Thursday, June 23, 2011

feeling guilty

It's Thursday afternoon and I am sitting at work feeling guilty because I haven't posted to my dear blog for some time. It's not because nothing has been happening. On the contrary lots has been going on. I just haven't had time to process it properly, let alone write and reflect about it. But here I sit, about to give it a whirl.

Let's start with last weekend and our mid year choir concerts. Each year the Bundaberg Orpheus Singers perform a classical, sacred concert and then a concert of lighter music. This time around was the classical concert so there was lots of Alleluias, Amens, Glorias and the like. We were joined by the Toowoomba Vocal Ensemble whose conductor is the sister of our conductor. It was c-c-c-c-cold at the Saturday evening concert in the big Catholic church in town. When I wasn't playing my hands were wrapped in the extra coat I had taken with me in an effort to keep warm. It didn't really work. The Sunday afternoon concert weather was much more civilised. By the time that was all over I was slightly weary as I had only arrived back in Bundaberg on the Saturday morning from Brisbane. I had spent two days at the Happiness and its Causes conference at the Brisbane Convention Centre. Many of the speakers were thought-provoking as well as thoughtful. I particularly enjoyed Jane Goodall, Mathieu Ricard, Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, as well as B. Allan Wallace. The conference is run each year by a Buddhist institute and it was beautiful to hear people talk of the values of compassion, empathy, kindness and community. There was lots to take in. Lucky for me I bought a number of books (as I always do) so there is time now to read and inwardly digest. I also met some twitter friends in person. This was an absolute treat as they are no longer imaginary but real! (if you know what I mean). This Saturday I go back to Brisbane with the Jinxster to see Jesus Christ Superstar. We had originally booked to go in February but the season was flooded out so these are our replacement tickets. Before that though, tomorrow is the first Orientation Day for our term 2 students. We have 29 eager students of all ages, sizes and shapes ready to go. At least I hope they are ready to go. Where the mid term break has disappeared to I am not quite sure.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In the words of The Doctor

These are my new shoes. They are stripey and colourful. In the words of The Doctor, stripey and colourful shoes are cool. Trust me. It's either that or they are the equivalent of wearing a bow tie. You decide.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I am on my 15 minute break between piano students so rather than do anything really productive like my assignment (because let's face it takes me 15 minutes to get all my books and papers out and organised) I thought I might write a little blog post. What about? Well, we shall see. For what is supposed to be the mid year vacation time it is ridiculously busy at work. No sooner have we marked our students' final assignment than we are testing and interviewing students for term 2. I spent the morning chatting to all sorts of prospective students ranging in age from 17 to early 60s with the varying degrees of life experience to boot. It looks like it will be an interesting class with a more even gender balance than we had in Term 1. Apart from that I am teaching the piano, trying to find time to finish my last library assignment (a monster sized report), wondering when I will find time to big revision on a paper that has come back from peer reviewing, wondering whether I can find the time or energy to apply for a promotion and/or a teaching and learning award grant thingo. The latter two involve "writing to selection criteria" which I absolutely loathe. Still, moving up a level would be nice financially if nothing else. Have I been watching television? Sure! Doctor Who is keeping me mightily entertained as is The Craig Ferguson Show (which I try to remember to record every night). Repeats of Friends every evening on GEM are nice to eat dinner by. Remember when Ross and Rachel were "on a break" and Phoebe carried triplets for her brother? I do, and now I am reliving the late 90s all over again. It's comforting. And (apologies for the atrocious pun) the Kindle has rekindled my love of reading. I have read more books in the last two months than I have in the last year. I'm even finishing them! This is amazing as I had developed a terrible habit of starting books but never getting to the end. I'm delving into comedians' autobiographies at the moment and really enjoying it. I have the vaguest awareness of Russell Brand but his two Booky Wooks were a treat to read. I also enjoyed Sarah Silverman's book, Anh Do's story, Stephen Fry and Tina Fey. In hardcover I adore Dawn French's Dear Fatty and like Steve Martin's Born Standing Up. Perhaps I will become a collector of memoirs. I find them far more interesting than fiction at the moment. Although, I am reading The Blythes Are Quoted by LM Montgomery. It's an unusual collection of Anne and Walter Blythe's poetry and short stories in which the main Blythe household feature as bit players. And now it is 4:27 so I best return to the piano room, sharpened pencil in hand and ready myself for a rigorous working over of some Bartok.

Monday, June 6, 2011

the beach

Yes indeed I spent four days at the beach. These photos are from the iPhone 4 which I must say has a far superior camera in it than my previous phone. The weather was stunning. They were perfect Queensland winter days.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Tomorrow I am going on a holiday for four days. Never mind that I am in the middle of an assignment, have assignments that need marking, have timetables to do, have an orientation to plan, have a paper to revise and resubmit, have to decide whether to apply for promotion and/or a teaching and learning award. Never mind any of those things. I am going to the thriving metropolis of HerveyBay for four days with my parents and sister to do nothing except shop, drink coffee, eat out, walk in the sun, take photos, read and watch TV. Yes, it is perhaps the daggiest holiday ever but that is just fine with me. This will be my only proper days off until at least mid October/November. I will not be taking my watch, my makeup, any good clothes or anything at all related to work. I will be taking my Kindle, my iPhone (pod), my new sneakers, my hat and my very ordinary clothes. I may eat ice cream, fish and chips and other foods that are bad for me. I may sleep in, nap during the day and go to the movies. Indeed, I may do all these things or none of them. In other words, I will do what I like.