February 1st, 2018


Imbolc In Bulk and Candlemass En Masse

Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.

Happy first day of research leave, everyone!

Oh right, that would be just me, then. Oh well, never mind, I promise to keep you informed of all my amusing doings. I should add that it's only the fourth period of leave I've had in my 28 years as a university teacher (1995, 2004 and 2010 are the other blessed dates), so my cup, though brimming at the moment, can't be said to have run over on a regular enough basis that I need to call a plumber.

Before I go to contemptuously bowl over some rabbits (carelessly splitting infinitives as I pass), I'll just say that my three main aims, from the writing point of view, are: a) to write a piece on Lucy Boston and genre; b) to write a keynote on WWI children's fiction and empathy for a conference that's happening in September (with special reference to Geraldine McCaughrean, probably), and c) the Cotswolds project. a) and b) interest me, of course, but c) is the jewel the crown of 2018's spring and summer. What adventures await me? Already this week I've spoken with a real live brigadier in the line of duty - a first for me. (And writing that, I've realised that I am quite unable to put a brigade, a regiment and a division in order of size. Not that I want to become a military nerd, but that should be common knowledge, right? Away to Google!)