Oops. Have been so busy actually working (/other things) that I promptly forgot to blog anything about it, although by now I’m sure I’ve told each of my blog readers individually anyway. Anyway, I’m now a researcher for Melissa Benn and her upcoming book on the British education system – a subject which, as you may have found out the hard way, I can happily go on and on about. This basically means I’ve managed to re-create the Cambridge experience: weekly reading, writing up my findings and then a meeting (/supervision) to chat about it. Except now I get paid for it, am allowed sarcastic asides in my writing and get to go on a load of visits to schools across the country to boot Yay!
We’ve already done two of such visits already – to Manchester Enterprise Academy on Tuesday and Wellington College yesterday. Both were fascinating, and provided plenty of food for thought, although I’ll spare you all a running commentary on my work for the moment – if you’re really interested, you can always buy the book (No such luck for Caroline last night in Camden, who usefully provided a Tory perspective on my rather left-leaning stance on education. Still, she also became another person to be inducted into the select club of mango beer aficionados, so fair’s fair.) The day I was in Manchester, of course, was also the day of Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour party conference there, so Promise and I – both apprehensive David Miliband supporters – met up beforehand to have lunch, commiserate and hope for the best. (And play Sky News political Top Trumps.) And you know what – Ed’s a good guy, and a smart one, so it might all be OK. We shall see.
Right, back a bit. Thursday before last I saw Josh Ritter (and Dawn Landes) with Oliver at the Barbican. Really enjoyable, although it brought home the point that although standing up at gigs can be a bit tiresome – and I hate standing still for very long! – it does create a more intimate atmosphere than sitting; by far the most memorable moments that night came when everyone decided to stand up at the end. (Also memorable was bumping into my old PE teacher in the loos afterwards. He now thinks I have much better music taste than I actually do.)
Also had a very full day last Saturday to mark Simon’s return to the UK. After much rambling around London we ended up pedalling two pedalos around the Serpentine, engaging in various acts of piracy against each other until a Very Stern Man On A Boat (he’s on a boat!) made us stop. Spoilsport.As you can see, I eventually made it to Paul’s that evening – it’s legitimate to call it Paul’s when Abbi is away, right? – although by then I was a bit exhausted and probably not the most stimulating company. Still, was lovely to be there, and hopefully next term I will actually get a cocktail at Suburban *adds to list*.
Seismic event of the week: I’m pretty sure Alex Trafford became the first person younger than me to give me a lift the other day. This does weird things to my sense of perspective, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I start looking up to him as a wise elder soon.