I’m so late this week! Blame it on more cross-country driving. We had beautiful weather and we had the chance to visit relatives and catch up, but I’m glad we’re done and settled.
Even though this week is more than half over, for consistency’s sake I’m writing this weeknote about last week.
More meetings. Most went well. More tasks assigned to me, some of which are fine and some of which I wish I didn’t have to do. But what else is new! If I manage my time well I can take care of the administrative and teaching stuff without sacrificing research and writing time. I could write lots more on the work front, but I’d rather talk about other things!
I finished North and South. I really enjoyed it and I’m glad I finally read it. There were passages that felt as if they fit the world we live in today, especially those which talked about Milton’s workers and how they were constantly busy and had almost no time to stop and think about their lives. I found the way Gaskell brought John and Margaret together to be quite interesting. Margaret slowly lost everyone around her that she most cared about, which pushed her toward John. She also had a chance to visit her home in the South and she discovered that it had changed and so had she. And John suffers setbacks which bring him closer to Margaret. By the end they both knew they were meant for each other and that each was right for the other person. It was an interesting way to bring about the happy ending. A bit contrived, obviously, but effective.
My library holds are coming in with a vengeance. I’d suspended a bunch because I knew I wouldn’t have time, and I cancelled some as well, but apparently I have a hold problem. 😉 One long-awaited hold was welcome, though: Ali Smith’s third installment in her Seasonal Quartet, Spring. I’ve read about a quarter of it so far. It’s very good in places and I like the characters she introduces first, but it hasn’t grabbed me the way Autumn did. It might be that I’m not giving it enough attention. I’ll finish it this week and report back.
I put together a stack of books to bring out for the summer. I’m planning to do Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer challenge again, but I haven’t picked the books yet. I’ve done this challenge officially once and failed, and unofficially once and succeeded. I really enjoy it.
What a week for Liverpool! The Champions League game was one for the ages. I watched because I was at home but I had no expectation of a win, given they were down by three goals and Barca has Messi. But it was a classic Anfield Night and they dominated. Poor Barcelona. They didn’t know what hit them.
I am still behind on my podcasts, but the trip helped me catch up a bit. I relived the Great Champions League Victory and caught up on a couple of Brexitcasts.
We drove in two cars and decided to do it with our mostly dumbphones rather than switching back to smartphones. This meant looking at the big atlas we keep in the car, planning our nightly stops in the morning rather than on the fly, and looking at road signs to see how much farther we had to go. We could talk to each other when necessary, obviously, since the mostly dumbphones are very good at being actual phones, but it was different. One thing that mitigated the change was that we were on a very familiar route. But at times we had to navigate unfamiliar territory. We did it. It was like the old days.
I made lots of lists to prepare to leave for the summer, and I’m back to using my clock stamp to keep track of how I spend my days. Both help me focus.
We finished the trip and have unpacking to face. Not too much, though, since we’ve become much better at traveling compactly. The dogs will sleep for days since driving time is awake time for them, especially when we’re driving through winding highways in the mountains. Some trips we avoid the highest parts of the Rockies and the Sierra mountains, but this trip we did the big passes.
I have some lingering stuff to finish on a student’s NSF proposal and a couple of memos to write (sound familiar? I think I say the latter every week). And some office calls to set up. Other than that my time is my own.
So glad you are taking part in 20 Books of Summer Sunita – we can do it!
North and South sounds wonderful.
Forgive my ignorance, but what is a clock stamp?
@Cathy: We can! I’m perusing my bookshelves and having fun thinking about what I what to put on the list.
@Janine: I really enjoyed it. It’s a real condition-of-England novel but it doesn’t give the characters short shrift. As I said in one of my updates, I found the dialect a bit much at times, but it wasn’t inauthentic by any means.
My library is wreaking vengeance on me, too, and I have paused and cancelled some holds in the face of the onslaught. Why do I let it get out of control?
@Liz: We never learn, do we. 😉
@Janine: I forgot to answer your question! My clock stamp is a stamp that I ink into my daily planner. It is an outline of an analog clock with the hours marked on the outer rim. Some people record their activities in increments, but I just write down how I spent the day, which lets me quickly see when I’m more and less productive. I got it at the Hobonichi site.
I admit that I have never read North and South, but I do love the TV version with Richard Armitage. I should get the actual book and read it too some time.
@Ros: And I’ve never seen the miniseries, even though Romland people have talked about it since it came out. I can almost see Richard Armitage in the role, although the book’s John Thornton is a rougher, more physically imposing figure.