Saturday 27 January 2024

2024 Weeknote 4

The best news of this week was that I got a place on the Masters course at Oxford. I don't know which college yet but I have signed the paperwork and submitted requests for my transcripts to be sent directly to them...something else that has to be paid for. Higher education is not cheap, is it? Certainly not as cheap as I got it first time round. 

I've decided that I will ask for a sabbatical from work. I have come up with dozens of reasons why this is a good idea, but am resigned to going into line management with the head this week and come out having been talked into doing both. Maybe is a lot of days out of school I'll be needing. We will see. My beloved history colleague announced her intention to leave this week so I am in a quandary, panicking that it will be a whole new history team next year and all of my empire building will be reworked. But that's as it needs to be, I guess. Just because I've got it perfect for me (and, imo, the students) doesn't mean it will be perfect for anyone else. 

I dragged my weary carcass to yoga midweek for once this week. I still miss hot yoga a lot but am trying to make myself love regular yoga. Plus I was mega stiff from over-exertion at the gym on Sunday, 35kg bench press don't you know, and didn't my pecs know for the following three days. Yoga helped and I was pleasantly aching through my back muscles for a couple of days. I've got this yoga headstand stool now that I am quite good at using, though I can never be bothered to warm up so don't touch it at home - doing a bit of home yoga would be a good addition to daily life, along with the greens powder I impulse-purchased this week. 

This morning I got up and went to Gloucestershire to do some kayaking. I meant to do this a fortnight ago but managed to talk myself out of it. Today I just drank my coffee, ate my breakfast, dressed in a mishmash of warming clothes and dragged the kayak out of the garage without trying to think too hard about it. I went to the Sharpness canal by Purton Ships Graveyard and found a great place to park right next to one of the swing bridges, with a handy little dock for putting in. 

This is an important place in the History of the Kayak, because it's where I decided I was going to get it. I went here for a Betwixtmas walk with Mother Hand in 2020 and spotted this little pond off the canal from the path on the other side. There were a couple of kayakers in the canal that day and I was so envious, wanting to go and explore the little pond that was clearly only accessible from the water. I convinced myself a kayak was what I needed and I bought mine the following June. I think today was maybe only its 9th or 10th use so I really need to start making more use of it. This year I have made a NY resolution to get out in it at least once per month, hence this morning's dash. Next time I think I might go back to Bristol harbour before my licence expires. 

Anyway, the pond was a lovely little place. I didn't explore too much though, as I disturbed a heron and what looked like a black goose, which flew off, and there were the swans in there as you can see in the picture. This was not a place for humans, really. 

I finished The Witness Wore Red and started the audiobook of Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings, which is on the racial origins of fatphobia. It's quite a highbrow listen but happily it's not very long so I anticipate finishing it this week (I have a bad habit of just giving up on audiobooks that I have to concentrate on too much). I've started the Karen Maitland book I got out of the library but it is a hefty old hardback and I am not sure I can finish it before going on holiday in two weeks...we'll see. Otherwise I'll have to find another book to read as this one would seriously cut into my luggage allowance. 

I'm a few stripes off finishing the second baby jumper sleeve, aided by episodes of Better Call Saul which we have finally started watching. It makes me nostalgic for the summer I spent with Father Hand in Albuquerque. He had an old blue clunker, similar to Saul's yellow car, that one day we had to coast down the mountain from a lecture we'd been to because he couldn't get it to start. He coasted it all the way back to his apartment, where he fixed it. Later we drove it all the way back to Florida together. I ran over a dead skunk; he told me to 'give it some welly' when I was overtaking something (a phrase I often repeat to myself if I need to gee myself up); we heard about Princess Diana's death in it, in the middle of the night, in Texas. Albuquerque is a kind climate for old clunkers. 

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