Ye gods, but I have worked like a dog today. A dog with a particularly difficult owner and no chance of a bone. My noble attempts to get the minutes done this morning were thwarted by the Professor worrying about bids and deadlines, and by the Registry wanting me to collate online documents into neat packages so they could worry about them in smaller chunks. Which I did whilst staring blearily at the computer screen and wishing my reading glasses were here already. Honestly, I think I'm going to invest in some matchsticks to keep my eyes open. And functioning.
In between all this, I did actually get the first draft of the minutes done. And on my boss's desk for checking, hurrah. I also managed to fit in a very pleasant tea & mince pies session at Student Advice at 3pm. Where the lovely Natacha - the new Student Advice staff member - told me she'd like a package of all my novels in the New Year and please could they be signed also. Of course!! Heck, you don't even have to ask - I will be delighted to sign whatever you want, m'dear, and will probably declare undying affection for you and a sudden urge to have your babies also. These requests don't come often, as you can see!... Not only that but Norma also kindly presented me with a pair of fluffy pink gloves and a woolly pink hat, as apparently she is desperate to get me out of navy and black. I hadn't realised I was quite such a dark and shady character across the campus as I stride around at lunchtime muttering to myself. Perhaps I'm scaring the students away?? Anyway, thank you for the influx of colour into my life, Norma - I'm feeling spring-like already.
And shock news of the day - Ruth's husband went in for a haircut after his boozy work lunch (always an error, I fear ...) and the barber misheard his request for a "Grade 5" as a "Number 5", so he now has a partial skinhead look. Which will make his role in the panto this year that much more interesting ... Ah well. Good to get the Christmas disaster over with early, is what I say.
At home, I have just finished the latest edition of Brittle Star magazine - fab as usual. It's one of the ones I really enjoy getting. I particularly liked Graham Mummery's "and He rested on the Seventh Day from all his Work" for its business cynicsm, Graham Fulton's "Chihuahua" for its classic scenario of mis-communication and Paul Campbell's "Guy on the moon" for its charm and simplicity. But it was the piece of short fiction by Sarah Passingham called "Ironing it better" which blew me away. It was so good, real and bleak that I actually started crying at the dinner table, was forced to stop, regroup, put down my cutlery and enjoy the punch-in-the-gut sheer bloody strength of it a second time, this time without eating. Which of course made me cry again, a situation which Lord H tried to improve by putting his napkin on his head and pretending to be a Mohican. Hmm, maybe we should get out more? Or possibly stay in more, so we frighten people less ... Anyway, Lord H's trick worked, but the feeling of Passingham's piece is still with me now. Fabulous.
Oh and Scott Pack has blogged about the two new Mighty Erudite poetry collections here - a thread which is well worth a read. He loved one and hated the other, which I can understand though actually I think both collections are wonderful for very different reasons. As I've said on the thread, I thoroughly enjoyed editing them. I'll certainly be buying both and look forward to reading them again without my "professional" hat on.
Today's nice things:
1. Fluffy pink gloves
2. Laughing at skinhead hairdos
3. Reading Passingham's work.