Friday, 29 January 2016

Australia-bound but working first

I was buying my coffee from my friendly local independent cafe yesterday and we both reflected on January as a month that has just flown by! So, what have the Wardens been up to?

Well, to be honest, from my perspective, it has been a pretty work-oriented month. After submitting the Book on the 5th, I went on to submit the next project on the 18th. This is an co-edited collection entitled Performance and Professional Wrestling. Even though it has only just been submitted, it already has its own Amazon page! According to Amazon we are looking at a mid-July release date...Amazon is the fount of all knowledge about this sort of stuff, right? And then just this week I submitted a book chapter for a collection called Literature: an introduction to theory and analysis. The chapter is simply called 'Performance' and tries to explain this very tricky concept in 4500 words. Phew! And today I've been working on my paper for my talk in Edinburgh next week and I've returned to a journal article on Raymond Williams that I need to write by April. So, there is a lot going on. I knew these few months were going to be busy with work and I have June in my head as a month which will be quieter and give me a chance to catch my breath and think about the next steps.

So, anything else? Well, D has been looking at cars as our lease is up. If you know D then you'll know that he takes things like this very seriously. And (the big news) we booked a wonderful holiday to Australia. Ever since I was a Neighbours-obsessed teenager I've wanted to go to Australia. We have an amazing trip planned involving diving, horses and koalas. Cannot wait! Other than that our January has been pretty quiet with just books, swimming, yoga and the occasional film (including the really super Star Wars) to interrupt. This means I am getting a lot done right now and, when I'm not teaching, days are really pretty focused and full.

Anyways, a peaceful weekend ahead and then a big trip up north next week. Looking forward to going back to my alma mater - only hope I can be half as entertaining and sparky as most of the visiting speakers I enjoyed during my time in Edinburgh!


Friday, 8 January 2016

Welcome to 2016

The end of 2015 came and went and I can't believe it is actually 2016. So what has happened since my last post?

Well, I taught my first term at De Montfort and all went well. It's all taken a bit of getting used to but I've enjoyed getting to know the new students and spending time with my new colleagues. The commute to Leicester is easier than the commute to Lincoln! I've found a local indie coffee shop and a terrific veggie Indian restaurant. So all is well.

I had a great trip to the Modernist Studies Association Conference in Boston. At the last minute D realised he could get the time off to come with me. It was lovely to explore a new city with him, as well as spend time at an amazing conference. We went to see the Bruins play hockey and the Celtics play basketball, walked the Freedom Trail and visited some beautiful Revolutionary battlefields. On our final day we had a rather wonderful experience of listening to the Boston Phil play a concert of Wagner's music at Harvard University. All in all, it was a pretty special time and I managed to eat lobster every day which made this fish fan very happy indeed. If you want to see exactly what we got up to then click on the photos tab above.

We've enjoyed gigs (Steve Hackett at De Montfort Hall, and Whitesnake/Def Leppard in Nottingham), films and books. The cultural highlight of these months has been 'Breaking Bad'. So, I had decided not to watch join D in watching this series the first time round. I was a little worried about the ethics of a show that, I thought, would celebrate the drug industry. Actually I was entirely wrong about it and, once I'd got past the bath tub scene in series 1 (you know the one!), I really enjoyed it. I have become a bit of a Bryan Cranston fan - he is astonishing in this series! And I have done lots of swimming, HIIT and yoga. I've also been exploring new ways of eating which has been really fun - lots of veggies!

I didn't finish at university until the 21st which is very late by university standards. Then off we went to Cardiff, Edinburgh and Aberdeen for Christmas and New Year. A good time had by all. We spent some lovely days with the family, including our fab nieces and nephews. On the 5th January, after some final faffing about with citation admin, I finally submitted the new book to Palgrave MacMillan. 'Migrating Modernist Performance: British theatrical travels through Russia' will be out later this year.

The next few months see a lot of new deadlines coming my way - chapters, articles and projects. Teaching will carry on apace too. I also have talks booked in Nottingham and Edinburgh and, come May, Rennes. We are already starting to think about our summer adventures which, for me, will include a trip to Russia. Life is pretty busy and full until June when things slow down a bit. I have booked a couple of weeks of deep thinking so I can decide on new research directions and potential future projects. I've realise that for the past few years I have just rattled on without really taking any time out to think about things. I'm planning on changing that this summer.

Anyways, I hope that 2016 treats you all well wherever you are in this beautiful world.