A week with no blog entry? Forgive me. I’ve been adjusting to my medication and, whilst it has stepped up slowly to the maximum dose, I have effectively doubled it in a week and, at times, I am as high as a kite.
That said, though, I have had a few pain-free hours. Completely. No “But there is a little bit…” or anything else, but pain free.
There were some curiously intense pains later but the few hours of relief were wonderful. Control is still a big issue, and I seem to be more clumsy than normal, but to not have that pain and then have to worry just about the normal aches and pains of lack of muscle use is brilliant. If I could drink, I’d celebrate with champagne.
Concentration, then, has been at a premium. 🙂 I’ve been unable to properly implement some of my Pain Management strategies due to having to drive up and focus on research (more below), but now I’m back I can sort that out. Pacing is key – the length of time spent on an activity has to be controlled – but distraction isn’t a problem: research is too absorbing! However, both have been affected by a constantly swimming head and feet with a feeling of inebriation and complete inability to focus. More on this as I get acclimatise to the medication.
However, I’ve managed a little more on First Centurion, and had a chat about a possible cover, written a piece for the faculty’s book this year (title either “Release” or “I go to Sleep”) but I have been mostly focusing on the MA, mainly the response to Possession and on the research paper. The former is now to be a radio play – incorporating what I’ve picked up from the radio lectures – of around 30-45 minutes in length and the latter is definitely entitled “Gorgeous Garments in Sir Gawain” (alliteration intentional: it is part of a stylistic convention of the period and is heavily used through Sir Gawain and the Green Knight).
For Gorgeous Garments, the Morgan Library & Museum have been really helpful as their current online exhibition has some hiccups but they have told me how to access everything through the catalogue. Whilst focussing on clothing in the Netherlands and France, the exhibition has direct associations with England as our links with France and the Netherlands in the 14th Century were quite substantial – dress and fashion is and was so portable. Further, it seems there was an explosion of interest in fashion in the early half of the 14th Century that has a direct implication as to why the Sir Gawain poet described his key character’s clothing so well. Like Froissart, it is likely that he only writes about what his audience want to hear! Anyway, I am getting buried in 14th century fashion; again, more later on this.
It’s the reviews that are an issue for me. We’ve had to read Jenny Mayhew’s A Wolf in Hindelheim, Jenn Ashworth’s The Friday Gospels, Jonatahan Coe’s Expo ’58 and Ross Raisin’s God’s Own Country, write reviews on three and also write a further review on one of our own choosing. For me, all four are curiously underwhelming in their resolution: it’s as if they are deliberately downplaying reality, making it a grey world in which even life-changing events are to be considered as inevitable or, ordinary events have to be artificially held up as something special. However, all are well written and my favourite is possible A Wolf in Hindelheim – the detail, at times, is almost overwhelming though I found I became lost as to which character was which in the first half of the book.
Anyway, the books are below (if I can….)