A sharp autumnal day today. I really needed my hat and fingerless gloves, in spite of the sun’s deceiving brightness. Though actually I do rather enjoy autumn. Indeed the season has most definitely turned towards winter, so the bad news is cold weather, but the good news is no more nasty insects, hurrah. Not that there have been that many of the latter this year, a miracle for which I am truly grateful.
This morning I have caught up with the last-minute panics about Freshers’ Week, and am still trying to thrash some of them out. Double dammit. I do like to feel in control at this stage (a false illusion, but a nice one), and this year I really don’t. I also had a phone call from the hospital admissions department asking me if I wanted to be transferred from the consultant I saw about my operation as she’s not free till next March to actually do anything. Um, yes please. I really can’t wait till the spring, dammit. So I said I didn’t mind who did the operation as long as they were (a) alive, and (b) sober, and am now awaiting their response. Mind you, once they’ve seen the extent of my notes, I guess it’s whoever draws the short straw, poor them …
I also nipped over to the new English department to see where I’m supposed to be taking the University Writers’ Group tomorrow, as it’s all change in the new regime of course. I hope I can keep up with the pace. And gosh, that room’s not easy to find. Lovely though it is. I got completely lost in several different buildings, but got there in the end, with the aid of a compass and some very sturdy boots. I have sent directions to the gang, in the hope that some writers at least might turn up tomorrow.
This lunchtime, I took the minutes for the Steering Group and attempted to look (a) like a professional, and (b) as if I knew what I was doing. Neither of which are true, of course. We all tried to gaze with calmness and logic (ho ho) at Freshers’ Week, but really it’s impossible to know what it will be like until it’s here. Every year is different. We’d probably get more sense out of interpreting animal entrails and the flight of birds. Hmm, there’s an idea for next year’s preparation anyway …
Mind you, I was really pleased when the Health Centre doctor said how much she’d loved Maloney’s Law, which she took on holiday with her, and she was very much looking forward to my next one. I just have to persuade a publisher – any publisher! – to take it, eh. But so nice to have good feedback – thank you, Vicky.
This afternoon, I attempted to write up the minutes and keep my head down. Much the best approach really. Tonight, I’m planning to go to the University Book Group and discuss Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Heck, I’ve even remembered to bring my copy with me. Mind you, it will be a desperate wrench not to be able to flee screaming to the hills at 5.30pm from the office and (shock! horror!) to have to stay on campus till 6.30pm/7pm-ish, but I’ll do my best to survive … I soooo desperately long to be home. UPDATE: it was fabulous. I really really enjoyed it - lovely to be able to discuss books with such a great bunch of people. And with no pressure on me. Double hurrahs. Am already looking forward to the next one.
And I can relax in front of New Tricks on TV this evening once I’m back at base – bliss.
Today’s nice things:
1. True autumnal weather
2. Good reactions to Maloney
3. Book Group