It is an effort, a huge effort, to remain calm and act normally when the world seems to have gone mad, and for all of us there will be some tipping point at which we can't put on a brave face any longer
Academia can be hideous and cut-throat, but it can also be social and fun.
Some people fall over: others have a fall. There's an important difference. When you're young, you fall over, and you get up. Nobody makes much of a fuss. Life resumes immediately after a few moments of interruption. When you're older, however, you have a fall. This can be devastating. My father had a fall, broke… Continue reading Having a fall: what’s right and what’s wrong in the NHS
Academic twitter has been in a bit of a tizzy in the last few days. Mary Beard, who has over 240,000 followers, tweeted "Can I ask academics of any level of seniority how many hours a week they reckon they work. My current estimate is over 100. I am a mug. But what is the… Continue reading Working the 100-hour week
publishers, publication and REF...
Last night we had a call from mum's emergency alarm button people to say she'd fallen and was on the floor. Fortunately we were at home eating our dinner, so whizzed round and were there in an instant. Unlike the previous fall nine months back, she hadn't hurt anything but just couldn't get up without… Continue reading Dialling 111
Not all women have the menopause
In the academic world, at some point you'll be asked to be the chair for a paper or a conference panel. You'll need to introduce the speaker or speakers; keep time; and run the question session at the end. Having had some 'interesting' experiences recently, and indeed over my career, I decided I should be putting… Continue reading How to chair a paper or a conference panel
Back in 2016, I mused here on the difficulties of being a carer for an elderly relative, especially when something unusual happens. Then, it was a planned surgical procedure: last week, it was an entirely unplanned disaster scenario, when my mother somehow fell in her own flat on the day before her 90th birthday party… Continue reading Caring: when it all gets worse
Last weekend my cousin, who's the same age as me but not yet retired, came to stay and - inevitably - at one point we started talking about being 61. We agreed that it really is very odd being 'elderly'. We're old enough to be lumped in with those in their seventies but we still… Continue reading Growing old