Friday, 30 January 2009

what not to do on your "research day"

so I had a vague, foolish notion that this semester, with only one new course to teach and 3 already fully prepared, I might be able to keep my Fridays free for doing a bit of research, maybe even some writing. I've had confirmation of the publishing contract for a book on memory of conflict to which I've been asked to contribute a chapter (a conference paper I gave last year on commemorating the war in Rome, tentatively entitled "Public Ceremonies, Private mourning: Roman reponses to the First World War") and I STILL haven't got my doctorate off to the publisher who showed half an interest in it. In theory, my Monday & Wedneday evenings and my Tuesday & Thursday mornings ought to be enought to write the 2 new lectures a week I need and prepare for my other classes.

Any other academic reading this will be laughing at my idiocy of course, since I should know by now that your work expands to fill all the space you make available to it (even before you factor in the translation). And it's not like I've been blogging our anything interesting instead either. Today's plans were ruined by an incredibly annoying trip across Rome to collect an undelivered parcel. After 40 minutes on the phone last night to various parts of the Italian post office, being passed from pillar to post like an unwelcome, er, parcel, I finally got through to someone who informed me that I couldn't have my parcel re-delivered but would have to collect in person from the express delivery depot. Oh goody.

The map disappointingly fails to give a true flavour of the travel experience. Metro, tram then bus for a 13km journey which Google maps optimistically informs me should take 17 minutes by car. I left the house at 09.50, stopping only for a capuccino and to buy a bunch of fresh coriander (a rarity here and therefore to be bought when you see it). I went straight there and came straight back with my parcel, reaching home again at 13.20. 1h45min each way. Brilliant use of my morning I must say.

The contents of the parcel, thankfully, is at least what I wanted: two 50s-ish dresses, a bit spring-summer but that's no bad thing. And here they are:

now for some nice weather to wear them in....

anyway, no research of any kind by the time I'd done the other stuff that needed doing. but hey. nice dresses 2-1 horrid journey, I reckon.