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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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The Long Summer
I lay staring at the ceiling for some time this morning, cat athwart my midriff, inventing the names of cancelled BBC3 shows. My favourites so far are "Pimp my Bride" and "'Tis Pity She's a Horse". I fear others will follow.

"Why the uncharacteristic laziness, steepholm?" you ask. "You, who were wont to be up and doing while the larks were still a-bed?" It's a fair question, but I felt I deserved a short lie-in, having just finished my last week of a teaching for a while. There's much marking to be done, deadlines to meet, meetings to plan, plans to be execute, reports to file, a dramatic production in a local school to organize, and an office to move - but it will be several months before I need to get up on my hind legs and perform. By that time, I'll be up for it. For now, though, I am resting, and Morpheus is my bed-fellow.

This semester was my last at St Matthias Campus, where I've taught for the last 24 years. My university has finally succeeded in selling it after a decade of trying, and we're to be moved across the Frome and up the hill to the main site - i.e. from this:


to this:


I have mixed feelings, it's fair to say. For a long time, "When we move to Frenchay" was equivalent to "On the Greek Kalends" in my workplace, so often were plans to move us announced and then inevitably scrapped; but over Christmas the campus cat, Boris, died, and with the genius of the place gone I knew there was but one way. Mostly, my heart quails at the thought of excavating a quarter-century of paper from my office. Who knows what tender youthful dreams will be revealed?

Wow. A different atmosphere and no mistake. I want to buy the old place (well a small part of it, anyway)

It's said that the sunken lawn in the picture has old mine workings underneath, and that if too many people stand on it at once they could all disappear deep inside the Earth's crust. Guess where they're putting the marquee for the grand leaving party? (I'll be there with my camera.)

Oh, it's built on a Hellmouth! That would explain why I didn't like the vibe when I visited the old place.

And no doubt when you get a date for the actual move, it'll be "tomorrow, and can you manage with one crate?". Two years after I first suggested my job could more usefully be based in the Luton campus, I got ISTR three days notice to move, plus "all the crates are being used by other staff, you can manage with a few flimsy cardboard boxes, can't you?"

There is apparently an ample supply of sacks for recyclable rubbish. I'm not sure what help, if any, will be available for moving the stuff that needs to be moved. (I assume there will be some!)

Those titles sound rather ISIHAC-ish.

More than likely. ISIHAC has has been rambling up and down my neural pathways these four decades.

From beauty to hideosity. I thought only we did that. (Not that there are very many beautiful schools here.)

Ah, you should see the brutalist architecture of many a '60s city centre. Town planners are widely held to have done more damage than the Luftwaffe: this is benign by comparison.

I don't think I got around enough during my visits to see it, or maybe I just didn't register it, being so used to it from home.

Pictures of London do shock me now, so many modern skyscrapers, and then the Eye.

(Deleted comment)
(how old was he?)

As the hills. Here he is in happier times...

Boris the cat

and we're to be moved across the Frome and up the hill to the main site

Well, that's a whiplash change in aesthetics. I feel ambivalent about that and I don't even have to move filing cabinets.

A university is a machine for learning in.

A university is a machine for learning in.

Yeah, well, so are rat mazes.

Oddly enough (or not), one of our previous pro-Vice Chancellors made his academic name designing rat maze experiments.

oh dear! I know which building and setting I prefer!

So do I, but since this is a public post I shall practise discretion.

well that's a ... it looks like a pimped out council estate. why do university administrations do these things.

Those ripply benches worry me.