Monday, 31 May 2010

The Not So Merry Month of May

First, the good news: I absolutely loved teaching this month's fictionfire courses and I thank all of you who attended. I hope you took useful information away with you, sprinkled with a dusting of inspiration!

As I'd hoped, the weather for both courses was lovely and this meant that Trinity College was looking particularly fine. There were exclamations of pleasure and delight when my students arrived in the gorgeous Sutro Room and several took the chance to stroll around the college and its beautiful gardens.

This photo was taken last autumn so doesn't actually do it justice - but each day course was so hectic, I didn't have time to take more!

I'm now planning new courses - and here are the dates: 9th and 16th of October. I do hope you can join us. I'll announce here and on my website when the course subjects are finalised.

Sadly, the rest of the month was testing. Between my first course and my second, my beloved aunt died: she was the last of my maternal aunts and although she had been very ill for some time, her death when it came, was sudden. I had hoped to be able to visit her at the end of June when my teaching commitments were reduced, but it was not to be. I feel terrible, of course, that I didn't act more decisively and get myself up to Scotland while there was still time. All I could do was dash up for the funeral, by sleeper train because the Icelandic volcano was throwing another fit and I couldn't risk flying. It was an emotionally draining trip, as you can imagine,  and it meant returning the day before my fictionfire course on editing: I was incredibly exhausted. But I'm so glad that I went.

It's not surprising that the throat/chest  bug I was suffering from that week attacked me even more severely as soon as I'd finished my fictionfire course. I've been laid low, pretty much, for the rest of the month, ending up on antibiotics. Even after the cough and wheezing had calmed, I couldn't feel any energy or positivity - I only now feel a bit better in myself, with some return of a desire to engage with the world and to catch up all the tasks my lethargy wouldn't even let me contemplate for the past two weeks.

June will be busy too, as I come to the end of the academic year. My A level students have exams and so do my sons. At the end of the month I'll be teaching at the Winchester Writers' Conference - do please visit the website at if you want to find out more - and I hope I'll have the chance to meet you there!


menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Well as a fellow Scot, far removed from home, I can understand only too well the demands of job and family commitments and being pulled in multiple directions. I too have missed the passing of a loved one only to make it to the funeral with a dash back down south to honour my other commitments here. I missed out on the wake and that rite of passage to sit with family and laugh and cry and bond again as families often do at these events. We Scots, like the Irish, enjoy a good wake and give the departed a good old send-off. I think missing out on that makes the grieving process a bit more isolated as we miss the support of the clan. I get homesick when I go home, it gets harder to leave even though I have a great life down here. We straddle two cultural worlds and each time an older member of the family dies, we lose that link to our parents. Hope you are feeling better - stock up on tattie scones, black pudding and link sausages and have a memorial breakfast!

Denise said...

I'm glad the bug is finally retreating, and you can look forward to a better June. Even though you say you were tired, I've certainly reaped the rewards of your editing course. I now have some structure to what I'm doing, and am feeling a great deal less bewildered!

Lorna F said...

MOB - thanks so much for your comments. We were able to stay for part of the wake - there's a kind of surreal contrast between the graveside section and the ordering drinks at the bar and eating wee sandwiches section of these affairs. We had to leave in time to get to Aberdeen for that evening's train but at least it was a chance to have said hello, however briefly, to the clan. Oh, and by the way, I did have black pudding while I was up there - possibly the best I've ever had! Like haggis, I try not to think too much about what it actually consists of! xx

Denise - I'm so glad you're feeling the editing course has been of benefit to you. Look forward to seeing you in Winchester! x