Soton has a spell checker on its email system which may be doing its bit to make me moderately more comprehensible, but is also mildly interesting - for an academic institurion, is it not odd that it not only doesn't have "bilateral" but also not "wanker"? :-)
Edinburgh at the weekend was lovely. Not even tsunami weather as advertised but crisp and sunnily quasi-autumnal , if a bit soggy in Princes St gardens!! I was going to do a blow by blow but really it comes down to "I saw lots of people and we reciprocated group affirmation-affection- reassurance-bonding-closure". Also ate a lot. This included the Shouting Book Club on Friday, andrewducker
passim, Best Pal (Sandy) on Sunday for much needed gossip, lunch by the canal also on Sunday with hfnuala
, Aishling their 3 month old adorable babe, and briefly, the person formerly known as yonmei
(though no akicif
?), overdue reconciliation and more goss over caramel apple pie with thishardenedarm
, and finally, on Monday, lunch for more industrial espionage (don't tell , loveandgarbage
!) with Burkhard aka Mad German AI and Law Ex Catsitter. Andy and I even finally took in the Ron Mueck
exhibition (on the day it closed !) : giant naked vulnerable hairy men ("That could be you," I said to Andy. "Hmm, you're not the first of my girlfriends to say that," quoth he. ) , tiny demonic crucified babies, worried giantesses who gave me sympathetic anxiety and the desire to crawl under the gargantual duvet too (prefereably with a few cats.). It was all wonderful and now I'm very tired. Sorry if I didn't see you - next time! with dum sum!
The flat renting experiment seems to work very well on first weekend trial. I rented my place to Jordan, ex-Masters student and his girlfriend Sarah, now doing an MSc in Politics, but kept the large spare room for myself. It still has loads of my books and clothes plus smells residually of the cats so I felt very at home :) Jordan and Sarah have cleaned the place within an inch of its life and put up boudoir-red curtains in the living room, but otherwise barely filled its emptied cupboards and shelves so it's all eerily minimalist, spacious and elegant. i don't think I could ever live in minimalist style but I must say, boy does it look good. Anyway there's loads of room for the three of us plus I gave them my wireless router so I didn't feel alienated at all - in fact Sunday we had a lovely evening when J & S made Tex-Mexican for Andy and I (they met at U of T in Austin and S is Texan by birth) which was the best I've had since I visited Texas myself in 96 I think - black bean soup mmmm mmmm. The Mexican equivalent of Jewish chicken soup - you felt you had hairs on your chest after eating it. I must get the recipe.
Back to life, back to reality. Plane was delayed an hour at Edinburgh, then I was stuck an hour at the airport waiting for breakdown people, as car's battery had drained in the pouring rain. Oh Dear - maybe I really do have to start scoping a replacement. Thank god, however, had amazing book - Watching the English
, by kate Fox, an academic anthropologist observing the English as if we were obscure African tribe. Both painfully accurate and in places terribly funny. It becames extravagantly clear that despite distracting facts of origin and upbringing, I am not remotely English, (well or British) which may explain a lot - watch for another post on this when I've read it all...