Friday, 7 July 2017

Our America trip and the summer begins

Term came to an end and I battled through the marking (some good stuff actually - was pretty proud of many of the great students I taught this year). And then, it was off to Western US for a trip we have been looking forward to for some time. A good few years ago, when we started travelling about, D mentioned that he would love to take his mum and dad on a trip to show them some of the special places we love. Well, finally we managed to make this trip. We began in the heat of Las Vegas, journeyed up to Joshua Tree for the saloons and cowboys, spent a week in LA for Hollywood glamour and chilled out beaches, finally saw some whales in the wild (something I have spent a decade trying to do!) in Monterey, and finished in San Francisco. It was quite a trip! Terrific to spend time with two folks we love so much and to share so many special places with them. If you are interested then the photos are in the 'photos' section of the blog. Here is a lovely one of the amazing Valley of Fire National Park to get you started!

We got back from the trip and I went straight into two mammoth weeks of meetings, writing, trips and conferences. I am pretty chuffed to say that we won two awards for the on going wrestling project: a Being Human Grant so we can host a great event in November and a DMUEngage award to pay for the Spring events. We are so chuffed that organisations see the worth in this project and are willing to support it financially. I then headed straight off to the British Association of Modernist Studies Conference in Birmingham. It was a fun combination of great research, dinners out and chats with friends. 

This week has slowed down a bit and finally I can get to my summer research projects. I am so excited to begin these projects. Have a good lot to do between now and our next summer trip to Tokyo in September! But I am trying to take things slowly and carefully, playing around with new scheduling systems and things. This time of year is just brilliant and really sets me up (in a research sense at least) for the rest of the year. 

Hope, wherever you are, that you are enjoying happy days and focusing on the good.