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Monday, September 15, 2014

Libros! Libros! Libros! Libros para me!


My books have arrived!  Four beautifully produced, fully illustrated volumes with their accompanying Study Guides and CDs and DVDs.  O Joy!  And the bloody Post Office failed to deliver Toni’s computer, in spite of the fact that it is in Castelldefels.  The one thing that modern internet tracking gives you are perfect justification for losing your temper when things are not delivered.  There is no excuse because you can see, plainly, in computer pixels the information about where the package is and indeed where it has been for the whole of its journey, together with times of when it has moved on to the next stage.

            Because of this informational overload I was able to watch my books move from Wellinborough, a small town no far from my first teaching appointment in Kettering in the middle of England; move on to Birmingham; fly to somewhere in Germany, get transported to Barcelona and thence to Castelldefels.  Wonderful.  And the guy who delivered them to my door actually tried to speak a few words in English.  Who could ask for more.

            My other course, a MOOC with the University of Southampton, has now started and I was able to do the first week of work in a couple of hours.  As this one is geared towards helping me work through the problems associated with an end of course assignment, it should become more relevant the further I get into the work on my major course which still has a couple of weeks before it starts.  I fully intend to get a head start there so that all the unforeseen but totally predictable problems to learning have at least some sort of buffer of time to allow the line to be held!

            Sunday will see me on a demonstration or march protesting about Global Warming; later in the week there is a link up with friends in Sitges; Ceri and Dianne are due soon; the opera season is about to start and I have to do something about keeping up my poetry writing.

            My last poem has winged its way to teachers and their sympathizers in a start of school present from me.  I will look forward to the feedback, though I fear there might be some scepticism as my use of some unconvincing emotional language in the final ‘verse’ – we shall see.

            The swimming pool next to the BSB is closed for routine annual cleaning and repairs and so for the next week I am going to have to brave the less than clement waters of our community pool.  This morning it was not too cold, but as we had a furious storm last night I found myself swimming through a range of assorted vegetation.  Never one to waste an opportunity, I found myself thinking of lines and phrases, words and images to use in my next poem.  I have been somewhat lax and it is only as I wrote the last sentence that I realized that I had not (as I assure you I fully intended) written my thoughts down in the little red book which I keep in a pocket for just such moments.  I will do it (I swear) as soon as this entry is complete.  Probably.

            I hope to god that Toni’s computer, which has been bought at bargain rate on the internet turns up tomorrow as I, rather than the totally culpable Post Office will bear the brunt of his irritation.


            And I need the sun to continue to shine so that my suntan can get me through to December!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Free at last!




There is something authentically disgusting about the mental state of a person who deliberately sits at an open window in her house so that the smoke from her pestilential carcinogenic weed floats effortlessly into a neighbour’s house.  My house!

            Well, the vile smoker has, at last left and gone with her brood back to where she can irritate other saintly adjuncts.  I’m not sure that even makes sense, but it does express something that I feel.  And something that has happened.

            We have just had a glass of Cava (two and three quarters mini bottles for me and a mere taste for himself) to celebrate the fact that now we will be able to sit at on open window without a large fan attempting to blow the noxious fumes away.

            Today is the day before various starts.  Firstly and most importantly, from a purely malicious point of view, tomorrow is the start of term for Spanish and Catalan kids.  And my erstwhile colleagues.  Secondly, from a purely academic point of view, tomorrow is the re-start of the next phase of Toni’s qualifications and the start of a FutureLearn course for me. 

My course proper starts on the 4th October, by which time I hope to have received the replacement books which have had to be re-sent because the Spanish Post Office lost (again) the original consignment – they now have a 50% failure rate for my course material.  Not good.  But, with any luck, the books will be here tomorrow and I will be happily looking through the pictures which, in a history of art course are, surely, even in an OU course, the most important element!

So, just back from going out to dinner, paid for by me because Toni was right about the date and time of the departure of our loathsome temporary neighbours.  A less than convincing meal with tapas which were severely ordinary and nothing to encourage a return visit.  Still, what can be bad when such a negative has been removed!

This is the first of a new generation of writing to mark the start of a new academic year.  I only hope that I get into literary gear soon enough to sustain my interest!