Yesterday was my last time paying a toll on the Second Severn Crossing, now officially renamed "The Prince of Wales Bridge" by politically correct history-rewriters (or doesn't that argument count when it's done by royalists?). The cost of the bridge was paid off a year ago, but the Treasury has been collecting the the Going-to-Wales tax, disguised as a toll, since then. As I write this the toll booths are being broken up for firewood, and their surly inhabitants pushed out into the night to wander the Severn's treacherous foreshore under the crystalline sky - just in time for Christmas. I wanted to ask about that as I paid over my last £5.60, indeed, but there was a queue behind me.
I still have some things on my plate - work from PhD students, various articles and books to review, Children's Literature in Education business and so on, but basically I have until Christmas to do some research of my own - something to which I've been more or less a stranger since September. In particular, the hefty pile of material from my Japanese voyage has yet to receive its final, triumphant transfiguration into scholarship, and looks more like an early draft of The Key to All Mythologies.
It's been a particularly busy term, not least because I packed in a lot of external examining (MA programmes in Wolverhampton and Roehampton, PhDs in Valencia and Dublin), as well as various extras on university home turf. I can blame no one but myself for all this, and in fact the work was generally interesting, but I do feel more than usually exhausted at this point, from the constant travel as much as anything. Hence my recent tendency to fall asleep at the wheel of this blog.
That's all going to change now, though! Look forward to vexatiously frequent entries from now on!