Fresh

Freshers week.

The week when we librarians induct Freshers into the joys of library use.

Only.

They don’t take place in the Library.

We have to trundle over to their departments and get them to use their imagination, shun, shun, shun.

I know. Weird right?

IMG_0350.JPG

And we don’t know what will greet us when we get to the allotted room. It could be a small, cosy broom cupboard with a handful of lovely postgrads.

Or as I experienced last week, walking through the door to be faced with a ginormous lecture theatre, tiers of seats rising before my horrified eyes.

A lectern stood in front of me. A lectern with 2 monitors and a bank of IT stuff stacked underneath it and another stack of IT stuff stacked off to the side.

And no “on” switch.

Or at least none of the buttons I frantically pressed turned anything on. At all.

Meanwhile the seats were filling up with a couple of hundred first years.

All obviously expecting entertainment.

I could hear the distant roar of the lions waiting.

And feel my face turning the colour of puréed beet root.

Reader, I turned and fled.

But only in search of a passing, random, tame academic.

Who came and found the cunningly hidden “on” switch.

Unfortunately 🙂

And at the end, one little Fresher came up to me and said

“Well, at least you seem friendly”

I take my crumbs of comfort where I can 🙂

IMG_0326.JPG

Advertisements

Clypping

If you’ve never tried it before, hugging a church is an interesting experience.

Sunday saw us at Painswick, a stunning Gloucestershire Cotswolds town of amber stoned buildings, to see the ancient clypping ceremony.

Painswick was also celebrating the Painswick Feast and the Apple Fair.

You could bring your own apples for pressing.

And buy puppy dog pie from the food stall.

20140923-210405.jpg

We were assured the pies contained beef and plum.

Much to the relief of the local puppy population.

Clypping is an olde English word meaning hugging or embracing.

Nothing to do with the topiary in the churchyard

20140923-210631.jpg

So after a procession around the churchyard

20140923-210732.jpg

20140923-210751.jpg

The congregation forms a circle around the church, holds hands and then embraces the church

20140923-210855.jpg

20140923-210917.jpg

Afterwards the children are given a coin and a clypping cake

20140923-211009.jpg

Sunshine, pies and mad English customs.

Unbeatable. 🙂

I Hear You Calling Marian

Name that group 🙂 (one for you Goths out there)

This weekend we made our long awaited trip to a centre of Christian pilgrimage, Walsingham in Norfolk.

20140921-202754.jpg

As an agnostic with sometimes pagan leanings, this weekend was at times an uncomfortable and challenging experience.

20140921-201837.jpg

It was also Fascinating

20140921-201946.jpg

20140921-202126.jpg

20140921-202158.jpg

And strangely moving.

An experience more catholic than Anglican.

A drinking of holy water.

20140921-202923.jpg

An anointing with oil.

An invitation (unaccepted) to a laying-on of hands and confession.

A candlelit procession in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham

20140921-202323.jpg

This is a special place, whatever your personal faith

Ave Maria.

Renewal

It’s been a little while.

A combination of the horror of the back-to-school routine

Depression at the impending start-of-university-term teaching

IMG_0350.JPG

And a little bit of writers block.

A head crowded with thoughts but none of them of interest to anyone but me.

And often not even to me.

But! But. The urge to ramble and waffle is upon me again, brought about by two cheering things

Thing one.
This weekend Averil (hi Averil!) and I are heading over to Walsingham for the candlelit procession to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

And possibly fish and chips at the coast whilst we’re over that way.

There may be winkles….

Thing two

Yoga. Ha HA. This week I have managed for the first time, and on one side only, to get myself into the weird arm behind back and other arm around leg holding hands bind thingy.

This is an achievement so momentous I wanted to stop the class so I could do the “running man” whilst shouting “yeah baby”.

But I didn’t.

Om.

IMG_0349.JPG

Party

We invited 35 friends to the grand kitchen unveiling at the weekend.

Only, the weekend before this one? the kitchen wasn’t actually quite ready to be unveiled.

And neither was the living room, which we decided to start redecorating a couple of weeks ago.

Because that’s a great thing to do when you’ve got masses of guests due to come to the house very soon.

So it’s been a bit of a whirlwind of nailing, sawing, painting and papering over the last ten days.

But I think we made it.

Just.

Or at least we were able to strategically place furniture in front of the bits that weren’t quite finished.

I think we got away with it.

Maybe 🙂

So Saturday was party day. A whirl of cooking and baking

20140908-165105.jpg
Triple layer Mississippi Mud Cake

20140908-165228.jpg
White chocolate and strawberry cheesecake.

And a lot more that I was too flappy to take photos of.

Squawk.

I make a very convincing headless chicken 🙂