WFH: DAY 1 (2nd series). Two Scottish dreams, last night. In the first, one of my sons, a friend whom I didn’t recognise, and I, left a place and travelled to another. On arriving, I realised that we must take a train to Edinburgh. However, at that time in the evening, it would get there too late and with no certainty that our connections could be met. So, we returned to the place from which we’d set out initially. In the dream that followed, my family alighted upon a Mackintosh tearoom on a street in Glasgow, and debated whether we should partake, there and then (when it was quiet), or wait until later. The decision was cast; one of my sons requested a table. I awoke.
8.15 am: Proof of presence:
8.30 am: A communion. 9.00 am: I took an overview of the week ahead, and replayed Saturday’s mix of ‘John Williams’. Small adjustments still needed to be made. On, then, with a combination of Personal Tutee responses and support, teaching feedback, marking, and research and assessment communications. I returned an email to the Curator at Big Pit National Coal Museum, related to the new project. I included my impeccable credentials:
I come from coalmining stock. All my family, with the exception of my father, were involved in the pit in one way or another. My maternal grandfather was Overman, and my uncles an electrician and a fireman, at Beynon’s Colliery, Blaina. My mother once worked there, and at Cwmtillery Colliery, as a pay clerk. Her mother used to clean for the colliery owners, prior to nationalisation. My paternal grandfather (a one-time Communist) was in charge of the winding-house at Rose Heyworth Colliery, Abertillery. In 1982, before the Big Pit site had been developed as a museum, I made a drawing of the colliery for a local entrepreneur. Rain or shine, and in the blistering winds, I sat on the bank below the canteen to work.
The Museum wrote back pronto, offering a tantalising description of sound sources in their archive. Which made me wonder whether there was a bigger project implied in all this. It would certainly fit within a community and public impact agenda. So, I may need to widen my reach somewhat, in terms of sourcing grant aid. On with assessing. (In the background: Fred Frith’s Guitar Solos (1974).)
1.45 pm: I continued with assessing. The morning’s dull neutrality (a black and white grey) had not lifted. In a few hours, the day would begin to decline without ever really having begun to incline. Prior to moving on to the next pressing project of necessity, I continued to test the relative frequency range of my guitar cables.
3.00 pm: I moved into Powerpoint mode, and began constructing the first of two bespoke explanations of the CD releases, which would be included in the School’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission in March. Having already created a website for each of the albums, the undertaking felt irksome even before it had begun. Needs must, nevertheless. I consoled myself: ‘This is the last time you’ll ever have to do this!’
7.30 pm: Whatever else I would do this evening, I vowed, must include a further examination of the weekend’s mix. At this time of the year, even under normal conditions, an unhealthy monomania can prevail. Diversification is necessary for sanity. Adjustments were made. I opened ‘The Crucifiction (Skirrid)’, too — making space and lightening the weight where I could.