Both Reivers and I have been absent from this blog for a while now. Frankly, there has just been too much to do to blog (see the previous post). There is still too much to do, but one or two things caught my eye recently that I thought I would share.
With due apologies to Christopher Smart and his cat Jeoffrey
For I consider this blog.
For my activity has been limited this term.
For I apologise to any readers still left.
For this I perform in ten degrees
For first semester 1 is always busy.
For secondly the university has been re(dis)organised in a truly horrendous way.
For thirdly no one knows who’s who or what’s what.
For fourthly we may be getting there, slowly.
For fifthly my grandfather would have said ‘and so’s Christmas’.
For sixthly, I sigh deeply.
For seventhly I have had significant new teaching with lovely colleagues
For this module has been on the Vikings no less!
For we’ve had a lot of fun (mostly).
For I hope to blog about fancy new interdisciplinary teaching in the future.
For eighthly Orderic Vitalis has been sadly neglected.
For the final conference on the Norman Edge is coming up soon.
For I shall definitely blog that.
For ninthly sometimes there just isn’t time
For sleep and friends and fun.
For tenthly one’s best is never quite good enough
For there is always something else on the list.
For having considered what I have done,
For what myself and others have accomplished,
For we should carry our heads high.
For having neglected the blog I am sorry, but
For now can I sleep?
Yes, yes, the conference was in July and now it’s October, and yes, I’ve been to several conferences since Leeds and no, I haven’t written those up either. A combination of circumstances has meant that my feet have barely touched the floor since Leeds and so not only am I dreadfully behind on blogging, but on just about everything else in life too. Anyway, here is the much promised third installment of this year’s Leeds conference.*
Tuesday’s sessions continued the Norman theme with the strand ‘Normans, Normandy and the wider Norman world: 911 from a 2011 perspective’, bookended by David Bates and me, a fact which in no small way contributed to the pre-paper jitters of the previous evening. There were four sessions in all, though the third was the subject of an annoying clash and I ducked out to take part in a rebellion or two.
Best Leeds ever just about sums up IMC just gone. If last year was all about ‘good papers, good beer and good company‘, then this year’s IMC continued that theme with better weather and an energy about the place I haven’t felt in a while (and as evidenced by the number of people who joined in the dancing). As this year marks the eleven-hundredth anniversary of the traditional date of the foundation of Normandy, there was a decided Norman theme to parts of the conference and most certainly my session attendance. Well, let’s start with Monday and see how far I get.
July is nearly here, which means the annual International Medieval Congress at Leeds is just around the corner with all its madness. I tried explaining this conference to a modern historian friend who looked frankly terrified by the prospect, both in terms of size and duration, but for those of us made of sterner stuff what can we expect from the programme this year (with its rather episcopally-coloured cover)?
Yesterday I was late leaving the house. As I pride myself on organisation and punctuality, this was a rare event. Part of the reason lies in a change in my morning listening habits from Radio4 and the horrors of ‘Today’ to whatever is on Radio3 when I wake up. Yesterday, shortly after 7.45am, this piece of music caused me to stand stock still in the kitchen - Lux arumque, by Eric Whitacre.