Thursday, February 26, 2009

Viola Kid: "Mum, have you had your hair cut?"
SuperSpouse: "Thanks, Son!"
Viola Kid: "My pleasure, Dad."
Saxophone Kid: "Eeeeeeoooooooooo!" It looks ... different! ( One had to hear this to realise it was NOT a favourable response.)

Why oh why oh why oh why oh WHY do I bother?! (My colleagues thought it was fantastic. Thank heavens for small mercies.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

All work and no play, as they say ...

Pseudosupermum has nothing entertaining to tell you today, but she does have nearly 50,000 words in her dissertation. Onwards and upwards!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spot the similarity with the image to the right of this posting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Word-count as at 18 February : 43, 879. Now on to Chapter 5 ...

Found a fabulous website called Paper Forest - all about making paper models. (Hmmm - what could I make with a whole PhD thesis?! Better get the doctorate first, I suppose ...)

In days gone by, people ran away to the Foreign Legion.

But I'm a 50-year old mum, so that seems a little undignified. I hereby give everyone notice that I'm running away to the Forestry Commission instead. Just me in a green sweatshirt (okay, jeans and trainers too), and row upon row of trees. Glorious!

Not so long ago, I had a busy 9-5 job as a librarian, and then all the extra stuff like a husband, 3 boys (that's 4 boys total), and my part-time doctoral research.

This afternoon I came home sober in the calculation that I now have 1200 CDs and several hundred books to catalogue - over and above the normal routine stuff - by September. That's 10-11 CDs to index in detail, every single working day, and if I fall by the wayside, I've had it. But the rest of my job - the normal-sized, busy daily routine - has to continue unhindered.

You see why I'm yearning for neat rows of trees and no people?

This evening I took the boys to Bearsden for 15 minutes of community service with the Boys' Brigade. (11 miles drive for 15 minutes? Reasonable?) So as not to waste time, Saxophone-Kid and I went to the bottle-bank and smashed bottles and jam-jars for ten minutes.

After that, we all took Cello-Kid to his halls of residence. With a thud in my heart that you probably sensed half a world away, I took the other two home then had to return to the halls of residence with the music case Cello-Kid had left behind ....

The only flaw with the Forestry Commission is that I believe you're expected to be NICE to people when you meet them. I don't feel nicely disposed towards teenagers just now, though ...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Carolan in the can!

If I did nothing else useful yesterday, I pushed some papers around the desk, put a few away, and made notes on the Carolan book. So it can go back to the library. If I can process a bit more catch-up reading today, things will be all the better.

Too early to post anything of interest. We're up; SuperSpouse is out to church already; and Saxophone-Kid is revelling in having me and all the electronic stuff to himself while his big brothers are away for the weekend!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Drowning in domesticity (again)

Did you hear the sharp intake of breath, erfffffffffffffff!, as my washing-machine girded its loins for the weekend marathon? It never seems to stop.

Neither do I. This morning we went to buy new trainers for Saxophone-Kid, then got a replacement tyre put on my car (so, that's new tyres for Kid and Car, effectively) - bought a condolence card, and back home in time to make soup for lunch.

The next sharp intake of breath will be mine, as I tackle the ironing and sundry other housewifely duties. Don't you just love weekends?

Meanwhile, I ought to be catching up on reading. I want to make notes on Carolan: the life, times and music of an Irish harper, and then look at some other books I've had sitting awaiting my attention for too long. (This is just a pause for breath before I start Chapter 4, you see.)

I hear you protest that I'm studying Scottish song-collectors, so shouldn't be distracted by Irish harpers. Too true! But the Maclean-Clephane sisters were interested in both Scottish songs and Irish harp music, so if they're mentioned in a book about the latter, then I need to look at it. Even if I don't need to take more than half a page of notes.

Meanwhile, I have a purely professional interest in an old ship called the HMS Carrick, now a rusting ship at Irvine. It used to be used as premises for the RNVR Club (Scotland) - that's the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve - between 1948 and 1989 (I think), and a jazz combo played for social dances. My library has been given the personal music collection of the last surviving musician. And I want to know the name of the jazz group. Once a music researcher, always a music researcher.

And when I want to know, I generally do get to find out, so watch this space!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Times have moved on in 200 years. Here's a real quotation from some Serious Research. Introducing James Macdonald, Highland minister and European traveller:-

"This lady would have been happy did she consider that the sphere of Woman's exertion is pointed out by nature; that she who pretends to poesy, philosophy and elevation of mind, does but in reality dream a baseless and most dangerous dream; and that household cares, work of hand, and the little attentions of ordinary life are her honour as well as her happiness! Female Metaphysicians and Poets, like Female Theologians, are almost always mad, or enthusiastic or miserable, or all the three in one."

(From a letter dated 1800.)

Okay, so we lady researchers are officially mad, enthusiastic, miserable or all three.

Does this surprise anyone?!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Sad life? A blog about pyjamas

I don't think I've owned a pair of jammies (pyjamas) for about 40 years, but I got some fantastic fleecy PJ's from Dunnes Stores today. They're bright (lime and purple tops, matching patterned bottoms) - but boy, are they comfy! I went the whole hog and got matching fleecy socks, too. Only one problem - I'm so warm and cosy that I feel I should be sipping cocoa not reading about Zuccalmaglio and questionably forged 19th century German folksongs!

SuperSpouse (there's nothing quite like dropping your husband RIGHT in it!) says I 'look ridiculous' in my new fleecy PJ's. That's one less cuddle from me, then ...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Tribute to the Bard - the Year of Homecoming (2009)

In accordance with Rabbie’s custom, this song has been penned to a weel-kennt air: John Anderson, my Jo:-

Wan ye were jist a wean, Rab,
Yer’ Mammie didnae ken
That ye her eldest wean, Rab,
Wad be the toast o’ men;
An’ wan ye learned tae count, Rab,
An’ read an’ write an’ spell,
Ah reckon she’d hae nodded, lad,

And said ye’d done richt well.

There are 3 more verses. You'll have to ask me for them, though. (Intellectual property, ye ken!)
RUNNING TOTAL - 42,618 words so far!

Chapter 3 has been split in two, and is looking all the better for it. Not sure about the beginning of the chapter now, because it still looks as though I'm promising to deliver on aspects of the topic which are now in Chapter 4. Heigh-ho!

Furthermore, I realised that I omitted Zuccalmaglio from what is now Chapter 4. No, he isn't Scottish. He's just an interesting parallel. But he can't be omitted.

We're expecting company for tea tonight, so I must sign off hastily before I'm caught blogging! Fingers crossed that all my volatile males behave themselves for the next couple of hours. Honestly, folks, I'm tempted to get a lady hamster just to give me some feminine company round here.

Teenage boys are exasperating. They make you late places (like taking a shower ten minutes before you're due to leave for church); they bicker incessantly; they shout at you and bully you at the supermarket self-checkout point.

Tell me something cheering ...!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Finally, I worked out why I'm anxious about concluding Chapter 3. It's because there is no single conclusion. I suggested to my supervisor yesterday, that maybe it was telling me it needed dividing into two chapters, and he agreed.

Okayyyy - so it's back to the drawing-board, folks. I've been warned it's not just a question of 'cutting it in two', but to a certain extent, that's precisely how I intend to start.

I WANNA GO TO NORTHAMPTON! Strange, but true. There's a manuscript down there that I long to see. First I have to see copies of its partners, in the National Library of Scotland. Get an idea of the contents, then head down south. Wish me luck as I try to arrange this trip. Nothing on earth is as exciting as the thrill of the chase, when it comes to old manuscripts. Does that make me a geek? Then I'm Proud To Be A Geek!

Some of my workmates just do not understand me. I must be too much of a geek. Sorry, folks - I can't help it. No, I'm not sorry. I'm just me. Why must I apologise for that?!! Well, I'm going to read a book that I bought some years ago, just to make myself feel better: 'I'm not crazy, I'm just not you', by Roger R. Pearman & Sarah C. Albritton.

This is a crazy week, in fact.

  • *Snow? Glasgow has had it easy, on that front.
  • *I'm on call for Jury service (not that I've been picked yet).
  • *I have a dishwasher that decided to breakdown on Sunday,
  • *and my car had a flat tyre as I set off to work after the engineer had been.
  • *Last Friday, as I came back from my conference, Saxophone-Kid fiddled with his Daddy's electric windows while Daddy was operating them from the front of his car. BANG!! £163 for the new components, plus labour. ("I can manage the three?", he offered.)

    And this, ladies and gents, is the little boy who cost me £200 a couple of years ago when he tried to open the rear door of my own Citroen while I was centrally unlocking it. Citroens and kids are clearly incompatible...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Brassed off!

This weekend, I've washed and ironed, cleaned and cooked ... all caught up after my 60 hours away at the conference. But have I got Chapter 3 tied up?


I did get some reading and emailing done, that's true - but what with chasing boys to do music practice/ get supper/ get to bed, and now the blooming dishwasher, I have just about had enough.

There's a little flashing green light. Resetting it doesn't clear it. Waiting does nothing. So now, I am leaving the horrible machine alone for a full hour to see if it has an automatic reset over and above the manual one. Because I'm on jury service this week and I absolutely cannot wait in for an engineer. (Poor SuperSpouse loses income if he stays home waiting, and even that won't work if he is doing the school-run and misses the engineer.)

Aaargh! And there I was just glowing quietly with satisfaction at the kindness of fellow-researchers and musicologists, and thinking that actually, it hadn't been a bad weekend at all, notwithstanding a surfeit of domesticity. Who'd have thought a blooming machine could rattle me so much!