Ah, a month has gone by and no blog again. Seems to be just the way at the minute. So, once again here is a brief resume of the last four weeks…
Saturday 2nd September
Catharine and I were living in her wee house in Reading which was a building site with no running hot water or electricity downstairs. But the end of the building work was due and we had nowhere else to run to. I could not move into my new flat in Oxford for a couple weeks so I had resigned myself to commuting. On this Saturday I dashed down to Emsworth near Chichester to take some paintings to the Queen Street Gallery for a group show which was opening on the next Tuesday.
Monday 4th September
A new semester at Oxford Brookes and with it came a new boss, Alison, who is just fantastic and despite just arriving the week before, has got hold of what is required with gusto. The only thing is, is that we have far more students than we were expecting – over 90 – and we normally have around 65. So, the first week was extremely taxing trying to find ways to accommodate them all. We need more staff!!
Tuesday 5th September
After work I headed back to Reading and Catharine and I zoomed down to Emsworth for the opening of the Queen Street Gallery show. It was a 160 mile round trip and a bit ridiculous on a work night, but it was good to catch up with old friends and colleagues from Chichester. The show itself was a lively mix and it was very busy.
6th – 8th Sept
A haze of commuting from Reading to Oxford, no hot water, washing in the swimming baths, inducting students and being fed up of having no home…
Weekend 9th and 10th Sept.
What did I do? Hmm – scooted to Oxford to sort out stuff in studio and look at flat I am moving into… Sunday we went to Cookham to visit the Stanley Spencer Museum, which I have alway wanted to see… The weather still very hot I think.
Week of 9th — 15th September
Another gruelling week – did get some respite by staying at Claire and Richard’s house for a couple of nights – but totally exhausted with the level of work at Brookes. And I am supposed to be part time!!! Good job I was moving house this weekend!!!
Weekend of 16th and 17th
Went through to Oxford early on Saturday morning to get hire van for the move. How many times have I done that in my life? I will have now lived in about 26 houses in my life! Drove the van to my studio and my Brookes to pick up my life (what is left of it) and then returned to Reading for the night. Back to Oxford on Sunday morning with the van to move into my nice new flat. I had to kit it out with a few essentials so it was a fruitful shop in Wilkinsons for me… I had developed a bad back doing all this and the stress of it, but a struggled through and it was just bliss when I finally sat down in my new flat and just listened to the peace… This is my first place all on my own since I left Chichester in 2003. Fan-bloody-tastic!!!!
Week of 18th – 22nd September
So, another new routine to develop. I got back on my bike and had a better week getting to work – the weather is still extraordinary for late September. Still chaotic at work with all the students, but things beginning to settle down. And at last I have my studio back now all the stuff has gone.
However, to add to the mix, on Tuesday of this week, I received a phone call from Glasgow School of Art letting me know that I had been shortlisted for the job I had applied for many weeks ago. Bloody hell – but I was delighted as I really want to get back to Scotland. So, more travel arrangements had to be made!! My father, in Aberdeenshire, has recently been very unwell and is currently in hospital for tests. So, I am going to go and see him after I have been for my interview in Glasgow next Thursday.
Weekend of 23rd and 24th September.
Utterly run down after the last few weeks with a bad back and feeling listless. Thank god I could hide away in my flat. I did manage to get to the studio to prepare some work for my forthcoming interview.
Week of 25th September.
As I was taking Wednesday to Friday off to go to Glasgow, I worked on Monday and Tuesday at Brookes and made sure everything would be covered in my absence. On Wednesday, I coached it through to Heathrow airport and flew up to Glasgow. John and Ciara have kindly put me up for a couple of nights. So, today is Thursday and I have just had my interview at Glasgow school of Art. I had forgotten what a fantastic place it is and I think my interview went well, but I don’t know yet. I have just had a quick scoot around the city centre, and am trying not to get my hopes up as I would love to live here.
Well, that is it for now. Tomorrow, I am hiring yet another car to go up to Aberdeenshire to visit my dad. Then back to Oxford on Monday.