(update - I only just realised the image below wasn't displaying. It's fixed now.)
Alright. Only eight days later. (Stephanie in comments was right - I didforget about marking the essays, all sixty x 3500 of them, plus the 3 x 12,000 ones. I did not however forget about the two unfinished articles, the one unbegun conference paper, or the four-day summer school I'm conducting the week after next.) I'm a bit rusty at this and I can see it's going to take me a while to warm up again. In the interests of doing so perhaps some random dot point commemoration of what happened during the extended lost weekend is in order:
* I did a better job than I knew picking the reading list for the Women Writing subject, which turned out to be an absolute joy to do, the few really hair-raising moments aside, and even though marking essays isn't fun, ever, it's been so good to see person after person writing wonderful things. An essay I marked last night finished with, among other things, the observation that the Doris Lessing novel we read was a work of 'extreme beauty' - and the writer wasn't just throwing that in there, she'd earned the right to that observation by the painstaking and patient reading she'd worked her way through. However, I am very glad that teaching is done for three months.
* The cats are well.
* Dorian bought a double bass and he plays it all the time.
* I gave a conference paper about the Jane Austen dressing up and dancing thing and as a result of the paper I am now going to write a book about it. There is a commission from a very good editor and publisher. I am incredibly overexcited about this work. I'm also happy because it means I'm a bit more likely to eventually get some kind of ongoing job. It also means research trips to Jane Austen beanos in various places: I'm thinking Canberra again and Bath again next year, and then, if I can manage it, California and Florence the year after. Sounds dreadful doesn't it. Also, inevitably, this will mean a great many more frocks about which I will of course keep you far too well informed at every possible opportunity.
* Our apple trees have got little apples on them, which is weird. Last week I ate the first piece of edible fruit from our garden - a mandarine. Verdict: not quite ready. But promising.
* I am considering throwing a Christmas party in my 2m x 3.5m office along the lines of the housewarming Jemaine in Flight of the Conchords had when he moved into a storage cupboard.
* This was the scene at a huge rockabilly dance we went to a few weeks ago. I didn't mind.