Monday, 25 July 2011

Monday Morning Discombobulation!

It’s our first morning back on the Greenwich campus following our move from Avery Hill.  It all feels strangely familiar but also different.  Last year I was working down the other end answering queries specific to the School of Health while this year I am part of Uzma’s team. I am able to ride my bicycle over Blackheath and through Greenwich Park which is such a lovely way to start the day!  Being classified as staff for the summer I have been given a key to lock it away in the special bike shed so hopefully it won’t get stolen like my last year’s Clearing bike did!  I would be so upset to lose this lovely new bike especially after having my scooter stolen last week.

My weekend started wonderfully with a visit from my daughter Kate and her boyfriend Martin, who is a very skilled carpenter.  He, ably assisted by him-at-home, installed my beautiful lion stained glass window.  This is the window that was given to me eighteen months ago by a workman who had taken it out of a house that was been fitted with new PVC windows.  Although it was absolutely filthy and very badly damaged, he couldn’t bear to throw it in the skip so he took it home where it languished in his garden shed for years.  I wasn’t sure whether I like it or not and couldn’t even work out what the design was for ages until I could put it over a light box. It was so exciting to see the beautiful painting with the lion’s face and details of fruit, leaves, columns and scrolls.  I have worked all year in my stained glass evening class to clean, restore and enlarge it. This involved painting two replacement panels, cutting several new clear glass pieces, replacing much of the lead work, reinforcing it with  fine steel bars and making a new section all around it to fit in our window space. 

So often I hated the process – all that fiddling around with cotton buds and scalpel blades!  However when the window finally went in on Saturday morning I was absolutely thrilled to bits!  Now I have to keep going to look at different times of the day to see how the different light changes it.  Then at night it is different again depending which room we are in and which light is on.   Him at home thinks I am completely bonkers!  Then I invited Lucy over from across the road to look at it.  She is a stained glass teacher and was really excited about seeing it in place.  She went as bonkers as me so we decided that only a fellow stained- glass-oholic could really understand!

So after all that excitement,  which almost compensated for having  Valerie  Vespa stolen last Monday we had a lovely roast dinner and we all just relaxing digesting and sitting soft.  Then we heard the news which really brought us down to earth.......

...firstly about the slaughter of all those innocent people in Norway – such senseless destruction.  It is so huge, so unimaginably shocking that I find it hard to know how to react, how to feel, how to think and what to write. 

My heart goes out to all those injured and those who are left behind having to cope with the loss of precious family members and friends.

Amy Winehouse
Janis Joplin
...and then I heard the news about the death of Amy Winehouse.  I felt so sad.  She was such a brilliantly talented young woman, only a year older than my beloved daughter.  Amy had always reminded me of the amazing, but terribly troubled, Janis Joplin who died in 1970 at the same age. Twenty seven seemed so much older to me then when I was only 16.  Now it seems so young. Drugs and alcohol can wreak such havoc in the lives of so many people not only those with the fragility of Amy and Janis. 

Rest in Peace Ami.


  1. Hi there, I found your blog as I was googling Greenwish university and MSc Therapeutic Counselling. I would be very interested to here your views about the course as I am looking for an MA or MSc that is accredited by BACP. How are the teachers and the teaching? Do you have an email adress that I can contact you, if you dont mind answering a few of my questions?
    Kind regards


  2. Hi Sofia,
    Sorry that it has taken me so long to respond - I had not noticed your comment until it was pointed out to me. I have really enjoyed my first two years. I have had an incredibly busy summer working in the you can tell from my blog! My email is if you would like to ask me more.
    Best wishes, Alice