This week has been tough. It's what Oxford University calls "0th week" (the weeks of term are numbered 1 - 8, so the week before term starts is obviously week 0...), and in Michaelmas (Autumn) term, this is when all of the new students arrive. I spent a day and a half delivering library induction presentations to new historians (a total of 7 times, more than any of the other history library staff!); only 2 students fell asleep, and I managed to stay awake. Combine this with starting a slightly different role and trying to bond with the two members of staff new to my team, some shortlisting, and firefighting a number of other issues, I was absolutely shattered! Consequently I haven't done as much of anything other than work as I would have liked this week really, and I even missed a card making evening that I'd been really looking forward to as I needed to go to bed! Today, Saturday, I am feeling quite frayed around the edges, and although I managed to go for a run/walk, I had to give up on my swim after 1km.
This week in reading
Last weekend I enjoyed reading The Easter Party by Vita Sackville-West, one of her novels that hadn't made it into the Virago Modern Classics series and which I had been inspired to seek out after my visit to Knole at the August Bank Holiday weekend.
I also reread my favourite Famous Five Book - Five go on a hike together - which bore rereading. I love that book!
I reread Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy as part of my rereading her oevre - I think this is one of her best ones.
I read a memoir of a man who moved to Tenerife to run a bar (having been unable to find a book about Tenerife to read ahead of my trip there in February), called More ketchup than salsa, which was really quite tedious and told me next to nothing about Tenerife.
I read A sense of an ending by Julian Barnes which Claire had lent me when I was poorly with mumps. I find Julian Barnes work very variable - I loved Metroland, lent to me by Mr W's predecessor, and Talking it over, and also Nothing to be frightened of, but most of the rest of his work has left me cold. I liked the story in this but found it quite pretentious.
I also read The vintage tea party book by Angel Adoree which I will post about separately in the coming week.
This week in training
Since getting my running shoes, I have been back on the Couch to 5k programme and been out 3 times. I am now up to running for 16 minutes during the half hour session.
I have cycled 57 miles (2 x 6 mile round trip to the pool, 5 x 9 mile round trip to work) and am astonished to find that my legs are 50% less flabby than they were a week ago. Seriously! I'm still trying to learn to love my bike, it's helped that the weather has been ok, but I find it hard going cycling back with my panniers.
I have swum about 21km, and even made it to a Tri Club swim session (hadn't been for over 2 months). I'm being given access to special training sessions to do on my own ahead of my swim camp in Tenerife, so have got to do the first one tomorrow!
This week in cooking
I've made my Christmas mincemeat (post to follow), and a couple of recipes from the Vintage Tea Party book (also post to follow!), but otherwise I have been defrosting things from the freezer to feed Mr W and I in the evenings.
This week in the house
We are now fully double glazed following new windows in the bathroom, hall and kitchen. Annoyingly they are far nicer than the already double glazed windows in the rest of the house which we see more often. We opted not to have frosted glass in the kitchen like the window it replaced, and it has made the kitchen so much lighter.
As I type Mr W is putting a light fitting into the bathroom light, so no more light bulb dangling from the ceiling, and if he has any time left this afternoon he's going to get on with painting the walls in the hall.
Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham
3 hours ago