Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Manor Park and mining the ideas factory

Did some real secretarial stuff today and prepared papers for Monday’s Steering Group meeting – which feels like getting more back to normal after the hiatus of the Easter holidays, conference etc. And God knows how much I like normal. If only I saw it more often.

The rest of the morning was spent visiting the new Manor Park campus – where Carol works some of the time as part of her mentoring remit. We walked there and back which took about 20-25 minutes or so each way, but my goodness she sets quite a pace. I’d forgotten how much quicker (at anything …) I must have been in my twenties. Or maybe I’m just used to a more sedate Golfing Pace these days? Anyway the actual campus is lovely – nice big rooms and all ensuite of course, as is usual these days. Now when I was at university all those years ago, the shared bathrooms were where you made your friends. Hmm, maybe that was the problem?!?... Mind you, I was surprised at the lack of social space – some comfy but characterless common rooms and one table-tennis room only. I suppose they use the kitchens for talking – by the way, the kitchens and common rooms all have digital TV. Bliss indeed. The setting is good too, but will be nicer when the trees and grass etc is all grown up. If you see what I mean.

What with all the excitement, I decided to skip my first back exercise course, which should have been today. But I don’t think I would have gone anyway, as I’m not feeling my best. Must be all that fast walking.

Ooh, and I popped out to the University gallery at lunchtime as there’s a new sports photographs exhibition on, some of them by staff. It was great. One of them – a picture of a deep-sea diver by Robert Kelsey (staff member) was so inspirational that I scribbled a poem about it:

Life after darkness: Peter Kelsey

He swims in shades of blue
deep where no-one
can seek him,
finds a narrow crack
between unknown worlds –

he’s been searching
for so long,
thought he’d never
see it;
all these years
and now suddenly
it’s here.

Only a moment
for the decision to be made –
didn’t think
he’d even need that
but he does

then two kicks
of dark flipper,
a streak of rubber coating,
glint of torchlight
and he’s through.

Out there
in undiscovered blue.

I’ve had some ideas about the end of The Gifting too, which might steer me through some kind of an initial path into it. And also add to the tension a little. I hope. So I feel a bit better about it at the moment. Have to get on and actually write the darn stuff sometime though …

We had an hysterical conversation this afternoon about how our hairdos look whenever we wake up in the morning (the surprised cockatoo look is very in this year, don’t y’know). Ruth is convinced there are evil pillow elves which come in the night and mess things up. I can well believe it. Mind you, Ruth also says tent-face is worse, as whenever you’re in a tent, your face always ends up wedged against the canvas. Not being an outdoorsy type, this isn’t something I have to worry about. Thank God.

Oh, and I’ve written a poem about Easter too:


I used to like it
I mean ye gods but it’s got to be better
than Christmas

but somewhere between
the forgotten ages
of 38 and
42 – that nationally recognised
twilight zone for women –
I lost any interest
I might have had

in chocolate (unless
expensive), fluffy
lambs, small ducks,
irritating children
and one hundred and one
uses for an egg.

I mean it’s hard-boiled,
soft-boiled or
nothing, isn’t it?

Get over it

So I’ve had enough
of festivals.
I’ve cancelled them,
at least in my house,
and from now on
I’ll be living
a pleasant, unexcitable

Believe me it’s better
that way. Easter?
Bah, humbug, I say.

And I think I’ve decided not to go up to London this Friday. It’s just been quite an exhausting week and, to be honest, I don’t feel on top form, so I think I’ll give it a miss. I just desperately need a whole night in. And to see Lord H too, as this week if I’ve been in, he’s been out (tonight, it’s boring old Village Hall Committee for him), and vice versa, and I miss him. Plus I really need to get some sleep – particularly as May is going to be rather hectic. Yes, I know - excuses, excuses, but it's just the way it is.

Meanwhile, the Pink Champagne and Apple Juice site is coming along nicely. The launch will be on Friday 4 May, 3pm UK time, and I’ll be sending early invitations out to a few people shortly. It’s looking good, and now has a chat/comments section as well as the other whizzes & bangs. So thanks, Sue & Frank ( once more!

Tonight, I’m doing some much-needed shopping (groan) and then I’ll try to get some of my writing ideas (see above) started. That’s the plan anyway. Ho ho.

Today’s nice things:

1. A morning looking at Manor Park
2. Getting an idea for The Gifting
3. The Pink Champagne website preparation.

Anne Brooke

No comments: