at all. While riding last Saturday I was so cold that my fingers stopped working; Tommy was deeply unimpressed by the whole thing too. Coupled with this, I finally got sick last week and, due to general chilliness, I seem unable to fully shift it.

As you might be able to tell I am a little grumpy about all this...

On the plus side, term is over and writing has begun in earnest. The 'Can I Write a Journal Article in a Month?' project is coming on. I now have over 6000 words which is rather brilliant, although I am not sure if any of the actual words are brilliant. I'll work on it for the next four days (discounting Sunday) and then leave it for a week to cogitate before deciding whether it is really ready for peer-review. Strangely, this week has been one of academic disappointments and failures; not huge things but big enough to make a difference. It has got me thinking more about failure which is, I guess, the other side to striving for excellence. No striving, no failure. But you get mediocrity instead which is, when I look at it in the clear light of day (oh, wait, the clear chilly dullness of a grey Lincolnshire Spring morning) ten times worse. So I will plod on regardless and continue striving for what I believe in and what I think is important.

In other news I have watched the second Sherlock Holmes movie again (as always, enjoyed it better the second time), have got into Homeland (it has grown on me and now we are quite gripped), read the first third of Terry Eagleton's magnificent Reason, Faith and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (I will write a full review of this soon so I won't spoil it. Suffice to say, it is beautiful and has so far made me laugh out loud at least five times and cry a little bit. Not bad for a crit theory book), done a couple of good workouts (including Trish Stratus' yoga DVD yesterday and don't my abs know it), drunk a number of soy lattes from our new on campus coffee shop and finally seen the bottom of my washing basket.

So I guess things are really good with moments of greyness...if only our weather could work that way round!


Friday, 8 March 2013

An interesting week

It has been a week of ups and downs, downs which should have been ups and ups that, by rights, should have been downs. Life is a fascinating ride!

In less oblique news, the journal article I mentioned in my last post (hitherto known as Project 'Can I Write A Whole Article From Scratch In A Month?) has had a remarkably fruitful day. I have written a little over 2000 words this afternoon. Phew! My brain knows it too! Suddenly, after days of dancing around it, this impossible project seems possible. I've also been working on a number of applications for different bits and pieces. All have now been sent off and, ignoring for a few hours my inbox full of emails from poor stressed out third years battling their dissertations, I actually nearly have a clear desk before the weekend. Good job really as my house looks like a bomb site! With everything else that has been going on this week, I simply have not had time or inclination to properly deal with it. This is my next job.

Spring seems to have been delayed this year and the crocuses in my garden are looking decidedly grumpy about it all. Even the ducks seem a little under the weather - I think they want some sun on on their backs too. We still have our heat on full in the evenings with is just wrong for March. As well as all this we have been watching a few films, catching up with the wrestling (road to Wrestlemania has started so expect some wrestling posts between now and then), listening to a wonderful couple talk about their summer move to Tanzania and enjoying (term used advisedly) the Champions League football. D continues to work super hard. He is not getting back until 7.30 tonight...on a Friday! He left at 6.30 this morning. This is not an unusual day for us right now! We have, however, booked our summer holiday to Abu Dhabi and Sri Lanka. How lovely it will be! Before that I am off to the less salubrious (but equally lovely?) Birmingham this week to speak at the Northern Modernism Seminar at the University. Not only that but I get to stay over with one of my bffs in Shrewsbury. Hoorah! Should be a good trip. The panel is unbelievable and it is a privilege to be speaking alongside all those great scholars.

Tomorrow I'll be crashing round the house desperately trying to tidy up, riding my sweet horsie Tommy (hopefully not in the snow, though it is forecast) and welcoming our dear friends and family to Nocton for the day. We haven't seen them in ages and can't wait to catch up.

Until next time,


p.s. this entire post was written to the sounds of our naughty mouse friend who lives in the walls of our house although we've never actually seen him. He does make a racket though when he wants to!