Wednesday 3 March 2010

A Day at Bangor University

It was like going home in some ways. I can’t believe I used to do this drive - and some – every week. This time, I drove into the setting sun and though I’ve been this way hundreds of times before, those mountains which come down to the sea never fail to take my breath away – especially now as Snowdon is still covered in snow.
I spent a pleasant evening and a productive working morning with a friend and then headed into town a little early for lunch in order to visit the Red Cross shop and show them the only hard copy in the public of 100 Stories for Haiti. They loved it and thought it would be a good idea to sell it in all shops. We should contact Head Office.
I the met Lyle Skains, the colleague from Bangor who had invited me, in the Blue Sky Café for lunch. The lunch was great. The food was bound to be. The café belongs to my cousin’s wife. The atmosphere is great, too. It is, after all, an example of what I call a Creative Café. There’s a whole list of activities on the wall. They’re all within keeping of what a Creative Café should do. And of course, Lyle’s company was great, too. We’re facing the same issues in our teaching and research and her experience of doing a Ph D sounds very familiar.
We struggled up the hill. I haven’t entirely lost my fitness. And I really did need to admire the view. Whatever made me think I could leave that view?
NIECI looks so different to what the old JP Hall used to look like. As we arrived at the top of the stairs I reminded myself that it was up here I had my Ph D viva almost three years ago. That long ago? In this space?
Eventually after a few more minutes’ catch-up with Lyle and Simon Holloway, another former colleague, I met the students. They were just like ours, really. I talked a lot. I always surprise myself about how much I know. I’m even more surprised when they start taking notes. Apparently what I’ve said sounds important.
We completed a creative writing exercise. This was one of my favourites – about finding the right voice for a piece. They seemed to really get into this. It was almost a shame to stop them.
Then – questions time. This brought me round to mainly talking about publishing and networking opportunities.
In then end, I really had to hurry, though – my car had parking on it until 4.05. I dashed down the hill, arriving a few minutes late. No problems – except my sat nav decided to take me out of town the pretty way. Up towards Bangor Mountain, along some frighteningly narrow country roads. Around a sudden corner to be faced with a heart-stopping view of Snowdon. Is my car trying to tell me something? Maybe it’s telling me I should come home more often.

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