Saturday, October 8, 2011


I nearly titled this "Significant birthdays", but realised every single one has its own unique meaning...The week has bee filled with birthdays: Steve's dad Danny, and our friend Elizabeth/ Granny H, and our friend Rex, all on Wednesday 5th; then the Archbishop and his controversial birthday guest, the Dalai Lama, who appeard via video conference link in the end...Last night, Friday, saw Rex treating some of his friends to dinner at Henri's - what a pleasure! The gracious old house has been tastefully painted and decorated and there are (electric) candelabra in the windows, whose glass is still leaded. The drapes are rich embossed silk, the wooden tables a deep shiny brown, while the cutlery appears old-fashioned and feels it too: strange but satisfying to hold a heavy knife and fork, the fork with long tines and a good curve to it! The dinner was elegantly presented, and in "elegantly sufficient" quantities! We had our own waiter who hovered discreetly with the wine...The atmosphere was relaxed, yet formal enough to feel speciall but not so formal as to overwhelm. We're looking forward to the next decade or four, Rex!
Oh dear...I've just finished reviewing some essays, and find myself reading my own work in the same way, looking for punctuation errors and other faults! I really am grateful, though, for all I've learn through the reviewing process; especially the wonderful stories and insights as people share their life-histories with candour and a real zest for life!
Yesterday saw me in an all-day workshop at Oxford University Press, discussing the development of a new textbook for Grade 11 English Second language learners. We came from all angles: the lecturer running intervention classes for both teachers and learners in under-performing schools; the teacher with a full class load and time to run workshops for SADTU; the managing editor with a wealth of successful publications behind her; me with...well, the skill of writing, and following given parameters, and not much else, or so I feel in that company!; the education specialist who has delved into theory and used it to run programmes in farm schools; and the publisher who gently reminds us of our focus, and has firmly in mind the specific aims of the book...We had such an enjoyable time! Needless to say, I will now be working at quite a tight pace to meet the even tighter deadlines...
And in the midst of that, my precious (little-er) boy is coughing in his sleep with the usual hay-fever, so I am off to administer honey and try not to get the pillow sticky! Goodnight...

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