Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Four Year Plan

Project Initiation
What we've got to do is get round a table
and put together a solution package -
perhaps over tea and biscuits.

Division of Responsibilities:
Hey, this is mine. That's mine.
All this is mine.
I'm claiming all this as mine.
Except that bit.
I don't want that bit.
But all the rest of this is mine.

Strategic Analysis
We have three realistic alternatives:
Sit here and get blown up,
Stand here and get blown up,
Jump up and down,
shout at me for not being able to think of anything,
then get blown up.

Resource Allocation
Hey, I got it!
We laser our way through!?

Operations Manager
Ah, an excellent suggestion, Sir,
with just two minor drawbacks.
we don't have a power source for the lasers,
we don't have any lasers.

Forward Planning
Well, if you've got some amazing secret plan
up your sleeve
now's the time to mention it.

You're going to go with one of my plans?
Are you nuts?
What happens if we all get killed?
I'll never hear the last of it.

Action Points
Step up to Red Alert!

Operations Manager
Sir, are you absolutely sure?
It does mean changing the bulb.

[with apologies to the talented writers of Red Dwarf]

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Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Walls of Granada

Between budgets and employment contracts,
room bookings and purchase orders

The Hill of the Alhambra
Samuel Colman (1832-1920)

and clattering visits
from the academic who is now 41
and has another cunning plan or three
on the boil

The Comares Tower of the Alhambra
David Roberts (1796-1864)

I pause
and my mind drifts sideways...

The Gate of the Justice
Wilhelm Gail (1804 - 1890)

I have never seen the Alhambra,
that rose-red citadel on the edge of Granada;

Lions in the Alhambra
John Dobbin (1815-1888)

the sprawling walls and towers,
massive gateways, pillared courtyards
and extravagant Moorish decoration.

Entrance to the Hall of Ambassadors
George Owen Wynne Apperley (1884 - 1960)

I can't go today or tomorrow
or even next week
but I will...

one day I will go to Granada.

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Monday, 18 October 2010

Attendance Register

She wins the prize for the most exotic name.
It stretches from one end of the alphabet to the other.

He enquires about language training because
Russian is essential for his fieldwork in Uzbekistan.

She asks the way to the train station.
MrsM considers the feasibility of a GPS loan.

He has had his dreadlocks cut off
but the mischievous grin is still there.

She is homesick and decides to leave.
MrsM signs the form and wishes her luck
but she is not listening...
in her head she has already left the campus.

He is awarded a prestigious grant
to fund his studies for the next four years
which vindicates his brave decision
to leave a well paid but boring job.

She sets off for a year of fieldwork in Asia.
She is young and flustered
but her new husband stands reassuringly behind her.
They are on their first adventure together.

He sent so many emails before he arrived
querying every single detail
of the enrolment and financial arrangements
that MrsM is surprised to discover
he is a very 'street' young man
and not a retired accountant.

She did not get the job
even though she was well qualified.
MrsM makes enquiries and discovers that
a student from her old Department was successful.
MrsM is torn between delight and disappointment.

He describes his exciting placement
in South Africa during the World Cup.
MrsM remembers encouraging him to apply and smiles.

She is persuaded to show off her diamond ring
which made a surprise appearance
from a rucksack on a foggy day.
It is undoubtedly the first chapter
of a happy marriage.

He was a student when she arrived
but was appointed as a lecturer shortly afterwards.
MrsM wonders if he will become Head of Department
before she leaves.

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