Last of the summer wine

September 2, 2010

Yes, it's that time of year when we once again absent ourselves from felicity and return our noses to the familiar grindstone. But before we say goodbye to summer, here in the last of our Holiday Specials is a reminder of how another member of the Poppleton team has been enjoying their brief moments of statutory leisure. This week, it's the turn of Maureen, the long-serving departmental secretary from Media and Cultural Studies. Over to you, Maureen.

32, Elderberry Close Poppleton PV1 2VW

Well, as you can see from the above, I've taken my holiday from home this year and spent many happy days attending the Poppleton Festival of the Arts.

Last Thursday I saw the local folk group The Middlewhites, who have built a reputation reviving the folk songs that were sung when Poppleton was one of the few places in Britain where there were more pigs than people. (Email from Professor Lapping asking when I would be back from my "long vacation".)

Then on Saturday off to the Arts Centre (formerly St Stephen's C of E Church) to hear The Muskrat Ramblers, a four-piece jazz combo that specialises in Acker Bilk hits like "Stranger on the Shore" complete with a clarinettist with a goatee beard and a striped waistcoat! (Text from Mr Odgers saying that he's lost the key to his office and wondering if I might know where he put it.)

Yesterday to the municipal park to see Lower Poppleton Players perform their innovative mime version of "Long Day's Journey into Night". (Mobile phone call from Professor Lapping wondering when I was "due" back.)

Tonight, will round off holiday by hearing Carol Jane Murphy, our very own university poet-in-residence, read from her new collection, "Lager with J.K. Rowling". (Text from Doctor Quintock saying he's been asked for a reference for a student he's never heard of. Did the name David Grint ring any bells?)

Must dash now. There seems to be an elderly man peering through my letter box.

In other news ...

This year's Open Day will once again provide staff with a unique opportunity to display their department's distinctive pedagogic attractions to parents and prospective students. Here are just some of the exciting presentations in store for our visitors:

Chemistry Dept. Making explosives from common household ingredients

Psychology Dept. Take a "shocking" trip back in time with our ECT machine

Forensic Science Dept. "Who killed the vice-chancellor?" Your chance to analyse a murder scene

Archaeology Dept. Can you find the buried Viking helmet?

Human Resources Dept. Take a trip on our specially designed raft and decide which of the five academics on board should be jettisoned.

Our new Director of Procurement, Mr A.G. Messina, has asked us to point out that all staff must now complete a travel-risk assessment form prior to any travel on university business.

During the trip itself, staff should also complete an "in-trip" assessment form itemising the ongoing nature of the trip and listing any risks that have been encountered.

After the trip is over, all staff are mandated to complete a "post-trip" report itemising the distinctive benefits of the trip to the university and listing the "in-trip" risks that have been avoided.

Mr Messina hopes that this now clarifies the situation.

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