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Monday, 17 December 2007


The craziness of the Lloyd household just got crazier. Countdown to Christmas is now well underway. We know *exactly* how many days it is until Christmas day because it is the first thing we learn each morning, as we struggle to heave open our eye lids to the sound of Eden's crystal clear tones announcing it. There are also three advent calendars on the go, only one of which contains chocolate (mistake). We've had the school nativity play, enhanced in general entertainment value enormously by the school's insistence (quite rightly) that each and every child should play a part. Hence we were bedazzled by 15 angels, several score sheep and cows, 10 narrators (including the lovely Eden) and ooh, about 50 shepherds. I'm pleased to say they stuck to the script and allowed only one Mary, one Joseph, one Baby Jesus and one star. Back in the real (but far less fun and interesting) world, the same week saw the endless round of Christmas parties, which I saw through in hardcore dedication to the cause of... well, partying. By the third morning after, the concept of Having Fun combined with being a parent of three small children was, admittedly, wearing ever so slightly thin. But I have photographic evidence of dancing till the wee hours to seventies funk music and yes, I'm proud of it. Somewhere between the partying and the usual rush to the end of the year attempt to achieve one's bonusable targets at work, there have been 120 christmas cards to buy and write, what seems like hundreds of presents to buy and wrap (next year I am doing it *all* on the Internet, I swear), and catering to organise for the rounds of Christmas guests. So, yes, I am looking forward to the holidays.... Just as soon as I finish reducing the 292 emails in my inbox and writing this 5,000 word article for the journal Library Trends on the future of publishing. Why did I say I'd do that?

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

I Hold My Hands Up

I have been a Very Bad Blogger. It has been two weeks since I last posted. Here's why. First of all, we took off for a long weekend jaunt to Welsh Wales, home of the in-laws, sheep and endless rain, but not, it seems of WiFi or even of mobile phone signals. The Crackberry was all but useless, which did a great deal to restore familial relations, but which did nothing for my resulting workload on our return and of course made it impossible to blog remotely. As we waved the in-laws goodbye and set off back to the M4 through the grey, slanting rain, I felt a tickle at the back of my throat, a dull, achey sensation in my limbs and a fogginess settling into my head. You've guessed it, it was the onset of flu, which, by the time we reached home six hours later was making itself known all too clearly. Well, what do you expect after a weekend in the Welsh rain? I spent the next three days largely in bed, accompanied only by a hot water bottle and occasional random members of my immediate family. Since then, I have emerged from under the duvet but only to stagger to the computer and back to make feeble attempts at working. This bug is a virulent pestilence and I wish it gone. I'll let you know when I'm back in business. Sniff. Cough. Urgh.