Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Time for an update

Finally found time to update the blog following yet another period of silence. Maybe not a bad thing some might say.

Anyway quite a lot has happened over the past couple of weeks since the last posting.

The series of Scottish Executive events has now finished. Of the nine organised, seven took place with two having to be cancelled due to the retirement on health grounds of the education minister Peter Peacock.

As mentioned in previous posts there was still a lot of administration to clear up the project including the important little matter of submitting my invoice and expenses!! Hopefully get a cheque before Christmas so I can by the wee man his present!

I've still to hear one way or the other whether I've been successful with my the tenders for next year's conferences and summer school. Caught between a rock and a hard place in some ways. Do I wait on the post, email or telephone call to let me know what the position is or do I make some enquiries myself knowing that it may result in disappointment? And then, as the days go by, I've got to start looking for alternative work in case either or both don't come my way.

I've lined up a meeting tomorrow with some people who organise a nursing event in Scotland each year who are interested in finding out how we developed the Scottish Learning Festival over the years. I think their plan is to develop their event along similar lines. With a bit of luck I might be able to get some work out of that even if its just in a consultancy capacity.

Even managed to get a short break in Barcelona. While it was pouring with rain and the wind was battering Scotland, we had a great time walking about with just a t-shirt and the sun beating down on our backs. Did the usual tourist things, boat trip, bus trip, tapas on the terrace, etc. Its just that you don't expect to be doing it during the first week of December. Stevenston by the sea eat your heart out!!!

Now some of you might recognise the above building, Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia. I did a quick search on Wikipedia to get a flavour of the building - 'The Sagrada Família was planned in the late 19th century and construction work, under the supervision of Gaudí, commenced in the 1880s. After disagreements between the founding association and the original architect Francesco del Villar, Gaudí was assigned the project in 1883 and created an entirely new design. At the time, the basilica stood in an empty field over a mile away from urban Barcelona. Gaudí worked on the project for over 40 years, devoting the last 15 years of his life entirely to this endeavour; on the subject of the extremely long construction, Gaudí is said to have joked, "My client is not in a hurry." After Gaudí's death in 1926, work continued under the direction of Domènech Sugranyes until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1935.'

You'll be glad to hear that if you visit Barcelona in the next twenty five years it probably still won't be finished!!! Why? It's an ugly building that should be torn down and started again. Gaudi's work looks as if he's been given a whole load of uneven bricks and cement to play with and couldn't come up with a plan where they could all come together in a meaningful manner. Or is that just philistine old me.

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