Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Sunday 23 October 2011

The mixture as before

Having reread last week's post, I'm wondering if I accidentally pressed Repeat by mistake. Apart from the exam, this week has been much the same again - teaching, ceilidh, allotment, stiff back by Sunday! If you add in a 'flu jab and an appointment with the dental hygienist, you have the peaks of my week's excitement.

Well, not entirely - I did manage to spend a whole evening editing Service of the Heir, including my favourite bit involving Murray and an open drain on a foggy night. That cheered me up slightly, and made up for waking early one morning mumbling, 'But Henry was at the funeral! So he couldn't have ... oh, bother ...'

One classroom that had no black or whiteboard last week has a whiteboard this week - with a projector pointing away from it, and a lovely big box of new chalk. Very useful on a whiteboard. I've liberated most of the chalk and intend tomorrow to transfer it to a lecture room where there's an ancient blackboard but only ever a few fragments of chalk. The boardless classroom is my favourite venue, but not that of my students as that particular tutorial is at 9am. They were so dozy on Tuesday I'm planning to take them coffee and biscuits this week, so they have no excuse.

Someone has commented that Number One Cat deserves to be spoiled as he's had his nose put out of joint by the arrival (not planned) of Number Two Cat. This is absolutely true. The tuna can is being opened even as we speak. Number One Cat is delighted he has a loyal supporter.

Now to go and put out the wheelie bin. Oh, the glamour of a writer's life!

Sunday 16 October 2011

The perpetual distractions of academia

I'm late with this this week. I ran my first exam, which did not go as well as I would have liked for various logistical reasons but the good thing was that for once none of them was my fault! However, heaving round exam papers and all the concomitent office equipment nearly flattened me - I think I've lost half a stone since this course started!

Friday's exercise was a very good ceilidh, with lots of terrific dances and enough good or experienced dancers to make it feel like a dance rather than a riot. Then yesterday I trekked down to Allotment Major and did some serious pre-winter weeding - and this morning I can barely move.

I'm not sure I've managed any of Service of the Heir this week. I like to think there was a point somewhere in the middle of the week - maybe before Wednesday? - when I did some, but I wouldn't want to swear to it.

Number Two Cat, who lost his third collar last week, lost his fourth this week but recovered the second, which he has now also lost. In addition, he appears to have attacked something with his nose. This does not enhance his good looks, but has given Number One Cat a laugh. Between them recently they finally destroyed the catflap, and Number One Cat does not like the new one. He sits and bats it back and forth noisily, and if we manage to ignore that - and the fixed stare - he starts miaowing loudly. We're thinking of building him some steps outside to facilitate his ingress. Is it possible that he's very slightly spoilt?

Saturday 8 October 2011

The rain it raineth every day ...

October has arrived with chill weather which today turned wet. This was great, as I had set aside this afternoon to go to Allotment Major and fix the main path, and possibly weed the side paths before winter. It was not a dry job.

Good progress with Service of the Heir this week - lots of ideas, fair amount of typing done, not too much staring out of the window and contemplating mugs. I really felt I was getting somewhere and now that it is 75% typed it might indeed be out by Christmas as promised. I do prefer to keep promises and rarely make them, just in case, so I'm on tenterhooks.

Lovely Canadian houseguest this week, whom we hadn't seen for a couple of years - she's off moving round other friends, now, too. She tells great tales of her life in the North West Territories and is in the process of getting her first book out, an academic text. A real delight to see her again.

Blackberries picked, crumble made, blackberries picked and eaten for lunch, more blackberries picked. What greater joy could there be? and what greater combination than blackberries and apples? I love autumn!