Happy New Year everyone! I have installed an app on my phone called SeatGeek, with a view to finding the best theatre deals around and about in the New Year. When you hit 'explore events', you then need to enter your location. Not an unreasonable request. So I went for Birmingham, and it gave me a whole host of Birmingham's to choose from, all of which turned out to be in the States! So it's unlikely I will get to the Macomb Music Theatre in Birmingham New Jersey in time for a performance by Michael Buble tomorrow I fear. He is apparently a gentleman; my son who hosts a show on a local radio station, interviewed him live in his hotel room when he was staying in Manchester. Manchester England that is, not Manchester New Hampshire.
I often experience my own version of JIT, with dentistry. Without fail, just in time for an event, whether it be a holiday, an exam, or in this particular case, the build up to Christmas, some major crisis happens with my teeth. I don't have the added benefit of clean ones in a drawer, or indeed in a glass by the side of my bed, and so just in time, a crater the size of Derbyshire that appeared in an integral molar normally reserved for masticating mince pies and savouring sausage rolls in the festive season, was restored to working order.
During the build up to Christmas, I was lucky enough to be treated by a very good friend, to lobster. Not just any old lobster mind, but lobster in the Burger & Lobster bar at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge. How cool is that! I was so excited, what a lovely thing to give me. I haven't had lobster since I was 14 and so it was a very special surprise.
I managed to dissuade him from sanding down one of the new doors and painting it with gloss paint whilst the lunch was cooking
Christmas day for me was actually a day off this year. I had shopped washed and cleaned to within an inch of my life before driving south to collect my mum, so my son volunteered to do the cooking. He was assisted by my husband, who in his wisdom saw fit to set the table with plastic cutlery, a wind up hurricane lamp and a pot of tomato ketchup. Why? You might well ask! He turned the sideboard upside down looking for the vegetable terrines and the sauce boat, none of which we have had for at least the past 8 Christmases!
I said they had broken, but truth be told, I have had them since I was 18, they were not dishwasher microwave or hostess trolley (we borrow one from the mother in law at Christmas) proof, and I was sick of the sight of them, so I seized an opportune moment some years ago, and ditched 'em. Just goes to show what notice is taken of his surroundings. The hurricane lamp was in case we had a power cut and the tomato sauce was his idea of a joke. He has an odd sense of humour.
I suppose I should be grateful that I managed to dissuade him from sanding down one of the new doors and painting it with gloss paint whilst the lunch was cooking. Can you imagine the smell of paint mixed with goose fat and sprouts! Every year he seems compelled to do something entirely unsuitable and not conducive to peace on earth and good will to all men, or at least one man in particular.
It usually involves plumbing; removing a radiator in its entirety from the wall and leaking a trail of black sludge snail like over the carpet, or electrical jiggery pokery to outshine any national grid so that the Christmas tree lights only flash at certain times of the day and not whilst he is trying to watch football. By far the favourite however is a major overhaul of the contents of the loft, including checking the lagging on the hot water tank and overflow pipe which invariably concludes with water appearing where I don't want it, like running down the wall from the ceiling above into the kitchen, cascading over the embalmed turkey which is sitting waiting its turn in the oven. It's a wonder I haven't killed him. Hm, now there's an idea...
For the ten weeks of last term, we cogitated and considered, mused and meditated on the growth or otherwise of differing forms of welfare state in Europe pre and post world wars. We assessed the significance or otherwise of the doctor patient relationship in the 21st century, devised research methods to enable that assessment to take place and ranted about race with all its ridiculous reservations which sadly run parallel with an unusual accent or a different skin colour. It has been hard work, and now Iâm doing it all over again this year. I have to two essay plans, another group presentation, three 2,000 word essays, two 5,000 word essays, and four 2 hour exams. Surely my 3rd year will be a doddle by comparison, yeah?
I simply cannot decide whether to sign up for the ultra violet roller disco, rock climbing or the foam party experience, to help me through these difficult times. Do you think they will let me into the roller disco with an artificial hip? I could start a new club - Arthritic Athletes Anonymous, the Triple A-ers. I think it's quite catchy actually.
I would actually be better served by going on an orienteering course. Yesterday afternoon was supposed to have been dedicated to 4 hours of statistics, learning the rudiments of SPSS as taught by the IT department. This is a free course designed to help get to grips with basic skills followed by a further follow up four hours for those who donât expire during the first session. The IT department has however moved! Had I and my colleague read the email properly we would have realised this, instead of which she thought she knew where it was and I, as is my want, (people will testify if required) blindly followed. We set off for the old IT setting which in itself was miles away anyway, only to be told that there are no longer any courses run in that building and that we need to go to the Science Park. The what now?
The Science Park is in another county almost, it was miles away off campus. We eventually found reception and asked for directions. "It's over there" waved an ineffectual hand, roughly in a westerly direction. By the time we found it we were 20 minutes late for the start, and the guard on the front desk wouldn't let us in.
Next Friday sees the last of the attendance days on the Sprint Programme. Last term I went on a three day course for women, designed to improve self esteem, self confidence, self awareness and most importantly the art of assertiveness without aggression. It was good fun, if some time ago now. We have to give a house group presentation in the shape of a mini play or role play scenario about what we learnt and how we have carried this forward into our daily lives. Once I remember what it was I learnt, I will be right up there with the rest of them! I am not just going for the free lunch and the fact that you get a full refund of your course fee if you complete the course, how could you think such a thing!