Category Archives: random

Out of the mouths of babes …

It’s easy when you’re aware of all that’s wrong in the world to feel despondent. But two things I’ve read over the last week have warmed my heart.

In the aftermath of the controversial vote in the Church of England’s General Synod to continue with the status quo and not consecrate women bishops, my facebook and twitter feeds have been full of disappointment and hurt. I think quite a few of my readers know @RevArun from twitter, I read this and I have to say in the midst of the gloom it raised a smile:

“Just been told my 4 year old daughter’s response was to shout “it’s a disgrace” on being told of #synod result by my wife.”

And then I read a blog post which brought a tear to my eye. Dianne is someone who started commenting on my old Glasgow photo blog a few years ago, and when I returned to her blog to say thank you I loved her blog and her writing and her take on life, and she has become one of my favourite online buddies. The last few years the blog has been enhanced with the regular adventures and words of wisdom of her granddaughter Hope. A couple of weeks ago Dianne and her family and neighbourhood were in the midst of coping with Hurricane Sandy, which was a real worry, and she talked a bit about it on the blog once she got power back. The last word though has to go to Hope: 3 year old wisdom.

It’s so easy to be cynical the longer you see the world and some of the numpties who run it, but these two examples of strong, cool girls have given me so much hope that the future can be better.

Radio silence

My poor neglected blog! Apologies (to my one remaining reader) for radio silence, it’s not that nothing’s been happening, just that work etc has been busy busy busy so nothing interesting is happening 🙂

Work is going well, I’m really enjoying it, but it is very full on (which is good) and I’ve had to do a fair few evening interviews recently. What is good is that I am building enough time in lieu to be able to leave an hour early a few times a week and go to the gym; this and the diet is (generally) going well and I only have another few pounds to go and I’ll have lost a stone from when I was at my heaviest earlier this year. So that’s good.

My two OU courses have started up again, so that’s all extra work, and they have asked me to consider taking on another one, just for one year while the regular tutor has a sabbatical, starting in February 2013. Good points would be: level 3 and public health course would look great on my CV, even if it is only a year; the money would be welcome of course; the course is interesting; and because it runs from Feb-Oct and my other courses are Oct-June it means that I would still have a bit of extra money coming in over the summer (I know I have my job so it’s not like I’m not paid at all for those three months, but I do notice each summer when I don’t get paid for the OU work). Less good points would be: I’m working full-time and doing two OU courses on top of that, and there would be 5 months where this one would overlap with those; I’m knackered and would like to have a bit of a life despite loving what I’m doing. I’m not sure which way I’ll choose yet – but anyway it was nice to be asked, it was a little bit of affirmation which never goes amiss.

I now have the week off work, but will mainly be trying to write an article (I have signed up to #acwrimo or academic writing month on twitter, to try and get myself into gear for getting myself published; this is really important to me both professionally and personally). So I’ll probably be going back to work for a break! But anyway it *is* nice to not have to get up at 6am and deal with Scotrail for a few days, and I will make sure I go out for a good brisk walk each day, weather permitting.

Best search term ever

“pictures of foot fungus that look like brockley”.

I mean, where do you even start?! Why? As a former district nursing staff nurse and former Brockley resident, it just appealed to me on so many levels.

In other news, today we discovered a nearby blackberry source along the short cut we use to get to the library (this is good as the bramble I planted in the front garden has been somewhat swamped by what I fear might be ground elder, so isn’t doing as well as it could). So I picked 2kg worth today – 5 hours later my hands and arms are still stinging because as well as being scratched as usual by the brambles, a lot of them were growing in the midst of some particularly vicious nettles. It will be so worth it though when it comes to the jam/crumble/flapjack making (that’s a news item for the long-time readers of this blog).

The art of the compliment

So HD showed me his old ID photos tonight, from uni, young person’s railcard etc – all of them from the late 80s/early 90s.

Me, looking at his uni library card: You look completely different in this one! I like it, you look really nice.

Him: *you can imagine the look*

I think it came out wrong. Whoops.

Mystery CD

Last year someone sent me a random CD and I have never ever found out who sent it (if it was you, thank you!).

Today another CD arrived in the post, with no note or anything. I have no idea if it is from the same person or someone else – this time it is a worship CD, by the Rend Collective Experiment (I must admit I have never heard of them – will listen to it soon). If it is from you, thank you – please do identify yourself!

And whilst we’re on the subject of signs of hope …. 🙂

[seen last Thursday from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. We’re certainly in need of some signs of hope with the weather we’ve been having!]

What with one thing and another we’ve not had the best time recently. But this arrived at the end of last week from HD’s sister, a belated housewarming present. I’d like to think it’s a sign 🙂

I’m doing more work-related travelling the next week or so then we have a holiday (argh, note to self, book B&B!!!!). I’m looking forward to some chilled us-time.

More radio silence

I would love that the latest week+’s radio silence is for as interesting a reason as the last one (see last post) but sadly I’ve not really done much that is particularly blog-worthy. Last week I was down south in Sheffield doing some preliminary observations for my new research prior to starting interviews soon. I really enjoyed the experience, though I had picked up a tummy bug which meant that I had to keep dashing to the ladies’, and that really wiped me out, I was shattered! Just back to work this week, and today I was taking some time out to speak at a doctoral training seminar jointly arranged by my former department, it was really nice to catch up with some people from there and think specifically about language issues in research. Unfortunately after delivering my bit of the seminar I had a bit of a wobble health-wise so had to leave and come home, I was really disappointed as I had been looking forward to it for ages, and the discussion in the first couple of hours before I left was fascinating, but I am now feeling better so hopefully that will be the end of that.

Next week the travelling for work starts in earnest, I am really looking forward to interviewing again (though was reflecting on today’s topic and thinking that interviewing in English will feel really odd!). I really love this bit of the research, and the next bit (analysing and writing it up) – I am so lucky to have this job. I’m very grateful for it, and for good supportive colleagues. Remind me of this when I’m moaning about all the travelling!

Spot the plane

We went down to the wood again today, the bluebells were well and truly out! Here are some snaps:

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While we were there a small low-flying plane flew overhead, I had my camera so pointed it up and was sure I’d caught it between the trees. Obviously I didn’t time it quite right – see if you can see it!

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