Monday, 29 February 2016

Ma-Ness Term 2 Week 9 Lord Buckethead, Haunted Hotel, RIP USB Skeletal Man, Presentations and Snot.

This weeks post it note, some finished reading and RIP USB Skeltal Stick Man....

Am struggling to concentrate on this and I doubt it will be a very long post as I have annoyingly succumbed to some kind of cough/cold/flu lurgy and I am annoyed because a) I hate feeling like this and b) I've had to cancel some things I was really looking forward to (Show and Tell at Leeds Library, talk on Victorain Underworld at Kirkstall Museum to name but two) but I don't feel it's fair to cough and splutter over other attendees plus I feel really ropey.

So the gists of this weeks image and post it note are:

Finished reading The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins and what a rattling good page turning yarn it is - it features women as prominent characters and is full of mentions of class and what Collins was reflecting on as the appropriate behaviour in the Victorian era for each class and gender and a bit of murder, revenge and dismemberment along the way.

I also enjoyed the mentions of photography in the novel - from page 112 of the Vintage 2015 edition of a story first published in 1889  ' The next day he wrote home, enclosing in his letter a photograph of Miss Haldane. Before the end of the week , Sir Theodore and Lady Barville arrived at Lord Montbarry's and formed their own judgement of the fidelity of the portrait' and on page 194 after a gruesome discovery in the hotel ' I answered that it was to be privately buried, after photographs of it had first been taken' and page 213 ' the scene changes to the Courier's room, and shows the poor wretch with a photographic portrait of his wife in his hand, crying.'.

I'm intrigued by use of the word photograph itself - I need to refresh my memory of its origins and use. Photography as such is a Victorian era invention and it is lovely to read a book that it is not just set within that time but written in that time. I treated myself to another three books on Friday after college - two from the same era - The Nether World by George Gissing also from 1889 but dealing with inner city London and people at the opposite end of the social scale, and another one by Collins - Dead Secret from 1857. Dead Secret according to the blurb on the back is a novel of unrelenting suspense, romance and gothic drama. Ooof can't wait....and the final book I purchased was The Italian by Anne Radcliffe from 1797 which deals with a shadowy world where religion and crime intermingle.

Another book I got this week was Nigel Llewellyn's Art of Death from 1991 which arrived through the post. I love secondhand books and even more so if they contain the previous owners to do list (though the best I ever found was a photograph of a rhino in front of a concrete enclosure) or shopping list, this edition has notes in pencil on the side of some of the chapters but in the back was a torn out page from a diary from the beginning of March 2006 and a note to email a conference paper to an academic at Sussex University. I looked them up and they share similar research interests to myself and I might email them to say hello as they may be useful as a potential external examiner if my practice led phd plans come together they way I want them to. 

I'm hoping that although I'm feeling ropey I'll at least be able to get some reading done...alas I couldn't get the digital printing I had planned to do last week (note to self in future  upload stuff to be printed to googledrive as well as putting it on a memory stick) as alas my lovely skeletal usb man had after months of faithful service to and from the college computers corrupted and failed. The error message was quite unhelpful - 'USB has drained all the power' or something and in spite of the best efforts of the chaps in IT to fix it there was no retrieving the information from it and I had to buy a new one...which is nowhere near as cute to look at. Arse.

Just as well I had saved multiple copies of what I was going to print and had also backed up copy of my presentation for Friday too, which went okay. It was really interesting to see and hear what other folks on the course are up to and got some useful suggestions on how to develop some lumen prints I've made (they can't be fixed as it will likely make them paler and they are already very pale and they can't be shown as they are as they will completely degrade in any kind of light - I can display however the scans and photographs I took of them)and it was also a good task for me to put it together as it focused for me what I have been up to and where I am hoping to go next. But it was surprisingly tiring how listening attentively to other people talk about their work is. I was completely knacked and ended up in bed fairly early on Friday - after watching the choice for Eurovision. Which was a kitsch load of nonsense and I've got money on us already having lost.... 

But I'm wandering off track - and need to get back on it so I can get this finished and not feel like it is hanging over me unfinished....

Lord Buckethead was a repesentative of the Gremloids Party in the 1980's. I have no idea what they stood for - other than fortunately we live in a country whose electoral system whilst unfair in lots of ways does allow for people with no hope of winning to stand on what appear to be ridiculous platforms. Like I said I have no idea what Lord Buckethead actually advocated but he wore black and covered his face with a very long kind of stovepipe hat. He stood in Finchley alongside Margaret Thatcher and it was a joy to watch him and his in comparison pitiful results being read out alongside her and with the same serious intonation from the returning officer. I was reminded of him as I went to a research cluster meeting and have offered to do an experiment with words that also involves buckets.

Well the snot has become all too much so I think it's best I go and take some kind of cold remedy before I collapse at the screen in a pile of used tissues... and fingers crossed I'll be back to full fighting strength again soon - there's pictures out there need taking and printing.... 

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