Friday, August 29, 2008


The conference is over. Had a great trip to visit the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in Glasgow's Trongate this afternoon. Fascinating!

I'm speaking at a conference in Leeds next weekend - the conference is on Music and the Idea of the North, and my talk is about Alexander Campbell's song-collecting in the Western Isles of Scotland. I sent off the PowerPoint to the organiser today - it is a good way of making sure I can't spend any more time revising the basic structure! I've written and re-written the paper, and now reduced it to notes so that I have to speak it rather than read it. Just a question of going over and over and over again, now.

This evening, I've -
  • Done the shopping order;
  • Put two loads of washing through the machine;
  • Done some corrections to Thesis Chapter 1;
  • Dealt with the school letters which I eventually wrestled from the boys' school-bags .... (!)

Now it's time for supper and bed!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

This week, it has been the SIBMAS international conference in Glasgow. I took Saxophone Kid with me to the civic reception and ceilidh at the City Chambers this evening, after he'd been for his saxophone lesson. He was suitably impressed by the fantastic decor, marble, and vaulted, decorated ceilings. So was I.

He declined to dance with me, though, so I was very pleased to dance with a colleague before, Cinderella-like, we fled home before it was too late! (Believe me, a Citroen Xantia is more comfy than a pumpkin with a few mice ... )

Image from, with thanks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Took my laptop to work, and worked on Chapter 1 in my lunchbreak. The word-count is up to 6,337. Okay, it's quality not quantity I should be aiming for, but hey! let's just get something down on paper first, shall we?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chapter 1 is now over 5,000 words. Only another 70,000 or so more to go ...
Thanks to for the Chapter 1 image!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Here we go again -

I'm back to writing Chapter 1 of the thesis. Covered the Scottish Enlightenment as much as I think I need to. Now - those gaps in square brackets. I have to finish writing about Ritson then look at the gaps!

Encouraging words always welcome ...

Monday, August 11, 2008

I never thought I'd find myself reading an entire book on the Scottish Enlightenment.

What is more surprising, though, is that I actually understood what I was reading! Such are the benefits of doctoral research, I suppose. Alexander Broadie, the author, must himself have a brilliant mind, as much as the brilliant group of eighteenth-century minds that made up the Scottish Enlightenment.

Alexander Broadie - The Scottish Enlightenment (9781841586403), published Birlinn. Highly recommended.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

The illusive Lauchlan Maclaine

I've just been ransacking Gloucester Archives for documents about Lauchlan Maclaine - a Mull man who lived in the early 1800's. I know there was a diary circa 1815. It turned out to be missing. I know there was correspondence from around that time. No trace of that either. I know there's a notebook of songs that he took down. Seen it, but it wasn't what I hoped it would be. Aaaargh! You win some, you lose some.

At least I had a mini-break, nice B&B, no hitches with my travel arrangements. Indeed the Archives, B&B and station were all within a mile of each other, so I congratulated myself on some very excellent arrangements!

Eating in Gloucester

... it isn't easy finding somewhere to eat in the middle of Gloucester of an evening. I did find a very nice pub serving a superb minted lamb suet pudding (with vegetables and no less than TWELVE whole new potatoes on my plate!) on Thursday night. On Friday night I visited Cafe Rene, which I can thoroughly recommend. I was healthily vegetarian, and had a mushroom spaghetti dish. Both nights I made the most of being in the West Country (near enough) and had cider. I know what's good for me! Not good for the diet, I hasten to add, but definitely good for the soul...

Finally ...

Here I am back home again - mountains of washing and potentially, ironing, all around me, and it's pouring with rain. Back to what the Scots would call "auld claes and parritch". Also, I fear, back to the diet. Sigh!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hang on, there! Is this July or April? Then WHY the April showers today? By the time I got to church today, my outfit reflected the weather changes:-

  • * Got up, looked out of the window, dressed and put on my flip-flops

  • * Downstairs, looked out of the door, and pulled on a lightweight anorak

  • * Drove through a cloudburst, pulled up at church and seized my umbrella ...!

SuperSpouse is bringing Cello Kid back from his music course in England today. Don't envy them the drive, especially if the weather down in England is like the weather up here in Scotland.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are exhausted. We had a Grand Clearout of the boys' bedroom yesterday afternoon and evening. Enticed by the thought of a healthy eBay profit, they parted with loads of disused toys. Meanwhile, I carved out space in the wardrobe, now divested of junk, for their school uniforms. (Including the mountain which we bought for Viola-Kid yesterday - new school, new uniform, and a whole load of nametag sewing for PseudoSupermum!)

Funny how Viola-Kid can spend the entire day and most of the night on computer or X-Box without adverse effect, but a few hours' heavy labour (tidying up) has left him totally shattered...