Over the weekend HD’s parents were staying, so we were out and about a bit with them. On Friday we went to the Falkirk Wheel (his dad is a retired engineer and had read about it in his journals but never seen it), and then on Saturday while I was marking (boo!) they explored Stirling Castle with HD. Saturday evening though we took them to a brilliant gig, Spiers and Boden (from Bellowhead) at the Tolbooth in Stirling. It was a great concert, we all really enjoyed it. Here’s a taster of what they sound like here on YouTube.
Yesterday we had a trip out to Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life. For a non-engineer, it was still pretty interesting, and the engineers among us enjoyed it too.
The in-laws left this morning, but my folks arrive tomorrow, so there will hopefully be more adventures to be had (if I ever finish the marking, argh).
No weekly weigh-in this week. The weighing had got a bit out of synch so I only weighed myself last Thursday; I’m trying to get back to Monday weigh-ins so will miss out today and start again next week. Which will hopefully give me a bit of time to repair the damage from meals out, whoops!
Heard this on the radio this evening and loved it, thought I’d leave it here as I’m bound to forget who it was otherwise. I love the original version too by Steve Winwood, this is very different but utterly beautiful:
James Vincent McMorrow ‘Higher Love’.
This highlights the ongoing destruction caused by the vile Donald Trump and his vanity project ruining the Aberdeenshire coast. It doesn’t seem to let us embed YouTube videos any more, so here’s the link:
Donald Trump does Bohemian Rhapsody.
Today I did a 5 hour revision tutorial for one of my OU modules, in conjunction with a couple of other tutors. We all started at the same time and were observed teaching by our line manager, which was a bit daunting (but luckily they didn’t tell us about this till yesterday so we didn’t have time to panic!). It went fine and we have all passed our probation period which is good.
The weather is really unpredictable at the moment. Before leaving I looked out the back and it was grey skies and gloom so I put on my big coat. I left the flat out the front door to find blue skies and sun, and nearly went back to change to a lighter coat. Thank goodness I didn’t because when I left the tutorial I was well and truly greeted by the rain. I did a (mercifully short) shopping trip to pick up an outfit for graduation, and this is the view pulling out of Central Station over the river this afternoon.
In honour of the town and the weather, here is a Glasgow classic song for you: Raintown.
More random artwork in our flat. I love the shadow here, and I love the thoughtful expression.
In other news, below (if I have worked out YouTube embedding properly) is a video for Autism Concern following a young guy called Alex. His mum (who also features) was in my class at school for many years, I’m very proud of her. I’m also very jealous, after all these years she doesn’t look a day older than when we were at school (which cannot be said for me).
Hmmm. The embedding thing seems to have disappeared. Never mind, here’s a link instead.
So, it’s that time of year again when Glasgow is THE place to be. The Celtic Connections Festival is here again, and as usual we have managed to get tickets for some (hopefully) cracking concerts. First up on Wednesday we headed to the Tron Theatre to see a folkie called Alasdair Roberts. We had seen him a couple of years ago as part of a gig with several other artists as part of the Mental Health Arts Festival and liked him, so we were happy to get the chance to see him headlining. If you kind of picture a geeky, lanky, beardy, untrendy maths teacher, he kind of looks like that (but less trendy), I was really expecting he’d have a rainbow guitar strap! But he’s a great musician, we enjoyed the gig very much indeed. Here’s a promo video of him in Ireland which gives you a good idea of what he does:
As usual with Celtic Connections, the support act is nearly always fantastic, I think I’ve only ever been to one or two gigs where I thought they were OK but nothing amazing, usually you feel like you’ve got your money’s worth just with the support act, and then you have the headline act still to go! This gig was no exception, we really liked the support act and the audience really warmed to him, he had fantastic presence. He was the Cameroonian singer Muntu Valdo, who is well worth checking out:
Good news: we have water in the right places (taps) and no longer in the wrong places (pouring from the ceiling). This is a picture I took earlier, just before the water finally stopped, there’s a full set of pictures here. The plumber was initially mystified by the downpour and couldn’t work out where it was coming from. Fortunately (errrrr…) the built up water burst through the ceiling in the hall while he was directly underneath, and therefore afforded him a really clear view of the burst pipe, so it was then fixed really quickly. The poor guy was drenched! I didn’t laugh (much) – actually it is quite scary to think that if the burst had been only a few inches further along the collapsed ceiling would be in our bedroom rather than the other side of the dividing wall. So I am grateful for small mercies. I have had the headache from hell today, probably unsurprisingly, but it is gradually easing and I should be able to put the final finishing touches to the thesis tomorrow in time for submission on Monday.
In other news, I have been really enjoying the films of various flashmobs people have been posting on facebook. It reminds me of years and years ago at madchurch, at one of the big evening celebrations, they did what we now know as a flashmob in the middle of a service, with a whole crowd throughout the congregation doing a dance to “The Happy Song” (who remembers that?! – by the forerunners of delirious?). That was so fantastic (kerensa, were you there?). Anyway, here are a couple of my favourite recent flashmobs. First up, the Hallelujah Chorus (I think this was in Paisley, near Glasgow, last month):
And secondly, how fantastic is this?! Clog-dancing in Newcastle (it’s worth enlarging the video in the link). I particularly liked the 5 guys from about 2 mins 40 seconds in: clog-dancing. Enjoy!
Today is HD’s birthday (and yes it does have a 0 on the end!). We are being gentle and middle-aged and pottering about (and trying out our shiny new washing machine, delivered this morning), and having a curry with friends this evening. The birthday adventure is next weekend (I expect photos will be taken, it’s going to be fantastic, but I will leave you in suspense at that).
It is so nice that the entire flat isn’t shuddering (accompanied by random crashings and bangings) during a spin cycle.
Between now and next weekend’s adventure, I am going on another adventure as the conference I have mentioned occasionally over the last few months is nearly upon us and I am off to Sweden tomorrow. I give my talk first thing (I mean really 1st thing, 8.30am!) on Tuesday, which is the first full day of the conference. It has such a big programme, there are 22 other panels going on the same time as mine, so I am really not sure anyone will come to ours! But it will be more good experience, and I’m planning on taking a bit of time to explore the city while I’m there (note to Ian: I don’t think this *quite* counts as a jolly as it’s not all expenses paid (I won some funding for part of the costs but not all of them), but it will be good to get away and I do intend to do some playing as well as working so it is jolly-like I guess!).
I have been preparing for this, my first trip to Sweden, thanks to the power of the interwebz.
Bork bork bork!
As a bit of light relief from my whingeing, here are a few links and things.
So I met with my line manager, and she has said that I can move to 4 days a week from May. Thank you for your supportive messages, I appreciated them all very much.
A friend posted this on facebook and I just had to share, I challenge you to watch it and not smile: