It's been rather hectic since Thursday evening; on Friday I had to go to Maplins to buy a memory card for the camera that I borrowed to shoot The Dollymixture; I thought that I needed a USB lead as well but the guys in the shop managed to find the lead cunningly tucked into the handle of the camera that I'd missed when hunting for it on the camera body.
I then had to download a manual and do some test shooting, but I was so worried about whether I could manage to do it that I cleared all the documentary film from the iPad that I took to North Carolina and uploaded it to Youtube so that I had some backup. In the end, I had such a cumbersome load that I left the iPad behind.
I never knew tripods were so bloody heavy; when I was in Brighton on Saturday, the wind just blew me in whichever direction it felt like. I did try to go down to the seafront, but decided against it as I didn't fancy being blown out to sea with only a collapsible tripod for a boat.
Thursday evening was spent at the Panic: what happened to social mobility in the arts? event at The Guardian. The panel was chaired by Jude Rogers, who is a music journalist for The Guardian (and other papers) and teaches at a very similar University to me. Stuart Maconie was another member and we were given his article for The New Statesman to read: http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/01/privileged-are-taking-over-arts-without-grit-pop-culture-doomed
Ray Oudkerk (the deputy head of The Brit School), Pauline Black (yes, from the Selector and wearing such a fab pair of shoes I wanted to eat them for my tea) and James Young from Dark Star made up the rest of the members. The duo Dark Star sampled Huddersfield teenagers talking about their lives on their latest album Foam Island (listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b62L0PRnw8M ).
Pauline was about to play at The Albert Hall with Jools Holland and came out with the most poetic comment of the evening, actually in the Green Room before we even began: she compared music on the internet as being similar to a murmuration of starlings flowing around all over the sky. Lovely.
Jude was a great host; she was very even-handed and I don't think any of us dominated the panel. There was a lot of truth spoken with a lot of passion and I was able to say how angry I feel at the way young people are being treated by society (Yes, all society, not just the Government, because I don't see anyone sticking up for them, do you? It's no good going 'innit awful' and waiting for somebody else to sort it out. We have to do it).
It was a panel strong on content and committed talk. Stuart Maconie used to be an FE lecturer and has done a fair bit of research on this issue; James was a beneficiary of the New Deal on Music and both Pauline and myself started off in the punk era (which wasn't anywhere near as glorious as some people make out).
The bottom line is that lecturers don't think students should be paying so much either- and we work extra hard to be worth the money. Which is why I sometimes get up at 5 a.m. to plan sessions, catch up with admin and write lectures.
Toughens you up, I suppose.