Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Open days and the case of the missing sandwiches

Have spent most of the day attempting to look normal and welcoming (God, but that's one hell of an effort, I can tell you) at the University's Open Day. Had an initial moment of terror when I turned up at 9am to discover our Student Care Services table was completely bereft of all literature and minus a pull-up stand with our name on it. It turned out that nobody had turned up as asked for to get our boxes of literature so the Student Advice team and I did it ourselves. That still didn't solve the problem of who the hell had stolen our name stand, so Student Advice and the Marketing Team spent the whole morning attempting to search for it. This meant that people wandering round had no idea who we were supposed to be and we kept having to tout our wares in the time-honoured fashion of shouting and gesticulating. The problem was finally solved by Les from Counselling who remembered that the Health Centre had taken the stand for one of their events, so he went and retrieved it himself. Gawd bless you, Les.

In the midst of all that, I had to vanish at about 11.45 in order to cover a lunchtime meeting for Ruth, as she's away. Unfortunately, due to various mix-ups, there was no room and ... um ... no lunch. This latter problem had occurred as apparently Catering had a note that the room was booked for zero people and therefore had done nothing about it. Which I suppose is fair enough. Though why you'd even want to book a room for no people is anyone's guess. So, spurred on by the vision of desperate support staff chewing their own arms, I did a sandwich raid on the nearest campus cafe and the lovely Catering woman rushed off to make coffee & tea. Sometimes, you know, it's all done by smoke and mirrors here on the educational coalface. I don't think anyone noticed the join.

At 2pm, when I'd minuted everything I was going to minute, I rushed back to the Open Day, which was thankfully somewhat calmer by then. We do always get huge influxes of people between 9.30 and 11.30 and then it begins to ease off as the talks and tours kick in. Mind you, it was a relief to escape back to the office at 3.30pm and I definitely think I've had my conversations/people interaction quota for at least the next month.

Not that there's a great deal we can do in the office, as the email has been down since Monday afternoon and is only just starting to come back. Still not come back for me though. Sigh. That said, there is something old world and charming about not having to respond quickly to anything - without email, we have to go back to the old method of direct contact with our colleagues in slow-time, and it's actually rather pleasant. Hey ho. I did get some of the minutes typed up, which is something and at least means I can avoid till next week the utter hell of having to face the Open Day notes. Arrrgghhh!!

Tonight I'll try and write some more of Hallsfoot's Battle - I think I'm due a scene or two with Ralph, as he re-meets the mind-executioner again. That'll put the cat amongst the proverbials.

And I've just finished Antonia Fraser's marvellous biography, "Cromwell, our Chief of Men". It's taken me an age to read it but I love it. It's fabulous, though you do have to concentrate, as she packs a lot into 800 pages. But I love Cromwell and really can't get enough, so I may have to buy another biography of the great man sometime soon. Anyway, it's thoroughly recommended, but you'll need to be alert!

Today's nice things:

1. Getting to the end of the Open Day
2. Writing
3. Cromwell.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Goldenford Publishers

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