Friday, November 17, 2006

Scenes from a Friday

Entry for 17 November 2006:

Halfway through an 8-mile run, I see a group 12 swans in the canal near Clydebank this morning, ducking under the water to feed, as rain falls, dotting the water’s surface. Never in my life have I seen so many swans together in one place.

Wendy, my doctoral student is pleased at getting re-energized about her research on Person-Centred therapy with schizophrenia, talking about publishing the qualitative study of therapists’ views that is the first part of doctoral work, and planning the next phase, a treatment development study/open clinical trial. Tonight I get an email thanking me for my support and time.

Having tea and coffee after lunch with Mick and Lorna. It’s been another long week, so it’s really nice to hang out for a while with them and talk before going back to work (not that we’re not working, the three of us are incurable!). Once again, I take real pleasure (and tell them so) in having colleagues like them. As we walk into the staff base, Beth is jumping up and down with excitement over her the conference submission she wants me to look at.

I have a meeting with John, the Department administrator and Jo, from Human Relations, so they can get my views about how the Counselling Unit is functioning and how to deal with some difficulties we are having that we have asked their help with. I haven’t been looking forward to this, but it turns out to be a good opportunity for me to reflect on what I’m doing and to take stock.

I get home a bit early today, so that I can get at least at hour or two in on my writing. This seems unlikely to begin with, but turns out to be more productive than I had expected.

At the end of another long day, we are smiling as we mentally review the delightful evening we’ve just had with our new friends from St. Mary’s, John and Nena, and another couple, Kevin and Sharon. John, a retired theology professor from Glasgow University and Nena, a retired physician, live in an eccentric old house north of Glasgow, in Balmore. Delicious dinner (parsnips, leeks, a kind of fish piece, roulade and apple crumble for desert; great conversation wide ranging from the Catholic-Protestant divide in Glasgow to poetry, shamanism, dealing with mindless bureaucracy, our kids. We stay until after midnight, and have trouble pulling ourselves away from the warm kitchen and the good company. But the glow lingers as we get ready for bed.

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