December 10, 2019

8.40 am: Into inclemency, as it were; the rain drove under my umbrella; the wind pushed me backward down Llanbadarn Road. The Old College’s West Classroom was quieter in the storm than it ever had been, now that the windows are sealed with Perspex. I tried to return a doctor’s call regarding my blood tests, but to no avail. One of my MA fine art students called-in to cancel their appointment. I took the opportunity between tutorials to visit my local watering-hole. Quite unexpectedly, I bumped into one of my former BA Fine Art students; they were on a weekend visit. We talked about the trails of being a school teacher, the excess of hours and class sizes, and the wholesale absorption of one’s life in the vocation. Stephen Chilton had abandoned teaching (an occupation that he’d otherwise enjoyed and was exceptionally good at) for the same reasons. What an indictment of our age. 10.00 am: On with my own relentless regime:

The Old College will be vacated by June of 2020 to permit refurbishments to begin. I’m prone to photograph those parts that have been the habitual backdrop to my work in this building for many years. The windows of one of the gents’ toilets: a minor marvel, and an exquisite detail from a magnificent building:

11.30 am: Onto the streets towards the School, once again. The theatre/drama students have been occupying the concourse during the past week. I suspect that they’re rehearsing for the Winter Show, which opens tomorrow evening. Today, they were dressed in their best bib and tucker. Quite surreal for a wet Tuesday afternoon.

12.30: At home. Admin catch-up: postgraduate applications and the final allocation of tutorials during the last week of the teaching period. 1.00 pm: Recall from my GP surgery. My potassium levels are low. The culprit may be one of my blood-pressure tablets. So begins a two-week process of exclusion.

1.40 pm: Admin. I needed to articulate to several potential PhD applicants how do construct a study-scheme proposal, as well as a problematic or question, in readiness for their application. It’s not an easy call. 3.00 pm: The first of two MA fine art tutorials, which had been postponed last week. We’re all prone to want ‘enlightenment’ to fall in our laps sooner rather than later. However, it doesn’t behove to us to set the timetable. Answers will be given in due season, and only to those who’ve searched long and worked hard for them.

4.00 pm: And the rain poured and the wind howled, but still the School did not fall:

I held an advisory session with a potential PhD Fine Art applicant, before clearing my inbox, reviewing parcel deliveries, and wrapping myself up for the walk home.

6.30 pm: Practise session: with an emphasis on cross-picking. 7.30 pm: Varieties of admin, advice to a pal regarding the purchase of a small guitar amp (a serious business), and a consideration of my response to a Call for Participation in an experimental sound performance symposium, to be held next year. Part of me thinks that I should make an effort. Another part of me resists. A tug-of-war will ensue. One way or another, I’ll lose.

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