Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Return to Blogging

Perhaps now is the time to dip my toe back in the water.

I guess those turbulent waters have settled somewhat and maybe the fanatics and the fools have all left the blogosphere by now, leaving this sometimes fanatical and foolish blogger free rein to reign again. (have I got my spelling right there?)

Anyway I may well change my profile picture and other stuff but here goes.

This year will see some changes. I have for the most part spent my time on my allotment which has been a particularly important focus in my life given as it has fed me quite well, never mind it needs constant attention. I have built a shed, and am quite pleased with myself for that, and something that approximates a greenhouse. Next year I intend to construct something on the lines of the fruit cage I inherited to protect my brassicas from marauding pigeons.

Other than that I have fitted in a fair amount of travel, with the NAS, Birmingham University and conference speaking. Not international travel mind you. That is not for me, nor ever will be. I do all my international business right here on the internet, with my servers sitting in sunny California creating a jurisdictional nightmare I suppose should I ever get on the wrong side of the tyrant Barack Obama or his minions (dare I say controllers)

Well that is enough of the politics. The state of UK politics is even more dire, the most any sensible person can hope to do is survive until the next election, which of course brings me back to the allotment.

I shall be retiring from the NAS for the most part next month. It will be the end of 9 years on the Board and I think something like 12 or 13 on the Council, I have lost count. I retire from the board because I have to. There is a new set of rules that prevents anyone from completing more than 3 terms in a lifetime of membership. I retire from the Council of my own free will, to make way for fresh blood in the hope that there is going to be some continuity of autistic membership on the board, which I would only be in the way of if I remained, blocking the career path of some other autistic wannabe trustee.

I will not be gone from the NAS scene for good however. That is not my style, it has played all too much a role in my life for me to be able to deal with that change.

I shall remain on the Brand and Development committee, which is the "innovative" arm of the NAS, it's commercial part, which for statutory reasons is registered as a seperate company from the NAS charity itself. I think it is important for me to remain there, and at this current time it is where I can both keep an eye on things, and I think be of maximum effect in the organisation.

Will I ever complete my Doctorate? Well I have finished the formal period anyway and am this month entering what is technically called "Thesis awaited status" In other words I have a terminal date by which I must submit my thesis, so I shall be slowly completing the write up. It is no longer the most important thing in my life, the qualification will just be a gloss on what I already know, I don't really need it unless I am intent upon a carreer in academic teaching, and I see now, this close to my sixtieth that it is probably not going to happen unless there are major reforms and changes in academia, which is still moving rapidly in the wrong direction away from the sort of mileu I would be happy to be permanently employed in.  Still "Thesis awaited" status is a convenient way to remain connected for as long as I can, and get some continuing advantage out of University affiliation.

For the record my last academic presentation at the Sheffield Normalcy  conference was probably my least academic in terms of subverting the paradigms of Normalcy, something which too few presenters seemed to be interested in doing. I am not a musicologist, but I presented on Moondog I sang the introduction, launched immediatly into playing a Moondog piece on my flute and puntuated the proceedings with recordings of Moondogs extraordinary and influential music.  Ok there was a sociological and disability studies context and autism is never far away from the picture, as it is what I literally do every day, but it certainly was not the kind of thing I have done elsewhere. It's not the first time I have done something quite like that however, as many years ago I did a similar thing called "From William Morris to Morris Dancing" for the local branch of the William Morris society where I interspersed a more than hypothetical connection with recorded and actual performance.

I was totally in character for the Moondog part however, dressed (stylishly according to some commentators) in a blanket and I even managed to perform on the streets of Sheffield in the early morning waiting for the Uni to open it's doors.

So the big question? Why am I blogging again. Well I expect I still have things to say, and saying them on Facebook is a bit parochial, not to mention limited.