I apologise for the silence. These last two weeks I have been researching the impact of tourism on the Greek economy – well, mainly my impact on the beautiful island of Zakynthos. Turns out that the major impact is on local rose wine sales which went up by at least a third…
A few years ago…well maybe more than a few…I was on a train at some daft time in the morning on my way to San Francisco. I hadn’t slept much the night before anxious about the trip and was a bit woozy. The carriage was almost empty and I thought no one would mind me snoring so leant down to pull out the foot rest.
Something seemed to both punch me in the arm and
Tomorrow the BBC will disclose the identity of the new Doctor Who. For many us in the real world this will be more life changing than royal babies, Zimbabwean election fraud, bedroom tax and even racist buses chugging around London with ‘Go home ++++!’ emblazoned across the sides.
It is hot. Very bloody hot. Not that I am complaining but Grace has a black fur coat and is finding it all a little much. She is floppy and there is much panting. Here she is with her homies…hot dogs.
Last week we were volunteers at the very cutting edge MIX conference here at Corsham Court. I had volunteered last year when I first arrived in Corsham and it helped me figure out the layout of the campus. Not that anyone approached me for assistance. More the other way around which was a bit embarrassing. I’d be standing there with Grace trying to look informative and perky and delegates would sidle up to ask me if I needed help getting anywhere and could they find me a volunteer?
The up side about doing a PhD is:
Dear All – Dad has taken a bad turn and I will be flying over to be with him at the weekend. I don’t want to write about it this time. Instead I have distracted myself by doing a piece on the BBC Late night radio show I ended up doing a cameo on. T x
Disclaimer: This is my recollection of the show last Friday. It is written without recourse to transcripts or copies and has been flamboyantly reworked. I may have got it entirely wrong. Just saying…
It’s a funny thing but this time last week I was in South Africa in Pretoria East Hospital sitting with my Dad who was attached to a remarkably noisy array of machines some of which blinked, some gurgled and some which went ‘ding’ like the number 57 bus to Highbury circa 1970.
I suppose ‘funny’ isn’t the right word. There is nothing funny about a father who has VERY nearly died from complications arising from serious infection and multiple myeloma and who is in ICU trying …although so weak he can barely raise his head from the pillow …to signal through his oxygen tube that he wants someone to sneak him a roast beef sandwich past the ward sister. I mean ‘funny’ in the sense that one can be in Cambridge, sighing and huffing at a computer one day and the next in Sub Saharan Africa in an isolation unit without ever actually having to do any walking. Train, airport, plane, airport, hospital. Surreal.
It hadn’t started particularly well. I had put my hair up in a Chinese style chignon but it was TOOO tight and although I looked hugely perky it was because I couldn’t really shut my eyes. Due to that (and also the fact that with visual impairment like mine I can’t always do the blink reflex in time) I then managed to stick the thick wool collar of my coat into my eyeball as I was getting ready to catch the train. This meant that by the time I got to the station I had an almighty headache and a sore eye but it didn’t matter as my hair was too tight to allow me to scowl.
I was in London to attend a series of talks called ‘The Representation of Disabled People in an Age of Austerity’. It was fascinating if devastating stuff. Professor Nick Watson of the Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research and Allen Sutherland of the Edward Lear Foundation fed back from a study commissioned by Inclusive London in which they had analysed all articles mentioning disability in a series of newspapers over two time blocks in 2004/5 and 2010/11. Articles were scanned for emphasis, political angle, language, and so forth.
The clocks have gone back and BAM just like that I am a hedgehog again and all I want to do is hibernate. This year in particular I have really noticed the brain change. Grace and I usually get up at 6ish (very ‘ish’!) She eats and slopes back to bed and I do my chanting meditation and think about ‘stuff’ and what to write and how plan my day. But since the clocks, I am dopey and dizzy and can’t surface (and my eyes have been a shambles of oedema and ache.) I know it isn’t just psychosomatic, although of course there will be an element of that. When darkness plonks itself down like an unwelcome wedding guest at 4.00pm in the blinking afternoon I turn into a middle-aged, fairy tale princess (possibly more ogre) trapped in my flat trying to spin flax into gold on my computer.