Monday, 18 June 2012


What a wonderful weekend. I spent it at Trentham Gardens, on an intensive, challenging but hugely enjoyable photography day. Armed with my trusty D7000, 50mm f/1/8, an 18-55, 70-200 and rather crappy Sigma 70-300, I turned up prepared to be dazzled. Trained professionals and animal handlers coached us in the finer points of the art of animal photography, and we all came away with a portfolio of which to be proud.

… Is what I wanted to be writing this morning. But for the fourth time, my birthday present from 11 months ago was cancelled and now I've given up. This time it was the weather (which turned out OK, but the cancellation was decided on Thursday), and previous occasions were called off due to low numbers.

As it happens, I had rather an excellent weekend: great company, huge amounts of reading and a day in the countryside visiting my dear old ma. Culturally, Radio 4's 7 hour dramatisation of Joyce's Ulysses, interspersed with learned commentary from Mark Lawson and friends, was a sublime experience. The acting was uniformly magnificent, the cuts judicious (the full version takes about 29 hours) and the writing, of course, was the height of literary perception. If you haven't read it, do. But not in one go - that's not how it works.

Plan for the day: I was meant to be at my annual appraisal, but my boss isn't here. I assume that means he's realised that I am academic perfection incarnated and appraisal would be an insult. Default victory to me, Plashing Vole lives to brainwash, propagandise (did you know Propaganda was originally the Vatican's missionary wing, catering for non-Catholic countries such as Britain?) and mislead for another year. Woo! And indeed Hoo!

Update: just had my appraisal. Got to write more articles… but I knew that already. Very supportive and friendly discussion. The system works!

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