Friday, 24 June 2011
However, I do have one thing to be grateful for in as much as I had a request earlier in the week from a local university to see if I would do a year's cover work for them from September and I said no. At any other time I might have been tempted to help them out only to have regretted it later when all the preparation and marking started to mount up. But, coming as it did, just as I was really experiencing the consequences of saying yes too often, I turned them down without a second thought. Come cold winter mornings, when I would have been dragging myself out to catch an early train, I shall be so glad about that.
Anyway, now I'm taking a breather before turning my mind towards the two Summer Schools I'm organising this year. The first is the second week in August and is based round three piano concertos, one each by Beethoven, Schumann and Shostakovich. We're going to place each one in the context of other music being written at the same time, by both those composers and others and I'm really looking forward to it because, although I've done all the organisation, I'm not leading any of the sessions so I can just sit back and enjoy the music.
The other, two weeks later, is our annual literature Summer School and this year the people coming have chosen to read three books each of which is set in two different time periods: Daphne du Maurier's The House on the Strand, Emma Darwin's A Secret Alchemy and Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott. I have to do rather more where that week is concerned, because as well as leading the final discussion I also have to pull the whole week together and I want to get people thinking about why historical fiction seems to be making a comeback at the moment. I happened to catch a radio discussion some weeks back suggesting that more recent historical research, which has concentrated on the everyday life of ordinary people, as opposed to the political events, was responsible and I shall be interested to see what the others think about that idea. If any of you have any thoughts that would add to the discussion then please do let me know.
Now I'm off to put my feet up and listen to Wimbledon. I might even pick up a book and read. But then again, I might not. Have a good weekend.