Phew! Milton Keynes, Liverpool with Charlie, Oxfordshire, Cumbria and the campus based programme on Oversight and Scrutiny with Andrew, papers from which I'm moderating today. I've had a busy few weeks, plus planning for Australia in the winter and the Japan Programme in October against the background rumble of organisation change at the university and the summer lull of government. My webpage at Inlogov has been rewritten by Nathan Johnson to make it easier for anyone interested to download some of my writing and view some of the film clips that support it. As my hair gets whiter it was a good idea to put a newer picture of myself on the site - one Richard took as we ate a meal in town last week.
I've looked over at the VJA site from Handsworth Park.
Something's going on but Rachel and I can't see the site being ready by early August.
[25 July 09: I finally got through to Adrian Stagg at Allotments in the City (0121 303 3038 firstname.lastname@example.org). He said "We're very disappointed. The plots will not be ready by Allotments Week, 10-16 August, and we don't know when they will be. We are on the case. We're on to the developer. I'm preparing another Newsletter to share this news, in the meantime sit on your hands. We're as vexed as you and the other shortlisted plotholders. We'll keep you informed. This is going to happen, Simon!]
I top up the compost, make tea and coffee, feed the fish and give nuts and fat balls to the birds, talk on the phone, email and skype. It rains. And rains. At the market last week: "Have you got fat balls?" "I haven't but .... (Ha!)" Lin's being reproaching me for doing so little work on the house - painting damp spots, filling cracks in ceilings and walls, tidying, washing, folding, stacking, storing, recycling and disposing, managing her properties, viewing another, helping Amy move into her new home with Guy. Now and then on a station platform, in the garden, cycling slowly through a crowd, gazing over water, a piercing ray of love. Always my thoughts leap to the Highlands, to the village and the view over to fair Greece. Of course my learning about 19th century Ionian history continues with connections to contemporary events and attitudes. I long to get a full copy of Calligas' thesis so I can get really engrossed in her detailed research on the Rizospastai - a chance to see the Protectorate through Ionian eyes. I would like to see how the differing characters of successive High Commissioners created different patterns of action and reaction in the populations of the islands. Maitland's dishonourable petty xenophobia makes me ponder violence even today. Adam's decency and courage warms me to the Protectorate...and so on.
Epirus and the Sea of Corfu from Ano Korakiana