I have been bouncing about like Tigger today. Driven to distraction at 12 a.m. by the need to send out student feedback by email, I burned the midnight oil and sent out almost 100 emails. It worked- I slept like a baby and woke early this morning to head to the Research Conference at the University of the East in Docklands to present a paper. I enjoyed the papers by my colleagues Christopher Dalladay and Guy Harries, and it was worth going for that alone. Although I didn't manage to fit the whole talk in (none of us did), my paper made more sense in the telling than I thought it would. In the garrett, everything seems skewed and awkward, so it's a good thing to present research at conferences to iron out the kinks.
Then I went to The Vortex in Dalston; what a different environment to the University! In Gillett Square people hang out on benches and wander across to the cafes, busy doing nothing (or rather, something you can't understand unless you are one of their number). It is the land of the dreadlocked pensioner, the young white woman with stylish clothes, the tattooed older gent, the white-haired octogenarian couples in pale blue mackintoshes whatever the weather, and the occasional bearded lumbersexual.
I had gone to interview someone; I had never been there before and I was blown away by the lovely room where the music happens. It has a loyal clientele and you can see why.
Interviewing is really inspiring, but you also have to be really careful not to exhaust your... well... victim. I remember being interviewed for a German radio station about seven years ago, and after two hours I was practically on the floor with knackeredness, my mouth dry and my head empty. It's a bit like letting blood, but sometimes I think people tell themselves things while being interviewed that they hadn't realised themselves, so it does work both ways. I hope.
Last journey of the day was to Stratford to do some tutorials. It has been a muggy day and by 5.30 we were all swimming through the air like goldfish, in slow motion and uncharacteristically benign. We smiled graciously, made gentle bargains, and felt reasonably happy.
I bounced home and I've just eaten two pies. It's been that sort of day.