Friday, 22 May 2015

Close Encounters

The first of our fixtures in what’s going to be a busy week finds us in De Beauvoir Town at former library and community centre, Open School East. We’re here for a seminar on Posthumanism and The Arts, in part because the speakers include one of Tom’s PhD supervisors, David Roden. A trickle of attendees turns into a flood and soon it’s standing room only for what proves to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening with fascinating presentations and lively debate. If you’d like to hear more about it you can listen to David Roden’s post on SoundCloud here.

Tom and I are probably the oldest people in the room, however there’s an interesting outbreak of #GrannyHair, both here, and on the streets of trendy East London, which makes me wonder why I bother hiding mine – except, of course, that the young women will still be young and I’ll look even more like a granny!
St Leonard's. Shoreditch

Thanks the non-appearance of trains on the London Overground, there’s plenty of opportunity to people-watch en route to Brick Lane where we have a curry before tackling the rest of our journey. Some of our encounters are closer than I would like; the woman who calls me a ‘horrible f*cker’ for declining to give her her bus fare, the busy train carriage where we sit opposite Mr and Mrs Shouty-Fighty and their snarling, farting dog, the ranty man at Wimbledon pacing the platform while fulminating into his phone and the man urinating in the street as we leave the station. Perhaps I’ve just lived in west Wales too long!

On Wednesday, Tom sets off to Milton Keynes to present the first of his PhD papers at the OU Music Department Research Day and I continue a busy round of catching up with friends and family before a full day in London on Thursday when I’ll be attending my final RNA committee meeting and the Romantic Novelists' Association Summer Party. But before that, on Wednesday evening, Rose and I have some rare ‘mum and daughter’ time at a local restaurant where we have a lovely time recommending books to each other and discussing plans for the future. 

I go to bed very happy, but wake up at two in the morning feeling very unhappy! My body feels as if it’s on fire, my head is spinning and my stomach is in considerable distress. The moment I have to ask Tom to fetch me a bucket, I know that no fairy godmother in the world is going to get this sick Cinderella to the RNA ball! Perhaps unsurprisingly words like ‘gutted’ and ‘bummer’ spring to mind at having come all this way to say thanks and farewell to my fellow RNA committee members only to fall at the final hurdle. The only consolation is that I seem to be getting over it quickly and now just feel tired rather than ill!

And finally…
Apologies to my regular readers and fellow bloggers for my absence – it’s just a very busy time!

Painting is Totem Gymraeg by Tom Tomos