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

Friday 17 February 2012


I'm in a borrowed office on a borrowed PC as my poor overworked laptop was declared dead yesterday after hopes that a new hard drive would be the answer. I now have a new (old) laptop but as yet can't attach it to the internet, so I'm feeling somewhat frustrated (and I don't even think I use the internet that much!). I've acquired another class to teach, following the unplanned descent of the stairs by a colleague (believe me, I wasnae there, I didnae do it), and haven't finished writing the lectures for the class I have, despite my best intentions. I came the heavy lecturer today, which I don't often, but the tutor before us in the classroom overran by five minutes, and five minutes before the end of my lecture a couple of dim-looking students wandered in, closed the door behind them and then stood looking vacant, and were then followed by three more. Apparently they couldn't tell the difference between their class and lecturer and ours. Sometimes I lose hope! Anyway, it was explained to them with heavy sarcasm how the clock worked and how they weren't supposed to come in until the big hand had passed the 12. One apologised, the rest just looked thicker than ever.

There's just one more step to having Death in a Scarlet Gown on CreateSpace - unfortunately for some reason I couldn't get the proofread document uploaded, so I'm hoping that perhaps the new laptop, when it's talking to the internet, might work better. Frustrating when the goal is in sight!

It's unseasonably warm, with daffodils sprouting and birds (notably the raucous oystercatchers) beginning the spring mating dances. Apparently it's going to turn cold again this weekend. Over the last couple of weeks I've looked out the window to find a dozen fieldfares staring in at me (slightly unnerving), seen a buzzard outside an urban school, been flown over by a flock of curlews, seen a black pheasant (I'm absolutely almost sure) and counted three dead badgers on one country road. Allotment Major has been secured, hoorah, for another year! and I've started making the mandatory sign for Allotment Minor. Soon it'll be digging time again ... or at least trying to burrow through the impacted earth of the old bowling green on which Allotment Minor is made.

I'm collecting onion skin for dyeing again - I need loads but fortunately we rarely have an evening meal that doesn't involve an onion. I also have plans for retting nettles this summer for fibre - I want to make paper, anyway, but I'd really like to spin and weave or knit nettle fibre which is absolutely beautiful. I won't have time if I'm running back and forth here to use the internet!