Sunday, 30 June 2013

Hectic weekend

We've spent the weekend clearing up after last week's decorating and battening down the hatches for this week. As there will be two of them and the job is the hall, stairs and landing, we plan to go out as much as possible. Everything is hidden or sheeted, as hsl involves every door and every room. I know I'll be glad when its done.

I managed a couple of hours on my essay about the backward flash fiction 'Currents'. I tend to think stylistics is sometimes a bit obvious but after analysing 'point of view' - ie whose eyes are we looking through?, I came to the conclusion that its incredibly racist. The two Filipino characters don't have names and we never see anything from their point of view even though one drowns and the other loses his brother. Its all about the effect on the others, who seem to be tourists from the USA. I've tried other interpretations but none of them really work. And I hadn't spotted it until I looked at point of view.

We're still not back in our own bedroom because the curtains aren't back from the cleaners. The walls are a mid grey with a linen texture and the feature wall is black and silver wavy stripes. I'm so pleased with it.

Tonight we plan to watch the highlights of Glastonbury - TSH's son and fiancee are there.

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Traumatic week, with BT Openreach in house to sort out BB problem. Total wreck of our office - drawers stacked in hall, all equipment moved, new hole in wall. But I think its now fixed. £50 compensation from TalkTalk. Is it enough?

And now the decorator is in our bedroom and we are camping out in the spare. And my things are all over the house. And I feel invaded - its not good for an OCD.

But I'm working on the new style essay in the first person and with lots of chat. I sent off the first installment to the learning advisor.

Thanks to all those who come over to read this.

Friday, 21 June 2013

On campus

Yesterday I spent a day on campus. I found my way around easier than I expected because I have only been a few times and the layout is really confusing. And I found a cafe that served Earl Grey tea!!

One of the library people took me up to where the English Language books are and I was impressed with the number of computers around. You can use your own USB in them so I need a virus check on it now. Those few hours in the library were worth so much - actually browsing a real book is so much better than the library on-line search.

I expect that to young people all of us oldies look much the same. Well, the same applies the other way. I had a short chat with one young man in a grey T shirt, who sat opposite me (he couldn't help me because he'd never been in the library before. And he seemed to be studying Literature (??)). So I went for more books and then carried on chatting to the young man with the grey T shirt sitting opposite me. Until he looked up as if I was mad. It was a different young man in a grey T shirt. Ooops!!

I learned that although the short story is classically believed to have started in the 19th century, Petronius wrote 'The Widow of Ephesus' - 778 words - in classical Roman times. Its a really funny story about a female who breaks the rules - there are lots of translations online.

I also saw the learning advisor, who was really helpful. My work is so bleached of all personality that it is dry and uninteresting. Also, I do so much analysis that I haven't room to explain why I am doing it and what it means. This is pretty much what the course director said a while ago. So for the next essay I will take the great risk of writing in the first person and trying to make it entertaining. And I promise to waffle more. The learning advisor has offered to read the essay as it goes along and try to help me with its presentation.

My outfit was just right.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Getting ready

Tomorrow I go to the University campus to see the learning advisor and visit the library. I need a map - its not easy to find your way around. I need some indication of what the problems are with my essays and a list of books I want to look at in the library.

I wish I hadn't had to spend so much time on the broadband issues.

I've chosen a pale grey pinafore with a black design on the front. A bright pink/purple top underneath it and chunky silver jewellery.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Still struggling

We have had Talktalk on the premises for most of the afternoon. And the engineer saw the line fault!! But that was after two hours of investigation and elimination. But the referral to BT Openreach will take a while and in the meantime the line is still unreliable.

Oh, and I had to talk to Talktalk call centre to verify it was me even though the engineer was there in our house. When I swore at him - just the once - he threatened to hang up if I was 'unprofessional'. But I'm distraught, not professional. Especially since in the middle of all this all my installed programs vanished. That one was cured with a re-boot but the engineer said 'what did I expect with Vista', which I have run successfully for several years.

I am still sceptical it will ever be resolved.

And I can't log on to the University site. And the line didn't stay up long enough to do this short post in one go. And everything I try to do ends with a failure.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Broadband rubbish

So I'm trying to get back into the course. I have submitted the final short task for stylistics and now I'm starting on the assessment. A stylistic analysis of a piece of flash fiction of less than 300 words. I have read a sample stylistic analysis from the course web-site and I am totally intimidated. The writer (who is our lecturer for this course) refers to dozens of books and journals and knows enough about what is in them to write a few elegant paragraphs explaining the similarities and differences.
Now looking at so many sources on-line is non-trivial. Some of them don't exist electronically and for those that do, my line keeps going down at the moment, so thanks, Talktalk for not helping. And I have spent many hours this week trying to get them to understand how bad the service is. which is difficult when the operators do not speak good English and have no empathy with the position we are in.
I think I may just have to adopt my usual stance of describing a couple of books I can get hold of and ignoring the rest. This is why I will never get a Distinction. I do not have the study skills for this and have been saying so since the start and there is no provision on the course for helping. This kind of study skill was not part of the selection process as far as I know.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Still in holiday mode

So we're back from holiday and there's a washing mountain. And the kitchen has ants in some cupboards. And I have to hand in a task yesterday. And do some work on my assessment. And prepare for seeing the learning advisor next week.

I'm working through the washing and we have put ant powder outside the house, ant baits inside and emptied the cupboards, which is something I could well do without when we are unpacking and settling back in. I now anti-bac everything in the kitchen all the time and we seem to be winning.

Meanwhile TSH is at the bodyshop delivering our car, which  someone ran into just before we went away.

But the holiday - fly to Lisbon and cruise back to Southampton on Silver Cloud - was fantastic. We got a private tour of the Guggenheim when it wasn't open to the public and we visited Utah beach, the Normandy landing site for some of the US divisions. We do such a wide range of activities by cruising and it is definitely NOT all about the evening shows, which we rarely attend. And Old Faithful did a great job on my hair, which looked at least as good as anyone else's without expensive trips to the on-board hairdresser.

Study this afternoon.