Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Not all bad!

In spite of an absolutely rubbish Monday, Tuesday was surprisingly pleasant – at least as far as the developing illness was concerned.  Although I probably sound worse than I did yesterday, I feel considerably better and even spent part of the afternoon sitting outside on the Third Floor letting the sun touch my face and give me that injection of Vitamin D that I have missed throughout the winter months!

There has been a new injection on the OU course as well as two new Forums have opened up and I hope this will encourage the other members of the group to contribute more than they have been doing over the last few weeks.  I have been immersing myself in The Preston Lock Out, the songs against the Preston Cotton Lords and political ballads of all sorts to give some of the background to Hard Times.  YouTube has turned up trumps again in finding folk singers who have added the tune and an authentic performance to cold words on the page.

I have given up trying to use my electronic version of the text as a study aid and have sent for the paperback of the novel courtesy of Penguin Classics.  One cannot flick from part to part in the novel electronically in the way that is necessary to be able to write a decent essay.  I can imagine that finding the necessary quote is going to be easy because you can find something by reference to a few words, but I need the text in my hands!

I am still buying CDs as if the house is an ark against the Philistine hordes - if I may be allowed to mix my metaphors in a particularly unsuccessful way!  There are simply too many good bargains around for me to dismiss them!

The Tchaikovsky box set is a delight and I have particularly enjoyed listening to the three unfashionable symphonies 1 to 3 which I have always enjoyed since I bought a (bargain price) box set of all his symphonic works in university – for which I was roundly sneered at, as Tchaikovsky was not really fashionable; far too tuneful and Romantic!  Ouff to people who can’t lose themselves in such gushing lusciousness, is what I say.  It’s their bloody loss!

The next lot of discs that I have sent for are rather more astringent with earlier music of a sparser nature guaranteed to delight.  And then I really must stop as buying discs seems to have become something of an obsession with me at the moment.  But, as I always say, I don’t smoke so I am allowed to squander money on things like this and I am, after all, keeping culture alive on the Third Floor!

I think by the time that I have finished keeping the recorded music industry alive, I myself will have to say alive until well into the next half of this century to listen to it all!  Which, as I fully intend to stay alive until I get back every single penny that I have paid in for my pension (with interest) is just as well because both things should come to completion at round about the same time.  My Uncle Eric, as I never fail to remind myself in dark times, has been drawing his pension for longer than he was teaching!  A real icon for the teaching profession!  A patron saint in the making!

At the moment El Clasico is in full spate with Barça a goal down after what I thought was a clear penalty (Breathe it not in Garth!), though as we are watching it via a computer feed the picture is not of the highest quality and the whole things stops from time to time at crucial moments and is more frustrating than entertaining and I am typing to calm my tattered nerves.  I don’t know what is worse, watching ill-defined splodges of colour jerk their way across the screen or listen to hysterical commentary with a frozen picture.

Toni is frighteningly calm and quiet because he has a sore throat and a headache (and a cough) and has, perforce, to remain silent and fuming!

Tomorrow is a full day and one during which I will have to write a contribution to yet another examination paper so that the Days of Horror at the end of next week will make full use of our own felled forest to add just that little extra misery for the students who seem to have been doing a whole range of examinations this week as well – though the logic of having an examination the week before an examination is beyond me. 

Examinations in the School on the Hill have become an end in themselves and educational logic has long since departed from what is actually going on. 

Ah well, I’m counting the days – and from the Easter holidays I might well be counting the hours!
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