Saturday, March 08, 2014

Breathe again!

It has been some time since I felt the throat constricting fear that comes with an indication that one’s intellectual worth is about to be tested. 
This is another way of saying that, checking my emails I noted that there was a communication from the Open University informing me that my latest tutor marked assignment was marked and available to be checked.  As a favourable result of this assignment was going to be an indication of the way forward (aka The Way Forward) for the rest of the course it was important.
            The throat constriction thing was also accompanied by an indrawn breath and a tightening of the chest.  I was disappointed to discover that I was so hackneyed.  It was, therefore, with a certain degree of trepidation that I went through the unbearably slow process of logging onto the OU website and waiting for the result to appear.
            This writing is not so confessional that I would have gone on to explain to all and sundry that the result was not the one that I wanted, so the more perceptive among you will have worked out that things, as it were, worked out.  Not entirely satisfactorily as I was four percentage points away from my ‘smug’ result, but well within the ‘generally complacent’ area.  This result means that my vague plans for the future assignments in the course can now be firmed up and the direction of my writing is now assured.  Or at least as assured as it can be given the hard fact that I haven’t actually done any of it yet.
            I have one poem on the go and the bones of the thing are there and I should get at least a first draft of it by the end of the day.  The finished article then may or may not form one part of the extended work for the next assignment.  The work is still all to do, but the direction is relatively clear.  And that is all I need to get on with it.

On an altogether more prosaic, yet more important front, the central heating system – if our ‘system’ deserves such an appellation – is leaking big time.  Given the quaint rules of renting in this god-forsaken country, everything in the house appears to be our responsibility.  No matter how antiquated the stuff in the house is, its working is firmly the responsibility of the tenants.  I do not know what rights we tenants have, but they are as nothing compared to the Rolls Royce rights of our British equivalents!  Toni will have to phone up and find out if the blood sucking bastards who own this place are prepared to do anything to justify the vast sums that we pay them every month.  I do not hold out any positive hope.  But summer is not yet with us and some form of heating is essential.
            Perhaps this latest in our stand-offs with the renting agency will be the straw that breaks etc. as we do have to think about somewhere cheaper and ideally on one level in the not too distant future.
            I must say that the idea of moving fills me with absolute depression as it has taken me all this time to get what is left of my books into something like order.  The thought of mixing up the books again and setting them out is more than I can contemplate with anything approaching equanimity.  But the time will come when we have to consider the unthinkable and find somewhere else.

My mind turns from such awful realities to the delights of Sci-Fi.  I have been watching the 4th series of ‘Torchwood’ where ten programmes formed a high budget drama ‘Miracle Day’ set largely in America.  No matter how absurd the story I am always taken by the ideas in Sci-Fi and the central conceit of this one – that people stop dying – was an interesting one to say the least.  A strong cast produced an enjoyable romp which also allowed Russell T Davies to indulge the gay aspects of his main character Captain Jack Harkness to a rather more explicit level than in previous episodes of this Doctor Who spinoff that I have seen.  Some of the action seemed to me to be gratuitous, but it was Sci-Fi and I am more than forgiving in this genre. 
As a bonus at the end of the series, I discovered a hitherto unwatched episode of David Tennant in ‘Doctor Who’ on my iPlayer.  Who can ask for more?

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