Thursday, 19 December 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...marking, books etc etc

Christmas used to mean lots of performing. Now (other than the beautiful obvious) it means lots of catch up work. I have a pile of marking to do. Today I finished all the Musicals essays which at least makes a dent in it. The Wicked and Newsies soundtracks (neither of which I have listened to since week 5 as I was getting a bit sick of musicals by then!) kept me company. Other than that, the next few days will look something like this:

Finishing the Book. Yes, I have just two more days before my self-imposed Book deadline. It is nearly there actually. I just need to check that everything is sorted.
Cleaning the house. If you are an academic reading this then you will understand exactly what I mean when I say that my house looks like a week11 house! I sorted my office out yesterday. Tomorrow I tackle the house!
Reading inspiring blogs. At this time of year, thoughts turn to new year goals. I'm working my way through some really interesting blogs right now from folks all over the world. People do some really amazing stuff!
Wrapping pressies. A job I am utterly rubbish at!
Writing a guest blog post.
Finishing GSP. Yes, Saturday is not only the day I finish the book; it is also the day that I finish my GSP fitness schedule Rushfit. It has been pretty tough and I had a bit of a gap in the middle where my body decided that it would only cope with cycling and walking for a bit. But I will have completed it on Saturday.
Riding Tommy. Last time before Christmas.
Watching the end of Borgen. I am going to be so sad to goodbye to Birgitte.

And that's about it. Quietly determined to have a proper break over Christmas. I have a pile of work to do (mostly fun) but I think I need some time out. Even when you really like your job, you still need to switch off for a few days and come back refreshed. To be honest, the thought of not having to wake up at 5.20 each morning is rest enough for me.

Whether I'll post before Christmas or not will depend on whether I get all my jobs done so I'll say 'Happy Christmas' now just in case.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Nearing the end of term

While November was a busy month, December seems to have been equally packed with fun and frolicking. So far this month:

1) I have given an invited talk at the University of Hull, Scarborough. This was a really fun event and gave me the opportunity to visit a town I hadn't been to before. I really liked Scarborough and even had the privilege of visiting the Edith Sitwell's birthplace Woodend. I stayed at the Crown Spa (much recommended) and ate Yorkshire curd tarts (equally recommended). The journey back was a little more exciting than it should have been due to the weather. Everyone in the world seemed stuck at York station for a couple of hours!
2) I have done lots of marking...and there is a ton more to come! It all adds up to about 70 separate pieces of work to mark - phew!
3) I have been back on Radio Lincolnshire as part of the lunchtime debate show. We discussed flooding, Mandela, bicycles and Christmas trees...all the big issues of the day.
4) I have travelled over to Manchester for a couple of real annual leave days with the parents. This included a jolly meal out with extended family (including my marvellous 93 year old grandad) and a day trip to the spa at Mottram Hall.
5) I have visited an academic I have admired for many years in Sheffield and he was every bit as interesting and gracious as I thought he'd be. Days out like this one confirm that I am in the world's greatest profession.
6) I have watched two films: the new Wolverine (very good romp) and a fantastic movie about air drumming. I have finished James Robertson's And the Land Lay Still (brilliant, amazing etc etc) and am currently on to EM Forster's Howard's End. We are still watching Borgen (gets better and better).

...and that's about it, I think! And now Christmas is around the corner. We have lots of exciting trips, travels, events and meet ups planned, although I am hoping for a) some rest time and b) some space to write this new article on John Piper.

Well, I'm off to carry on proofreading the new book which I'm hoping to submit by the end of the week. Yes, I know it's a Saturday.