I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Monday, June 15, 2015

My Year with Bluestone -- Almost

Well after a month's hiatus, this blog has lost all claim to a respectably or reliably regular daily event. Such interruptions are the nature of scholarly work. I have not been idle over the last month, but working on a bunch of other projects:

  • finished a short essay on emotion and affect for a collection on early modern studies
  • finished revisions to an essay on "temporalities" for a Cambridge companion to Medievalism
  • run a three-day conference on Reading the Face
  • finished and given a paper at that conference
  • gave a short but high pressure talk on Thomas Hoccleve at the TEDx festival in Sydney (yes, at the Opera House to a mere 2300 people, livestreamed to 150 sites: official video available soon)
  • gave the previous talk a mere two days after being hospitalised with a fever and dehydration after picking up a gastric bug my doctor thought might have been appendicitis
  • had my first colonoscopy (all clear!!) as a result of previous episode
  • gave a public lecture on Virginia Woolf
  • sprained my ankle
  • wrote a million emails
  • plus a number of other small things (writing references, managing changing staffing plans at work, planning for heaps of visitors to our centre -- talks, dinners, events)
  • plus all the domestic stuff
  • plus trying to get a writing and reading plan for the rest of the year.
Upcoming events are a paper on the representation of fire in Middle English Literature and then one on the face and emotion in Philip Sidney's poetry. Both these are due in July; and both are completely new. I have an unaccountable desire to work on the first by re-reading The Aeneid.

And then, just as teaching is about to start, I'll be settling down to start drafting the bluestone book.

I still haven't got much further than my own suburbs. Here's a symbolic photo: bluestone on the edges of the building, much as it's been on the edge of my working radar over the last month. 

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