Wednesday, 14 December 2011

No Escape from UWE!

The day started off cold and dark.  Took Bella out to a few flakes of snow but nothing settled.  Then - just as I was getting ready to drive off, the skies darkened and a near blizzard ensued.
 The poor yucca plant may not be very happy with this treatment
 First time the windscreen has been snowed over this winter, and my first time ever in the van!
 I tootled off to UWE for a series of meetings.  Managed to get parked OK this time, and was reminded why the nickname for the place used to be "Colditz"
 After a couple of meetings to discuss my teaching in Hong Kong, and successfully getting an authorising signature on the claim form for the marking I did last week, I popped in to see Alan Price.  He bemoaned the lack of decent toys to play with these days, as he was surrounded by technology!
 Then talked for quite a while to Phil Phelps about the speech recognition project we worked on together before wandering through the gaily decorated refectory.
 Outside, the day was drawing to a close
 The deserted corridors of Q Block.  I wonder what happened to the successful £20,000 project bid to make these a showpiece for the "learning environment"project I was involved with last year? Is that the cost of new lino and bare walls these days?...
 
 I wandered down to R Block, where the Faculty was holding a Christmas party.  I was a bit early so ended up talking to the Dean for a few minutes.
 People turned up in large numbers soon after, and the Dean gave a long series of short speeches celebrating the Administrative Staff of the Faculty. They are all being reorganised into a centralised, grandly titled "One University Administration", based right up at the other end of the campus in some cases.  For some reason the phrase "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic" kept coming into my head all day...
 After a couple of glasses of non-alcoholic mulled wine and a sausage on a stick, I bade my farewells and came home through the now-melted snow and rain, but not before I noticed this welcoming sign on a lecture theatre door.  That will go down well next year with students paying £9,000 fees!
We have decided not to go out in the cold and rain to see a film tonight, but are now likely to go down to see footage of old Bath tomorrow morning.

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