Sunday, September 02, 2012

August Update 2012

Entry for 1 September 2012:

Around noon on Wednesday, the first of August, on the old Celtic festival day of Lunasa or Lammas, the first day of Celtic Autumn, I arrived at my new office in the Graham Hills Building.  There was a desk with my computer on it, and my file cabinets weree lined up neatly against the left wall, but no chairs or any other furniture.  I went out and found myself a table in the common area by the classrooms.  After an hour I went back, and voila’!, chairs, table and lots of boxes of books had appeared.  I set up my computer.  The IT guy came by, got my computer’s MAC address and had me online within the hour.  I spent the rest of the afternoon rearranging furniture in order to open up the space.  At 5pm I walked the couple of minutes to the High Street train station and caught the 17.05 train home. 

I spent the next two days trying (and failing) to get enough work cleared up to be able to leave on vacation with a clear conscience.  In the end, only the most critical things got done, and off we went to the US, where my laptop promptly died.  Our first task was to help our youngest son Kenneth move from Cleveland, Ohio, to Iowa City, Iowa, where he was about to start grad school in classics. Then we flew to Seattle, where we ended up helping our oldest son, Brendan, move house.  Next, we flew to San Francisco, and my sister Anna picked me up the next day and took me to Murray Creek to help prepare for our mom’s Celebration event.

After the Celebration Event, we had various adventures of a more sedate nature, along with recovering from all the moves, physical and psychological and restoring my laptop whose hard drive had crashed and had to be reformatted.  One day, we ventured part way up the Pleasanton Ridge, west of Diane’s home town of Pleasanton, high enough to be rewarded with commanding views of the valley.  Another day, we explored Sycamore Grove Park, south of Livermore, with its stands of large old sycamore, walnut and oak trees along the mostly-dry arroyo, vultures wheeling gracefully overhead in the late summer thermals of the 90F weather.  Rows of ancient walnut trees lined abandoned roads leading to the ruins of an old winery in the hills to the south. If hadn't so hot, it would have been romantic, in a desolate sort of way...

We returned to Scotland by a circuitous route: San Francisco to Paris to Cardiff to Glasgow.  We cleared immigration at Cardiff International Airport, where we were questioned closely and subsequently had our carry-on bags scanned multiple times by very serious officials, who scolded us for not taking our kindle and small Mac keyboard out of our bags.

On our return I had no time to recover, as I was running this year’s 4-day Strathclyde EFT Level 1 training with Lorna and Anja.  Although relocated from Jordanhill, the space worked out reasonably well.  Amusingly, it was on the 8th floor with a bunch of engineers temporarily displaced by the fire in their building earlier this year; with their ties and ID cards on lanyards they made quite a contrast to our motley band of counsellors.  Moreover, we were very pleased to be able to work with such an enthusiastic group of participants.  As always, it was a real pleasure to facilitate this training, and very rewarding to see the participants begin to pick up and use the various EFT tasks.  

Afterward, on Friday night, we collapsed, and when my bread machine’s beeping woke me up the next morning I was startled to see that it was 10 am already.

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