In a shameful reflection of the indolence of the holiday period today was the first time that I went to have my daily swim this year. On the positive side, I suppose that the date wasn’t actually in double figures! Now to keep up the determination to go there each day.
Next week I, with the rest of the profession will return to school for a few days supply. It is difficult to know whether to be pleased or depressed by the fact that yet another term start sees me in harness. Four days – though it’s just round the corner rather than in Barcelona and it finishes an hour earlier than the School on the Hill. It’s a win-win situation – apart of course from the teaching element of the experience.
The wonderful thing about my teaching nowadays is that it is for a limited period; I am looking towards four days of teaching and then and end to it. Unless the head of secondary has other more extended ideas! My idea was to do a couple of days a month, but if the first week of term is anything to go by, there might be more work than I suspected. Or feared!
However, I will put my dark fears to one side and see what happens in this New Year.
I have just completed my umpteenth re-reading of “The Lord of the Rings”. I enjoyed it (as ever) but I am getting more analytical about my responses. In the Fantasy World Tolkien is a safe pair of hands and he writes effortlessly in a timelessly classic style which at times is a little too effortless and becomes an end in itself.
It is probably crass to accuse a work like “The Lord of the Rings” of self-indulgence when you could just as well call it a labour of love and there is something delightfully excessive in the detail of language and lore that Tolkien gives to the reader. You shouldn’t fight it; just let it wash over you. And if some of lovingly detailed descriptions add little or nothing to the narrative, who cares?
In this reading I found the story quite slow in parts where the writing demands its own solemn, self-important place and where ridges, mountains, ghyls and other geographical elements are lingeringly described. But I wouldn’t have it otherwise!
I find the last moments of the ring moving and the recognition of the Hobbits’ part in the installation of the King emotionally powerful. The description of the Dead Marshes seemed shorter than I remembered it, when it made a deep impression on me during my first readings, but feelings change and one’s view of writing changes depending on the forces around one. Reading of the defeat of the Dark Lord just before the start of terms is always a good idea!
I have still not made my mind up about the performance of Rusalka that I saw recently and I have not done my homework after the event in looking up the director’s reasons for setting the opera in the way that he did. Work in progress.
I am supposed to be meeting Suzanne tomorrow but communication seems to have broken down somewhat and the arrangements have not been finalized, but we shall see.
I also have to make sure that I have enough clothing for school washed and ready. Four days!