So, I arrived at the end of my first “proper” week as a postgraduate student, clutching my brand-new ID card (which bears a strangely vertically distorted image of my previously-handsome visage) and an armful of books wrestled from MMU library. As was bound to happen, something in my pile of books set off the alarm at the exit barrier and I was leapt on by a gleeful security guard (it was the slimmest volume that was the culprit). At Leicester University library one is apparently regarded as more trustworthy – there the exit gates open without one having to use one’s card, and there are no hovering security staff. If the alarm goes off you simply go over to the desk to have the book rescanned. At MMU, you have to clutch your teetering pyramid of volumes in one hand and wield your ID card with the other. The barrier sulkily refuses to recognise you until you have done this at least three times. It is also noteworthy that the card scanner is set at a height obviously intended for use by small people. Then, when the alarm beeps, you are escorted to the desk to join a queue of cowering miscreants. It’s a good job that the desk staff are mostly motherly types, obviously chosen for their skills in dealing with potential book thieves…

Apart from this minor tussle with technology, my first week at MIRIAD was an excellent one. I indulged in cheerful and positive fraternisation with my peers, who are already generating exciting ideas within my overheated brain. I enjoyed seminars, and was inspired and energised. Several of us who share an interest in the recent past decided to create a Thursday afternoon work-group, which will be informal at first but may well develop.

I drank beer.

I met with my Director of Studies and one of my supervisors, who are both encouraging and full of interest as well as being nice people. I learned what oramatronics were/are. I earned a little kudos by volunteering to register people for a lecture. I decided to try to become involved in some aspects of the Designing our Futures initiative. I have a lengthening task list.

All very wonderful.

I also attended my first and last rehearsal of the universities wind orchestra. Last because there were already too many oboes (several of whom are more technically practiced than I) surrounded by a million flutes and clarinets. Not really my scene… I shall have to create my own ensemble – Aeolus II?