The semester is just about to reach the point at which I panic wildly for 24 hours about the amount of work I have to do, before eventually settling down to carry on in exactly the same manner as before.
I'm going home tomorrow you see – all the way to Cornwall for four days, it seems quite ridiculous – and with two full days on trains I feel a bit like I'm going to have to work extra hard to make up. It's quite daft in all honestly – two 12-hour train journeys with a laptop whose headphone socket is bust so that I can't watch DVDs en route gives me plenty of time to do a whole pile of work. I'm also well up on my schedule in reality: nearly all of the first half of my dissertation ready to write, and a good idea where I'm going with the second; I've read the two key texts for my other essay, and I think I know where it's going.
So what has happened in the last two weeks? Well, enough work to pass, but also much more fun things. Firstly there was LYCRA – the latest Scottish Researchers Meet – in Edinburgh, which I'm sure you read about in last week's Post. I'd like to say I'm going to tell you all about the day. Indeed, I can legitimately claim that I can actually remember it all, but you'll have a much more amusing time reading the log from the event. To comment briefly, it was great fun, especially the bits when Jamie fell over, and thank you to Fords for the bed.
Next was the Great Oscar Party. Or rather, the 'great curl in front of the telly with lots of caffeine and pray that 'The Return of the King' wins many awards' night. We didn't imagine in our wildest dreams that it would ever win quite so many, but it made for a very entertaining night. We ended up by dissolving into manic giggles every time the film won something, although I occasionally had mild guilt that 'Master and Commander', which I adored, didn't come out better.
Finally, a week ago, was a trip to Glasgow to see Brian Wilson's 'Smile' Tour. I'd like to think that I've been impressively un-shrieking-ly excited about the event. It's been a fairly long addiction of mine to the Beach Boys, and it's all my mother's fault really. Not in the normal aging-hippy-my-children-will-listen-to-my-music kind of way, but at some point she went on about the Beach Boys enough for me to get the idea that she would appreciate a CD for her birthday. And indeed she did, although it turns out that she hadn't been a huge fan. However, at the same time, I managed to get myself utterly addicted. So when I saw that Brian Wilson would be playing in Glasgow I hurled myself at the nearest telephone, ignored just how much it was going to cost me, and booked tickets. It was well worth the cost, and the migraine that the psychedelic lights eventually induced. He and his band played for two and a half hours, with only a short interval, and in the second half they played 'Smile' – the great lost album, or at least it's modern reconstruction, the nearest thing we'll probably ever get to the album. It was amazing, so beautiful; woven together with the brilliant Heroes and Villains, and topped of with The Greatest Song Ever ™ 'Good Vibrations'. Suffice it to say that it was an amazing concert, and I had a ball.
So that's been my exciting two weeks. I'm now embarking on a very busy week and a half. Take yesterday as an example. I had a two-hour class on the 'New Right' and historiography this morning, which gave my tutor plenty of time to reminisce about his post-graduate studies and the crazy people he knew at Peterhouse. Then I packed to go home, wrote this piece, finished off the profile I have to write for my interview on Monday, saw my dissertation supervisor and had a three-hour rehearsal for 'The Gondoliers' – which the Gilbert and Sullivan society are putting on at the end of next wee. Today, I'm on a train to Cornwall, accompanied by a pile of articles and books to read. Then on Monday I have my interview for this writing course, which I'm beginning to get slightly terrified about. On Tuesday I return to Scotland, because I have a class on Wednesday that I can't miss. That same Wednesday I have a final run through for the Gondoliers, which is performed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Still, when I have to run around being busy I seem to manage to work with much more concentration.