A fairly relaxed day today. It feels soooo good to get my luggage back. Everything feels much calmer, as if I’m really here now rather than being in transit. Hmm. Maybe I do attach too much importance to my things after all. But they’re my things. Thank goodness it’s counselling tomorrow, eh? I obviously need the input.
And the office is glad I’ve got my case, as it means I can finally donate the Madeiran honey cake to the National Office Cake Shortage Society. Hmm. It’s lovely too – even Ruth liked it, and she’s not usually a sweet-toothed gal. Carol too was glad of the extra snack input as she spent most of Monday and Tuesday not being able to get into her chocolate biscuit drawer which had jammed. Horror indeed. Luckily, Estates & Facilities treated it as an emergency and it was opened yesterday afternoon. Phew! We in Student Care Services are unable to care for our students without the proper culinary support, you know …
Oh, and I forgot to say that yesterday was especially nice as one of our students came in to thank the Dean for helping her through a bad year and therefore enabling her to get her degree and with two interviews lined up too. Fantastic! We so rarely get to hear the good news stories here – normally people only come in to complain. We were all quite choked up with the surprise of it all.
Meanwhile, back to today, I spent quite a while chatting (oh, sorry, networking) with the gals in the Student Advice Office, which made a nice change. We mainly chatted about holidays and religion & health. As you do. And what with term being over for now, we’re not too busy. Back at my desk we had a visitation from the delightful Melanie from Central HR, who’s apparently lined up to take over the care of Student Care Services once the HR restructuring is completed. Hey, we have an owner at last – hurrah! Mind you, now she’s met us, perhaps she’ll beg for a different job (please God, not Student Care Services - anybody but them!) …
On the novel front, Adam Pushkin of Queer Up North (http://www.queerupnorth.com/) seems interested in having a review copy of “A Dangerous Man”, so I’m hoping he might like it. Thanks hugely to gay author Jay Mandal (whose books are great fun and can be found on Amazon) for the tip-off!
Went for a much-needed walk (note to self: must get back into my exercise regime if only for the sake of my blood pressure!) round the campus at lunchtime. This afternoon, I have caught up with the AUA (Association of University Administrators - http://www.aua.ac.uk/) newsletters in all their various formats, so I am primed for their conference that I’m attending from Monday to Wednesday next week in Nottingham. Thank goodness I’ve got my case back, eh. Another couple of days and there would have been no real need to unpack the darn thing. It did amuse me that one of the AUA newsletters mentioned a recent study that’s been done on how many people have affairs during conferences (oh Lord, how clichéd can you be – really, people!!) but the editor put a little aside (as it were) at the end reassuring us all that such things would never happen at the AUA, of course! Phew, that’s a relief then. I need my beauty sleep, you know.
And a former colleague from my last job, Ronnie, rang up to catch up on the news, which was unexpected, and fun. He's a part-time consultant now as he's been retired for years, but his son, Alex Yearsley, is very knowledgeable in the diamond smuggling trade (in terms of being on the side of the law!) and was apparently involved in drafting some of the script for a new film, "Blood Diamond", which opened recently. As part of the perks, he was invited to the first night, took Ronnie as a surprise, and both of them got the Red Carpet Treatment, and ended up shaking Leonardo di Caprio's hand. Bloody hell, eh! I'm obviously not quite in the inner circle of fame and will have to try harder next time. Though I have to admit to not being able to stand L di C. Didn't tell Ronnie that though ...
Catching up on books I read whilst in Madeira:
1. "The Mystery at Folly Mill" by Justin Brooke (who may or may not be my grandfather, but how weird if it is) - nice pace of story, but very much "of its time", though with an interesting focus on the psychology of the characters rather than the action. Hmm ...
2. "Gravedigger" by Joseph Hansen. A gripping gay PI story, but the man simply can't write starts or endings from this sample of work. But I loved the characters (and the plot), which were very exciting and I shall definitely read more.
Tonight, I’m really hoping to do some writing as I desperately need to get back into it in a structured way rather than scribbling a few sentences round the edges of my life, as is happening at the moment. I miss it. Big time!!
Today’s nice things:
1. The hope that Adam at QUN might like Michael
2. Happy students
3. Writing – I hope!