I have been a very bad blogger and I hang my head! I have however found another blog so that I can vicariously enjoy Bulgaria; Auntie Bulgaria. It’s so well written, so refreshing and it written by a woman from Southsea! Small world.
It has been crazy busy at work. Our team of three has been diminished to two due to illness; Anna contracted pneumonia and is recuperating. Diane and I have been delivering embedded lectures, workshops as well as seeing students from 4 schools for 1-2-1 sessions. It has been insane; today was the final day of Uni and there were an inordinate number of hand ins. The very annals of the building smelt faintly of procrastinators sweat, coffee and old cigarette smoke. Students, dark rings adorning their prune juice eyes, either stumbling robotically towards the school office or frenetically dashing off final words on an electronic device of some kind.
It is a privilege to be able to read their work. Those who attend regularly, not just for our academic words of wisdom, the air of bonhomie, the intellectual banter; seeing their progress, the application of theories, the crafting of critically analytical conclusions, the ability to reflect, it is soul food. Sometimes it’s simply damage limitation but it is always an opportunity to hone existing skills and knowledge and learn some thing new. I get to read work from 4 disciplines and it both challenges and ignites me. I do suffer with busy head syndrome sometimes. The frottos of Carlos Scarpa, Augmented Reality in medical simulations, The efficacy of “previs” in CGI films, Ethics in Documentary Film Making, The Gaze and Gender, Dickens and Architecture. That’s what I have read about today! By 12:30 Diane and I shut up shop, almost unheard of and made our way to the less than salubrious local Weatherspoons in The Guildhall. I popped my Weatherspoons cherry and was surprised that it was packed solid; heaving with what I like to refer to as a “focus group” of the community rather than a random stratified demographic. But 2 meals for £7.20 was impressive, nothing special but edible. We tarried not and as soon the food had transitioned from plate to stomach we headed back for another gruelling afternoon session. Amalia of course is one of those students at another university. We’ve begun Skyping regularly which allows us to talk about her work; she’s had very positive feedback from her tutors and I had really missed being able to see what she’s doing. I get to see her too. I find telephone conversations difficult at the best of times because I can’t read expressions. She is happy, she’s thriving, truly loving life and she’s coming home for Christmas.
As I was preparing to finish and drive home to chill I get a call from Terry. The van won’t start, Claires not at home. Could I drive over to Hayling and jump start him? I tried to be pleasant about it but I found gritting my teeth and smiling made me sound churlish – Never! I drove over by which time I’d shrugged off my heels, undone my jeans and was ready to sit pretty in the car as Terry played mechanic. Then I forgot that Terry sees me as an equal; I had to get out of the car, barefoot and in the thinnest top you can imagine, trudge through what passes for a builders yard and scramble into Dirty Gertie. I had to navigate her out backwards as Terry pulled her with my poor old BMW so he could attach the jump leads. We are at home now monging in front of the TV. Terry physically shattered and me mentally, like a brain vampire has sucked me dry. Claires house is taking shape which is more than can be said for Roger, her Dad is again in hospital. Get better soon Roger!
Danielle has had her interview with Trinity St David and has been offered an unconditional offer. She has also been offered a conditional place from Liverpool, one of the 12 elite Russell group. The whole fam are very proud of her but Terry is proud as a peacock! We are driving Dani and Alfie up to Liverpool on the 16th of January to the open day. It’s going to be a hell of a day! It is probably the best kind of day for Terry though, behind the wheel of a moving vehicle 😉
William and I went to Monkey Business last weekend where he saw Santa in his grotto. Unbelievably sweet, he held a bashful but lengthy conversation with a Santa who was straight out of a Disney movie I became a cliche of a Grandma and attempted to take numerous pictures whilst toting a Mary Poppins type bag, coats, drinks a sappy look adorning my face and a shaking hand. It was ADORABLE!
And that leads nicely to the tree dilemma; should we get a Christmas tree? William proudly showed me the beautifully decorated Christmas tree that he and his Dad had decorated at their home. It nearly made me waver but I’m firmly in Grinch camp whilst Terry sways towards a real tree and incumbent pine needles, dog attacks and on a positive note the smell of pine. It is a matter under discussion but as we have bought only 1 present thus far I’m guessing it won’t be a real consideration! I did promise myself that I would get presents bought by October but hey shit happens!
The Uni had one of its rare sale of redundant equipment. Within an hour of posting a list 500 hundred requests were recorded, mine amongst them. I cheekily requested numerous items and then spend a nervous weekend wondering if I had been a tad voracious in my requests. Anyway I did get 2 Sony DV cams with Lithium batteries, double chargers, remote controls and snazzy shoulder straps and 6, yes 6 Wacom pads. Don’t ask, really don’t ask. And on that note I shall write off!