Tuesday, 16 April 2013


I think I now have to admit it. I have put it off for long enough, but today, as I sit at my desk, I must admit defeat. There is fluid streaming from my nose, my eyes, too, are watering and itchy to boot, while my head is playing host to the kind of headache that isn't enough to stop you working but is enough to really, really irritate you.

It's clear that this is the first stage of the bubonic plague, and I will shortly die.

With that in mind, let me tell you about my day, which has been long and fatiguing. First things first; I woke up to 13 Facebook notifications. The only time I get that many is my birthday, and that was the first thing I checked. It was only my unbirthday.

In my bucolic and idyllic life I had forgotten that far away in Aberdeen the elections for next year's sabbatical team were approaching, and last night the storm broke. Invitations to join events and publicly declare for whom I would be voting flooded in. I don't know how you feel about this. On the one hand, suddenly I'm the popular kid, and lord knows that's exciting.

On the other hand it's really, really hard to even think about next year's sabbatical team when the weather is a balmy 20º and I can do my translations outside and my twitter feed is alive with people "being brave in spite of the weather." I shudder when I remember that Scotland will be home for the next two years.

Post-degree, I'm going to be back here. Assuming the plague doesn't claim me first.

In any case, it's not a thought that needs to be entertained for long, but I was further reminded by an insolent email today from the school that told me I needed to fill in several forms if I wanted to receive the rest of my ERASMUS grant. However, scanned copies are acceptable, which is really cheering - paper copies can be lost, while digital information sticks around forever.

I've absolutely finished unpacking my new office, and students are already coming in and borrowing books - Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde went today alongside a collection of Wilde's stories. I lent that one with particular glee; Oscar is one of my absolute favourites. I hope the student enjoys him like I do.

We had a French lesson this afternoon, in which I pretended to be +Barack Obama. I feel like I did a pretty good job, although I broke character by speaking French - Obama speaks Spanish. Which is pretty cool in itself, I think.

The last action of the day was to head into Paris central to drop off a confirmation cheque for a little soirée we're organising tomorrow for some of the school's alumni and current students. It'll be a great opportunity to network, if you're interested in becoming an engineer working in oil and/or gas.

Translation, teaching, PR, diplomatic corps? Not so much. Still, it'll be a fun evening; out of necessity I've tried a couple of drinks on the menu and they are very good at momentarily convincing a chap that the deadly buboes that will kill him are even now not expanding in his -

Oh, hang on. I've just checked wikipedia. It's hay fever.

I feel faintly robbed.

(Something I wrote got guest blogged for someone pretty impressive today too, so that was kind of awesome. If you're interested in the other side of my life, where I just talk about PR, you can read it here.)

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