January 30, 2017

Yesterday, Holy Trinity Church held the annual  RNLI service. The church was filled to capacity:

8.45 am: Emailery, calendarisation, and an orientation to the beginning of the teaching semester. 9.40 am: A jaunt up the steep hill to see the practice nurse, who was conducting her duties unsupervised for the first time today. (I was still keen.):

Medical matters generate their own admin. Having done all that a patient patient can do in this respect and updated the School’s social media sites, it was back to the article … for a final fling (possibly). Bring on the references and notes! 12.30 pm: An exchange with the National Screen and Sound Archive and the Royal National Institute for the Blind regarding possible future projects. ‘Cast thy bread upon the waters …’.

1.30 pm: Still soldering on, after lunch:

2.00 pm: I posted further emails related to the morning’s correspondence before retuning to the always tedious task of referencing. Analytical concordance to the ready.

6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: Undergraduate teaching arrangements needed to be confirmed, and bits of postgraduate admin dispatched before I could return to today’s core business. 8.20 pm: Back to it.

9.30: 1987:

When I was about four to six years of age, I remember standing at the bottom of the garden path, facing my father’s shed, and looking up at the blue sky above the Arael Mountain. Across my view, rolling slowly from left to right, I saw what seemed t0 be a very large ball of crumpled aluminium foil glisten in the sunlight … Another incident – I must have been the same age — involved a hand’s shadow in motion, cast above the pelmet of my bedroom window … I was sure that I was awake, and pinched myself to prove it. From its position and definition, it couldn’t have been made by anyone in the garden (Aberystwyth, Diary > May 7, 1987).

Blaina (1960s) (photography courtesy of the Blaina and Nantyglo Community Archive)

All those stories of the pit that Pop [my maternal grandfather] told as he walked me across the grassed-over tips, along the rails where the coal trucks had been shunted, passed air vents and escape tunnels built into the hills, and through the Pilgrims’ Gardens where the old miners sat out the last years of their lives. All the experiences of looking down upon the town [of Blaina], and up at the dark clouds that threatened thunder, and buffeted one another as they slowly rolled across the valley, like fat men turning in their slumber (Aberystwyth, Diary > May 21, 1987).

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