Tuesday 24 March 2009

Just for the Record

The Department Board Meeting.

It is nearly the end of term.
Everyone is tired and scratchy.

It is lunch time.
The smell of onion soup
drifts across the room.

The Head of Department
has a vivid orange and red waistcoat.
With matching socks.

The business of the department is discussed.
Everyone is there apart from
the Professor who has meetings in Sierra Leone.

The tiny American academic
is wearing a beautifully cut
short suede skirt
with long black boots.

The Admissions Tutor thanks everyone
for their hard work
supporting the admissions process.
Evening Lectures, Open Days, School Visits.
Applications are up.

The academic who dreams of golf courses says
"I am worried that soil is slipping off the agenda."

The enthusiastic academic
is not happy about a proposal.
It has not been properly presented.
The air sparkles.

I am distracted by the sight of a heron
in the blue sky outside the window.
That part of the meeting will not be recorded.

The person next to me is eating
curried chicken in a ciabatta.
It is in imminent danger
of cascading all over his notebook.

The Professor of whom we spoke
requests information about manual handling
with a mischievous glint in his eye.

The Libyan expert is congratulated
on his forthcoming marriage.
Everyone applauds.
He blushes.

Outside, the Magnolia stellata is in full bloom.
In another life I would have been in the garden.


Duyvken said...

I feel like I was there, wonderful!

Lynn said...

Would that my coworkers were so interesting. Oh, wait -- no coworkers. Oops. (And you saw a heron?!?!?!? Lucky!!!)

kristina said...

Oooh--I do think we need a picture of the waistcoat and socks. But I can see how that would be a bit awkward during a meeting!

We have a heron who's taken up residence in the pond outside our window. So handsome and stately...

K x

Eleanor said...

You made my day, thank you.

The domestic novice said...

What an evocative post. Herons are so majestic - I don't often see them in flight. Have a lovely day. C

Anonymous said...

I hope you soon have a few days break from work so that you can enjoy your garden - and we have the four day Easter weekend to look forward to as well.

Gina said...

It felt as though I was in the meeting with you!

blackbird said...

I love this post - as you may imagine.

Anonymous said...

I would have been distracted by the heron too! :)

Do people ofen wear matching waistcoat and socks?

Jackie said...

In my other life I was a Primary teacher. (Should still be really, only 57)and the very worst most boring and tedious activity was 'hearing readers'. I heard the same passages struggled through over and over...awful..but I wasn't there. I was walking around Derwentwater through the daffodils.The sun was shining.

Anonymous said...

I have questions. Would you rather be in the garden? I myself wonder if I would or wouldn't. I saw a woodpecker this morning, but I don't know what kind. I too would like to see the orange and red waistcoat and socks. But now I have to go look for an Armenian periodical. alstat.

The Coffee Lady said...

I am very alarmed by the sandwich. I can't get it out of my mind.

Ali said...

In one of my other lives, I'd have been an architect. And then I too may have had a chance to utter the immortal phrase "I am worried that soil is slipping off the agenda".

Unknown said...

Oh Alice, I love these evocative posts of yours, they read like a beautiful Persephone novel, I have such clear images of your characters and you leave me eager for more tales of the blushing, the stylish, the naughty, the sparkling...

Alison May said...

Pure poetry!x