Family are just dandy, Maria and I also – feral cat is now a tame, soppy cat, work is great, health not bad. I have a new American pay telephone just like the ones in the movies – nickels, dimes and quarters all make different noises when you post them – brilliant. The fresh married Norwich team are doing great things as are the London team who have a new (less crowded) and extraordinarily posh looking flat. What happened to Bohemianism I say? The Norwichers are still bathed in the undimmable light of that amazing summer wedding and I have the task of compiling all the photos into one castle cake of memories. Something I hope to have done by the new year.
I am sat with the little ginger feral monster leaning on my arm and occasionally patting me as I type. This summer he evolved and is now completely domesticated – we never imagined this would happen and have awarded ourselves the family title of ‘cat whisperers’……..
Boy aren’t I boring when I am content. I honestly have nothing to be cross about, nothing to rant about, no drugs to blame – oh yes guess what I am off every drug except statins, blood pressure pills and stomach de acidfiers – no uppers, downers or sidewayers no poisons or anti poisons, do you know it’s a bit like not having cancer!
For the first time for a very long time I really like the teaching side of my job. I have always liked the students but not the act of sharing knowledge with them. But now to be honest I find it pretty easy. When you are not having to do a load of other things to climb the greasy academic pole, committing yourself to being attentive to them, a bit interesting and sometimes amusing is a piece of piss. Sadly I don’t suppose the students have noticed much of a difference but I certainly have. I look forward! As a colleague of mine said ‘moments in class are zen moments.’ Part of the secret is doing those really mundane things that I have always resented – like preparing the lesson, remembering to give them and you a break, having an extension lead, stapling your bits of paper together thus avoiding lose-leaf-lap-slippage, realising that students are not just young versions of yourself , having a bag on wheels to hold that extension lead, cleaning the whiteboard, -an unimaginable pleasure-, tidying your desk, sticking stuff on the walls (now naked, after I turfed out every single book) they were their purely to show off that I read, but I don’t so I dumped the lot. Instead I have seven screens in my office. Four of which are permanently off but form a beautiful cold black still silence against my ghastly (must change it) beige paintwork. I have one Belgium telephone to make me think of Brussels, no family pictures – another ghastly status symbol perpetrated by some academics – look I am smart and a family man or woman – I have a home and a mortgage and live in the expensive village near Hull where every second family live in an untidy house full of books and dusty objects from trips to exotic places where conferences with intercontinental bullshit pseuds titles are convened and their children go to the local primary schools with the outstanding from offsted. They walk, as a family, at weekends and encourage outdoor activities, just so important for healthy brain development. Upstanding (blah) and dull and boring probably just like their beautifully mannered brown lab or cockapoo (got cockatoo from the spellchecker, much more subversive) and the rotting wendyhouse in the garden that grandpa made before he lost the plot (he is now rotting too) hopefully speeding their inheritance – smug gits. Oh sometimes I really don’t like what I have become. Actually yes I do. I suppose that’s worse.
So the big news is that Gravityisahat (the band not the brand) is back and performing on Boxing Day in the village hall. This will be my 6061 birthday party thus we will perform a number of classics that hitherto (at many memorable school galas) have never gone at all well – being that they have more than three chords and may even have tempo changes – so given my seniority it is time to show ambition. Carlos Santana will never have sounded so much like Charles Ives meets John Cage meets a status quo tribute band who forgot to tune up – I can’t wait.