What have I been up to recently?
Well, I enjoyed my new found driving freedom and popped over to neyrissa's new house in Emerson's Green one evening. Its a lovely house. Its very civilised in Emerson's Green, and peaceful, but I'm not sure if I would choose to live there. There are houses to suit all budgets yet somehow all the houses look the same. Everything seems sanitised, prescribed. There's a supermarket where everyone goes shopping, and an entertainment complex where everyone enjoys themselves...people go to work, do their shopping, go to the cinema...am I making sense? I can't think of an eloquent way of putting it but there's something creepy about it...like some sort of scary futuristic world where everyone's life follows a pattern determined by the government. Am I bonkers or does anyone else get this impression?
I gave a paper at a conference in Bristol. That went well and people were surprisingly interested to hear about astral bodies and death in nineteenth century esotericism. The best bit was the socialising. Its good at these conferences when nobody knows anybody else, because you meet people, but there was a scary moment at the beginning of a social where everyone had already "paired up" and I was left wondering how I was going to break into someone's conversation so I didn't have to be the only person standing alone.
I also went to Exeter, where I had an interview to make sure everything was on track. I also went to a course on academic plagiarism (no, not how to do it, how to avoid it) and one on creative thinking in research.
I stayed with joysilence again, which was fun. I discovered that for some bizarre reason I am not allergic to Gordon her lovely cat so I spent some time making a big fuss of him. I like lap cats. If you like cats, check out www.catsinsinks.com.
Last weekend we visited Rs folks up in Brecon, which meant walks in lovely mountainous places. This was great for me as I desparately neede to get out into the countryside. I feel like I've been cooped up too long this winter.
Then on Monday we went to the Slimbridge wetlands centre, which is home to many varieties of wetland bird. R took the opportunity to take some photos. The best ones, I thought, were the flamingoes. Some of them were very bright indeed.
I've been thinking about selling my violin and buying a new one. I tried a few in Bath and liked one and I tried a few in Bristol and liked one. I'm quite excited about this.l I've never liked the sound of my fiddle, depite the fact that it is a very good one. This has meant that I haven't been that keen on playing but it was so much fun to play and have a good sound come out.
I'm doing another conference tomorrow, which is good and bad. Bad because I haven't been feeling all that well and have a feeling I might be worse tomorrow. I might have to take a load of painkillers and grin and bear it.
Immediately afterwards we've got to go to London. On route to my parents, we've got to drop something off and pick something else up, in two different places, which means we'll be arriving late at night and absolutely whacked.
On Sunday its my dad's sixtieth birthday party. I can't believe he's sixty. Seems like yesterday he was fifty. I'm looking forward to it as we'll be seeing family friends I haven't seen for years.