Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Flipchart hell, lilies and a double helping of Bones

Have spent a lot of today staring madly at the vast flipchart city resulting from last week’s Awayday. Flipcharts are the work of the devil, you know. I attempted to factor their scattered pearls of wisdom into the notes I’ve already typed up from yesterday, but I think I left the will to live outside the door today. Sigh. We struggle on.

I must say though that I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s Tosh TV Offering of “Bonekickers” – pure hokum and a great laugh, but it had a certain style and I rather liked the characters. The end scene of dozens of burning crosses in a cave and people swinging above them from ropes whilst hacking each other with Medieval swords was pure joy, m’dears. Bring it on … How I’d love to have a scene like that in one of my books, but I’m not sure that either Paul or Craig’s skills quite stretch to that. Yet.

This morning, we had the lovely Estates & Building duo in to put a whiteboard into the boss’s office while he’s away. Honestly, they’re so sweet – none of us could work out the instructions so they did their own thing with it in the end and it looks great to me. It slides along the wall and opens out and everything. Amazing. The real moment of charm though was when Man Number One was explaining about his secret tallow box, which is very good for greasing screws and you can also make candles out of it. Ah, here at the cutting edge of technology the old ways are the best ways, you know.

Today’s other big excitement is I bought a prawn sandwich from Starbucks as I couldn’t be bothered to run around this morning cooking up my usual fish and rice healthy concoction. Um, yes that’s it. The other big excitement. Sorry. Our lives are truly fulfilling here in the twilight zone. Ooh, and I did get wet on my lunchtime trog round campus. Very rainy here in the mother country right now, Carruthers. That said, I did have a pleasant few minutes sheltering in the gallery and admiring the photographic exhibition currently running. Some wonderful portraits, including some very good nudes, and some stunning shots of flowers, particularly the lilies. All very calming. In fact, here’s a poem about the lily:

Calla Lily by Kate Noot

Single white petal
unfolds on deepest black;

your grey stem
captivates my eye.

I’ve also managed to write a 500-word (exactly 500 words including the title – gosh, I’m so proud! Not to mention anal …) short story called “The end of winter”. I’m quite pleased with it too. Heck I might do another one sometime. You never know. Talking of writing, I was really touched today (query: when am I not??) – one of my University Writers’ Group emailed me to say how inspirational she’d found the homework I set in May and it had helped her to write Chapter Two of her novel which she’d been stuck on for a while. Gosh, that’s so great – good for her! And nice to feel I have my uses now and again.

Meanwhile Ruth G in the Chaplaincy has received a postcard praising our upcoming new Multifaith Centre. Which would have been charming if it didn’t have a picture of the Ku Klux Klan on it. Goodness me, we do know some strange people here in Chaplaincy World. We’re really not sure at all how to reply …

Finally, at least in terms of the office, we’ve decided to produce a sheet each week with a list of the week’s heroes on it. The boss is still away, as you can probably tell … This week’s list is Anne Boleyn, Oliver Cromwell and Take That. Bearing in mind that today we have in the office me, Carol (Mentoring) and Ruth G (Chaplaincy), your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to decide who chose which one. Shouldn’t be too hard then!

Tonight, I’m planning more edits to The Bones of Summer. I’m now on Chapter 12, so am gradually hacking my way through the undergrowth. Oh for a Medieval sword and a few strong ropes to help me, eh …

Today’s nice things (goodness me, so many!):

1. Thinking about Bonekickers – and smiling
2. My prawn sandwich
3. Whiteboard shenanigans
4. This week’s heroes
5. Flash fiction and poetry
6. Photos in the gallery
7. Helping someone else to write something
8. Editing Bones.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website

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