I wondered whether I would write my blog this week, it being Christmas day. But the season is no disrupter of sleep patterns and I was still awake at 4.00 a.m. So here it is, a shorter version than usual. I’m writing it, I’ll leave the reading of it up to you.
This has been a week of work and play. I’ll start with the work, because that makes me look dedicated.
It’s been a week of renewed energy in the PhD. I completed RD9 of the meeting with Jean and sent that off, then settled to work on the poetry analysis. I have been reading and re-reading Selima Hill, analysing her work for recurring themes and images. She uses reference to colours and smells a lot in her work; and flowers, animals and body parts occur frequently. It is interesting to try to work out what these images ‘mean’. Of course, what they mean to me in my reading might not be what she intended them to mean in her writing, but it is up to me to make my reading of her work convincing. Linking her images to Freudian psychoanalysis is interesting. For instance, she mentions teeth quite a lot; and in The Interpretation of Dreams Freud claims that ‘teeth’ dreams are indicators of sexual/masturbatory desire; and specifically in girls, to the desire for boy babies. I’m not sure what that tells me about Selima Hill’s poetry, but it is just an interesting link; and it is just a start.
I have also been reading Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born, particularly the chapter ‘Motherhood and Daughterhood’. Just Wow! So, considering it has been Christmas week, I have got quite a lot done on the PhD front. Finding the space and the time was the hard part this week.
On Monday I met up with the Spelks in Manchester. Four of us met under the giant Santa Claus on Albert Square. We had a cursory look around some Christmas market stalls on the way to a pub in Exchange Square where we had drinks and cocktails to celebrate Penny’s birthday; then we went on to Mowgli restaurant where we met up with the rest of the Spelks for a celebratory meal. It was a lovely afternoon in my favourite company. How fantastic it is to have like-minded friends and to be able to share something as special as poetry with them.
I moved my book-keeping day to Tuesday this week to free up Wednesday to go to Peterborough with Bill and Amie to meet up with my elder son, Richard, and friends. We had a meal in Carluccio’s restaurant in the city centre. Before we went I thought it would be a chain establishment trading on the famous name; but I have to say the food was fantastic, worthy of the Carluccio name. And the company was fantastic too. It’s always good to spend time with the offspring; and especially so at this time of year. We all went back to a friend’s for drinks and yule log; and an old episode of ‘League of Gentleman’ as it had been the unusual focus of Amie’s Christmas jumper: You’re my wife now! Here is a photograph I took of the lovely Peterborough Cathedral under floodlight. The Cathedral was featured recently in Lucy Worsley’s Six Wives on BBC television, being the burial place for Katherine of Aragon. The photo doesn’t do it justice though. It’s a beautiful building, and the floodlight gave it a lovely rosy glow that doesn’t really show up in this picture.
Thursday I had to take my beautiful cat Jimbo to the vet. He was limping off his hind legs. Eighteen months ago he managed to fracture both femurs in a freak accident jumping onto the sofa and getting his leg caught in a cushion. The injuries were a result of post-neutering osteoporosis, apparently. His right leg, the worst affected, was repaired under surgery; the left leg was left to heal on its own, with the possibility of further surgery down the line. I was afraid that time had come this week; however, the vet doesn’t think he has an unhealed fracture and treated him with a pain killing injection. He was prescribed further painkilling medication and I have to take him back after Christmas for a check-up and possible X-ray to determine the need for more treatment. So far, the medication seems to be working: he quite enjoys the medicine, thank goodness. Anyone who has ever medicated a cat will understand what a challenge it can be. And his limp does seem to be lessening. So we’ll see what happens on Wednesday when he goes back for his next consultation.
That’s it for my week then. I’ll leave you with a huge wish for a peaceful and relaxing Christmas, whatever your personal beliefs; and for a New Year filled with success, achievement and good news. See you in 2017.