Sent round the poetry review email for “A Stranger’s Table” (http://www.poetrymonthly.com) this morning to the usual suspects and have had one promise to buy (hurrah!) but no actual sales as yet (groan). But the University Arts Office want to have a picture and some blurb for their summer calendar, so I’d better make sure my parting is straight and my teeth are in. Talking of looking nice, as a special treat, I have put new pictures of happy, cared-for students on the Student Care Services site as I was bored with the same old faces. Ha! That’ll fool ’em …
And at lunchtime, we had our special Vice-Chancellor chat (warning to those not in Education – never, ever attend a V-C’s chat expecting good news; it’s like being in the army in a war zone in the ’90s and seeing Kate Adie reporting. You know you’re in deep shit …). Anyway, he told us we were all basically “at risk” and even those who hadn’t yet got their gloom & misery letters (ie me) would be getting them shortly, probably. So it looks like I might be a “Phase Two” loser and have to reapply for my job sometime next academic year. But it’s hard to tell – as his delivery was so fast he could probably have taken off and reached Mars without the aid of a touch-paper or a naked flame – especially as in one breath he said that Student Care Services would have very few changes and then in the next breath he said all admin staff were pretty risky. Hell, we knew that anyway. In so many ways. Anyway, it does beg the question whether the Government will one day introduce a system where somewhere between the ages of 40 and 50, you actually have to take time out and reapply for your own life. Hmm, such a measure would certainly give many pause for thought indeed. Ah well, in the meantime, I shall lie low and wait for my letter. Or the Great White Hunter. One of the two. But where, oh where, will I find another part-time job that pays so nicely and keeps me in floppy disks? Lord, how I hate change!
Ooh, and it’s also interesting that the V-C gave his spiel whilst flanked by the entire membership of the Executive Board. Did he think we would riot and tear him limb from limb? Hmm, perhaps we should have... And I’ve never seen such a terrifyingly similar contingent of middle-aged, middle-class, white-haired, grey-suited gents all at one table. Don’t they offer executive posts to women at all? Or to men without M&S expense accounts? Just as the University is about to embark on the Gender Equality survey too. The mind boggles …
But, far and away today’s worst news is the fact that I have LOST AN EARRING. This, for those of you keeping up with my psychotic earring traumas, is one of my gold hoop ones that I was given when I had my ears pierced on my 16th birthday – a present from my mother whom I’d been nagging for years about it. On the day, she’d even arranged specially to bring out of retirement the man who’d pierced her ears when she first moved south to marry my father. Which basically meant that my ears were pierced by a silver-haired, trembling-handed 120-year-old corpse who could barely see the chair he was sitting on, let alone my ear. My mother’s always been such a romantic at heart. I of course was terrified. Still, I have to say that he did do an ace job, and I’m extremely sorry to have lost one of those earrings now, over 26 years after getting them. And I’m especially traumatised as it now means I will have to wear other earrings which aren’t them – and I’ve (for reasons I still can’t explain) been wearing these gold hoop ones for months now as I can’t bear the thought of putting others in. I shall definitely get some replacements though as they’re the ones I also sleep in, as they don’t prick my neck like dangly earrings or studs, and I can’t not wear any overnight as the hole is then in danger of closing up, particularly if I’m ill. And how Lord H hates the sight of me rejabbing my ears if the piercings ever do close up – he has to leave the room and sit groaning quietly in a corner for a while. Still, at least I have the unlost earring, so I should be able to match it fairly well.
Ooh, and at home, the lovely Andrew Taylor (http://www.andrew-taylor.co.uk), award-winning crime writer, has kindly given me a few words on “A Dangerous Man” (http://www.flamebooks.com): “The novel was very interesting and unusual, a dark and chilling parable about art, love and murder.”
Thanks, Andrew – I really appreciate that. Hugely.
Tonight, I’m planning to watch the second half of the wonderful “Instinct” on TV. I was utterly gripped by it yesterday and am desperate to know what happens. Love the two main characters too – can’t imagine what the critics meant about them not being likeable. Utter tripe – they’re great!
Today’s nice things:
1. Nearly selling a copy of “A Stranger’s Table”
2. Laughing at the Executive Board clones
3. Andrew Taylor’s review of ADM.