It’s 25 days, 20 hours and 39 minutes until we leave. It really feels like it too. That is, I have a strong sensation of time counting down in small increments, as though in the back of my mind a tiny hourglass is close to being empty. At our weekly “bun club” meeting this afternoon I actually had a strong sense of time-shift, as though I was observing everything from a distant future and looking back on my time here in Cambridge. All the forward-planning topics reminded me of a parallel universe in which I would not exist, and my thoughts drifted to Melbourne, where presumably some other meeting was taking place to determine my actual future.
Well, we sold about 85% of the stuff in the Moving Sale almost immediately. Today we got around to cleaning out more cupboards, and there are some more new items, including Lotte’s bike and my M.A. Gown. I’m really serious when I say — get in quick if you want any of this stuff!! Moving Sale.
It’s time to start getting rid of our stuff because we just can’t take it all home to Melbourne. We decided to price everything so that it’d definitely go (many things are only 50p and some are actually free), so naturally this is first come, first served. A few items will be available in the week we move out (Jan 29) but most things are ready to go now. If you’re interested, here’s the page with photos and prices: Moving Sale.
Okay. I just took a quick look at my photo library to see how far I’ve let my blog slide lately, and came up with the following list of events since my last entry! Yikes. So, I finally got around to uploading photos albums each one — go to the Photos page to see them. If it seems like there has been a lot going on lately, there has. These are just the things we have photos for. There were lots of other important things going on! The biggest and most time consuming was Lotte’s Visa Application, which weighed 1.7 kg and basically took Lotte 3 months of full time work (keep your fingers crossed). We also launched a new weekly live jazz club called The Speakeasy at the on August 27, which has been a great success. I presented at the ALT-C and BERA Conferences in September and at a research symposium called Poke 1.0 this month (no photos, but I’m sure you know what a conference looks like). The cricket season ended well, with Cavendish winning the league with 9 wins and 1 loss. We’ve had lots of new challenges to keep us busy too. Work for me has been quite intense since the start of October, because I have been conducting the second phase of the day experience stuff we started last term. Meanwhile Lotte has got herself two part time jobs: selling soap at Lush, and summarising news articles for important people at the Government News Network. All this, and trying to plan for our wedding next year!
It’s a very confusing feeling to go ‘home’ to Melbourne and then arrive ‘home’ in Cambridge. More than ever it feels as though there are two parallel universes, each with its own distinct system of spacetime. For instance, I had this overwhelming sensation of travelling back in time as we got to Melbourne. As we drove around familiar streets in the car we hadn’t seen for a year (it still has that new smell) we slipped back into Melbourne’s rhythms accompanied by the sounds of familiar bands and songs and (“remember THIS?”) intelligent public debate on the radio. Even our old mates Ian and Heidi were back in Melbourne, which was even more puzzling since they’d also been in England until very recently.
We got far more achieved in our 20 days than we’d dreamed, including wrestling with two storage units for 4 hours in order to reduce them to one, finding some needed tax records, dozens of work meetings, and some hundreds of hours of much needed social and family time. I decided to edit down our photos into a short slideshow as a QuickTime movie. It’s 6Mb, so beware that it might take a while to download. Download Slideshow
Here’s a couple of photos from the Friday night party at Barcelona. Lotte is judging the Jack’n’Jill contest, and generally having a great time dancing to the spectacular Ivanow Jazz Group. We were over there for a series of weekend workshops that Lotte was teaching with Bill at the Balliball dance studio. I deejayed a 2 hour set on the Saturday night at the studio, and both of us had a fantastic time dancing till the wee hours both nights. We didn’t really have enough time for sightseeing, even though we planned an extra couple of days — but that just means we will have to go back for the Barcelona Swing Festival next year.
Lotte and I were in Barcelona on the weekend, travelling on a train when a young guy standing next to us was attacked by thugs. It was just before 11pm and the trains were full, mostly with soccer fans returning from a big game that day. As we entered the carriage I noticed two guys with short cropped hair, army boots and the sort of straight-legged jeans of a trademarked 1970s skinhead. To top it off, even though they were speaking Catalan, they were sporting Union Jacks on their jackets, which made me think more of certain skinhead revivalists and their Nazist tendencies. They were probably about 18, sitting with their legs propped up across the benches, and travelling with a girl who was carrying a small white bulldog. It was the sort of group you generally try to avoid. We kept an eye on them until they got up to leave, pushing past me towards a young guy with long hair, probably 16 or 17, standing near the door right behind me. They started to speak to him, obviously taunting him, and one of them reached out and pulled his hair. Hard. He resisted answering them, and then as the train pulled up to the station each of the guys took a swing at him. They hit him hard — one of the guys connected flush on with his face, sending his head backwards into the wall. It was all too fast to do anything much, and he just stood his ground. He was okay, physically, but I could see how shaken he was by it, as you would expect. All I want to do now is tell that guy how brave I thought he was to just stand there and not give the guys the satisfaction of a fight that could have ended very badly. We reported the thugs at the station, but that was all we could do. Sorry, kid.