Thursday, 16 March 2017
just another day
How's life where you are? Here, all is within normal parameters.
Of course not the same can be said of the wider world. This week Britain has seen some extraordinary political action, which may well shape the years to come, and will affect my personal future. It is of course the month when Article 50 is scheduled to be triggered by Mrs May, starting the messy process of detanglement from the European Union. She is a frightful, dangerous individual. I think it is fair to say the Mrs May's unwavering stance has opened the debate for a second independence referendum here in Scotland, which is also quite unsettling. On the other side of the pond, courts are defeating yet another travel ban whilst the administration continues continues to wreck havoc. Today's news included a 31% proposed budget cut to the Environmental Protection Agency - imagine that! The only positive political news this week has been the Dutch elections, where the right wing populists have not won. There is hope still. Elsewhere in the world, the most vulnerable suffer terribly as a result of war and civil unrest. There is so much wrong in the world, and yet, we keep on finding joy and happiness in our small personal worlds. We are a resilient bunch, us people but a destructive bunch, too. I have decided to educate myself and to not be put off by confrontation.
As I imagine myself a key element to changing the world for a better place, life trundles on. I have pretty much finished week three of my 5k training up and I am pleased to say that I have now managed to replace boring Laura from the NHS app with the much more exiting Mr Yao from the ZombiesRun app: I learned how to create my own training sessions using the times and modes (walk/run) from the NHS app. The result is a far more fun workout with my very own music playlist. Did you know that I like to listen to good old German punk when I am running? I bet you didn't expect that. I like to lighten this up with rocky tunes, nothing beats a grovelling Billy Idol or the sweet sound of the man of all men, Dave Grohl. Don't judge me.
Our house is haunted by a hacking cough that is slowly but steadily reducing us all to miserable cough mixture craving people. James was really ill last weekend, Alistair followed with a two day delay but didn't get quite so unwell. Sam has been clearing his throat continuously (I can't bear that sound) and now Richard and I have started coughing and I have to admit that I am also clearing my throat noisily. Only Annie seems unaffected. Last to fall I guess.
I continue to expose my offspring to food they don't like. I am nothing but stubborn in my pursuit of a more varied diet. I have been thanked with threats to vomit at the table, disgusted faces and 'accidental' dropping of food onto the floor (the dog loves that). No doubt they will start saving their pocket money to got and get a Subway. Meanwhile, I rather enjoyed recent dinners.
My hip still gives me grief when I am sat on my desk at work. The only other time it is sore is in the car. I cannot explain this. At work, I find relief in wandering through the deep underbelly of the building I am working in. You have never seen anything like it. It is old, very old and it is big, very big. It is bigger still on the inside, which is of course impossible but - and I would swear to that - true. It is taller on the South facing side also (built into a hill). I think but can't be sure that there are four levels all with very high ceilings. The central asymmetrical staircase (which is not centrally located and does not allow access to all levels) is in a cathedral like cavity. The winding of the stair case defies all logic. In between main levels there are half and quarter landings with offices, labs, broom cupboards and who knows what. It took me a while to find the nearest toilet, which is hidden away about halfway up the main stairs in a dark and narrow corridor that can be reached by climbing a set of creaky wooden steps that are at a 90 degree angle to the main stairs. My own temporary office is is on the lowest level on the North facing side. Again, a set of creaky wooden steps lead down to it. These steps take a turn into the darkness to the south facing side - I haven't quite dared exploring, who knows, maybe there is a cafeteria there. My office is also right next to the lower exit - only I haven't found a route that leads me to the door yet. Crazy, yes? Still, it adds a bit of excitement to otherwise monotonous days. I make sure to have a fully charged mobile phone with me when I go on a wander. I should probably carry the charger, food and water also.
Some of you have wondered what my new job is. I am leading the development of an online taught Masters programme at the interface of human, veterinary, public and ecological health. At the moment, I am writing and rewriting programme and course specifications, which is boring but crucial. Every word counts because what is written there is the law for content development. We are hoping to have approval soon, then I can get started with the fun part that I am more qualified to deal with, content.
I am reading Ian McEwan's 'Nutshell', Niall Williams 'Four letters of love' and the hefty 'One Health - people, animals and the environment' edited by Robert Atlas and Stanley Maloy (top notch scientists only nerds like me would know). This latter is something I have to read for work and I have to say, it is rather pleasant to sit down with a coffee and read whilst being paid for doing so.
I have noticed buds on our fruit trees and the Christmas red solar powered string lights on the pear tree finally get enough sun to light up in the night. Christmas time is not great for solar powered lights in Scotland. I also noticed that my recently planted Lily of the Valley are breaking trough, I love these flowers and I am impatiently waiting for the flowering season to start.
My spring time sewing inspiration is slowly awakening, no doubt you'll read all about it soon. I have a few things in mind, starting with a top or two and maybe a dress for the summer and one for those few occasions where I have to look smart at work. Meanwhile I am working on Annie's quilt.
I'll leave you with a snippet of a conversation:
Me, talking to Richard: Would it be ok if I clear the dresser in your office and put my dahlia pots there until they can be planted out?
Which dresser? Richard asks
Me: There is only one dresser in your office,
Richard: Oh, I thought you wanted to store linen and towels in there?
Have a good day! xx
P.S. The photos were taken during a lunch time walk just outside my work. Glasgow is full of green places, you are never far from a park here.