It's 11:30 and I'm all tucked up in bed, with a cup of tea beside me, wearing the black andwhite dress I bought from Next yesterday. The dress is a bit iffy, as it's got short sleeves and a scoop neck, but I teamed it with a black ballet cardigan, and it looks quite good (of course, since I'm in bed I shouldn't be wearing either dress or cardigan, but they were so comfy that I couldn't be fussed).
Speaking of ballet, I took my first class for four months on Thursday. It took place in a room that has a cement floor, overlaid with wood parquet, and when you add no classes for four months to jumping on cement floor, you have extreme calf pain. The class was okay. I've since found one run by the University Ballet Society, so I'm going to try that next week, also, and see which one I prefer. Well, I'm going to do that if my calves will
allow me to.
This past week was a busy week. I went to my first Cambridge talk - funnily enough, given by a man who's an acadend of mine, but about whose talk I knew nothing until I was informed by someone I was having lunch with. In fact, the lunch itself was an event, as it was with someone I'd only met in passing, a really, really lovely woman who invited me to lunch as soon as I e-mailed her (and the lunch was great). I went to the talk despite the fact that I'd heard it before, and in a way it's a good thing I did go, as it was about Byron and thus allowed me to make a few comments without looking clueless. Afterward, I went out with the people who were going out for dinner, and we had one of my favourite kinds of dinners: the kind where everybody has just enough to drink to be relaxed and rather more intimate than they'd usually be at first dinner, but doesn't drink enough to be scary or embarrassing drunk. I had a great time; I hope it repeats itself at some point.
There are two more talks this week, and who knows what delights await me there? One of them even involves the London Monster, a subject about which I read a book last Thanksgiving, I think, (although it may have been New Year's), and which, although it can't quite achieve "interesting" manages "pretty interesting." The talk won't be about the Monster; actually, it'll be about satirical prints, with the Monster as lead-in. Oooo!
This week was also a big week because it was the week that I was...interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education! That's right, academic journalism fans, I was questioned over international telephone, er, signals about the authorship of Frankenstein and why it matters. I believe I acquitted myself reasonably well. At least, I didn't say anything embarrassing, or anything obviously controversial, and I don't think I said anything that will result in my never getting a job again. I did say a couple of things off the record (as we academic celebrities in training say), but when I think of what I said on the record I'm not ashamed. And the reporter was also interviewing Charles Robinson and Susan Wolfson, so at the very least my jejune remarks will gain some lustre from the company they keep. The article will be out near Hallowe'en, and I'm sure I'll provide a link. I only got interviewed, incidentally, because I posted a feisty message on the Romanticism listserv when the complete fool who believes Percy Shelley wrote Frankenstein, John Lauritsen, wrote in for about the eighth time in four years to remind us all that Percy Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and I just couldn't take it any more. I did keep telling the reporter that I was by no means an expert on the book.
And finally, the week was also a big week because I bought a book I'd been admiring in Waterstone's for the past two weeks. This little gem is called Pop Charts, and it is, in fact, a collection of pop charts - but not the kind of pop charts you think. Here are two, for example:
And the whole book is like that. As is always the way with these kinds of things, a few are duds. But, as is almost never the way with these kinds of things, most are very funny indeed.
And now, suddenly, I'm exhausted. So I'm off to bed. Tomorrow I catsit for my nanny (sort out the grammar on that one!).