Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Autumn of my years

Is it really three months since I last blogged? Evidently so. I suppose like a lot of ex bloggers I have migrated to Facebook, which I guess is a little bit selfish of me.

Well I have lost over a stone in weight since I last blogged here. Gotto be a reason for that. Oh yes I have been digging for victory haven't I? Of late I have also been eating the produce of my allotment albeit it has been one heck of a struggle against the elements this year, with the rain and the slugs who have had more than there fair share of what I have been trying to grow. I lost a lot of crops that hardly even got started.

Still I know where it is at now, and what seems to grow well. Broad beans did fine, and I got quite a few peas eventually, and now I am waiting for the runner beans to swell out. I have some beetroot that looks healthy enough, and some strange red lettucy salady thing. 

Wasn't I supposed to be some kind of an autism researcher and academic?

Yes I guess I was, but you know how it is, when a new interest comes along. This last week however I was doing my academic bit and presenting at the 6th Lancaster Disability Studies conference, on the Social Construction of the Savant. Now how many academics do you know who can cite Oscar Wilde, C S Lewis, Arthur Figgis (AKA John Cleese) both of Shakespeare's professional fools and the usual suspects Treffert, Howlin and Hermelin in the same paper. I do because I can, like the proverbial dog and it's parts.

Well it has to be said on the Disability Studies circuit you are not anybody until you have experienced me walking out on your presentation at least once. There was the Nebraskan who had the temerity to do a presentation on Amanda Bagg's "in my own language" which he completely buried in the obscure language of cultural studies. As for the guy who was doing a Lacanian analysis. AAAARGH was all that I could say.

Nonetheless there was a strong contingent of allies, with Steve Graby, rising star Damian Milton, who is becoming less mute and inglorious by the day. Mitzi Waltz was also there complementing my performance (sorry I mean presentation) The BBC were also there filming our Damian for a documentary about ABA.

Well did I get drunk in the evenings? Not arf, but then you do, playing your flute in the bar and that sort of thing.

Next week I have a far more sober conference, the Hardest Hit, where I shall be repeating my paper of two years ago, the predictions of which were horribly accurate about the present Governments desire to control expenditure on disabled people by essentially denying the category. There are several ironies about this one. Firstly they don't seem to have got hold of the idea that they should arrange car parking for attendees. Secondly the big joke is the notion of secure and waged academics turning there gaze on the great unwashed and unemployed, it reminds me of the joke about the Pope who wears swimming trunks in the bath.

Then next week also sees the beginning of what will be (definitely this time) my final year of study at Birmingham University. In fact I have to be there tomorrow to sort some administrative stuff out.

Well it has been an interesting year even if I haven't blogged much about it. I don't think I mentioned that I will have three paintings on exhibition at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition centre from this November until the new year. I also have a short book chapter to write for a text book introduction to Disability Studies to be published by Sage next year.