Goodness me, but what a long way it is to York. A jolly long way. And even further back - did they make the M1 longer while I was up there?? I wouldn't put it past them. Anyway I had a surprisingly good time at the AUA Conference - it might even have been, on a personal level, the most enjoyable one so far. Partly because hey, it's York. And in the sunshine, it's an amazing city. I also teamed up with Miv and the rest of the gang from Surrey wherever possible, which made networking less terrifying, frankly. Networking is much like DIY, I suppose - if you can't do it alone (and I can't - in both cases), then do it together. As they say. Also the food on the Gala Dinner tonight (Tuesday) was fabulous and (typical Yorkshire) there was lots of it. Hurrah! There's nothing worse than Nouvelle Cuisine, in my opinion, which is simply another way of saying Not Enough Food. I also sat at the table which won the champagne, so - hick! - we were all right, Jack.
Oh, and the seminars were good too - I even got quite inspired at the ideas for alternative media for reaching students. Goodness, somebody pass me the normality pills. Though I could have done with more content in the Humour at Work seminar. Hell, Miv and I could probably have taken it ourselves! I also managed to fit in visiting my aunt - though why must I always get the one taxi-driver who's been done for GBH, sigh? A fascinating tale indeed and one I shall, no doubt, use later, but I'm beginning to wonder if I wear an invisible sign saying Please tell me your GBH story while I'm in your cab - as I really want to hear it? Hmm, it would explain a lot.
Anyway, this morning, I was up whilst the owls were still hooting (and I know because I heard them) ready for my radio interview on BBC Southern Counties with the very kind Fred Marden. What with taking four calming pills and two Rescue Remedy sprays, I was relatively calm (shock!) and actually I really enjoyed it - which was mainly, I suspect, thanks to Fred for making me genuinely feel it was just a conversation between me and him. Quite a feat when there's a huge green microphone a millimetre away from my mouth, which would have gone with my eyes if they hadn't been red-rimmed and thoroughly bagged-up at the time. Well, it was early, you know. So I am no longer a Radio Virgin, hurrah! And when I got back Lord H said it sounded fine, so that's a relief. I always fear that my Essex twang will take over on these occasions and I will feel the urge to dance round my handbag - a scary thought indeed.
For the rest of the day, I have napped (ah, sleep - blissful!) and popped into see Gladys - though I didn't stay long as she was at the hospital this morning and was quite exhausted, poor thing. I've also managed to squeeze out 500 words to The Bones of Summer and it seems to be going off in a rather unusual direction. So I've decided to go with it and see what happens. I fear there'll be more traumas ahead, so I'd best fasten my seatbelt and take care on the bends. Good advice for life, indeed.
Today's nice things:
1. The radio interview
Goldenford Publishers' site - for the moment ...