Saturday, 19 November 2011

We went out in the evening

We don't go out much at night - even when we go to the theatre we mostly choose the matinee. But we went to see Opera North sing Gibert and Sullivan's Ruddigore. It is described as 'little performed' and the last time I saw it at an outdoor performance, I understood why. But this production was brilliant - excellent humour and comedy, even though some of it is a bit Gothic.

I received a voucher from East Midlands trains because of my letter of complaint about over-crowding. They call it over-crowding as if its the fault of the passengers. Really its under-provision. No apology or explanation or plan for improvement - I am keeping my MP in touch on this one.

Did I mention we have tickets for a Paul McCartney concert in December?

What will I wear for that? And for the wedding?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

This week has been better

Tai Chi was much more manageable as he has modified the new moves and is now introducing them more slowly. Thank goodness for that - Tai Chi is a very important part of my health and exercise regime.

I have made some progress with the prosody assignment but have hit a snag. Some of the technical terms in the question have not been covered by the course and are not going to be covered by the course so they are advising me to try another question. But that was the only one I felt able to do! And I've already done loads of work. So I'll stick with it and use some definitions acquired from elsewhere and hope for the best. The main issue is that every linguist seems to define terms slightly differently.

Bought some new big cardigans for layering so I feel ready for the colder weather. But some nights I still spend some of the time under my 1-tog duvet. In mid-November!!

Good news from TSH's daughter, who has got engaged. Wedding next year.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

He's messing with my head!

The Tai Chi class this morning was a total nightmare. There are four sections in the frame we do and I am pleased with myself about being quite confident about the first two (the easiest) and I'm keen to improve on the other two. The instructor has been to China to train and he has come back wanting us to learn the form in the exact way it is practised in the Chen village in China. Lots of details have changed. This might sound trivial but I have spent almost 7 years trying to get the details right - hand positions really matter. And now I am supposed to do something different. I have been changed from being confident to feeling like a beginner again in one hour. And he is teaching us this at a fast rate. I can't adjust the way I do something I have been doing almost every day for so long. And do I want to? If the hand positions mattered that much, there wouldn't be different ways of doing it.

I don't want to go to the class again but TSH wants me to try the new moves and stick with it.

This is the first physical activity I have ever taken part in and got to a reasonable standard in. And now I feel like I did in the gym at school when I was the worst performer at everything. I feel ill!!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

This is the first part I have enjoyed

They have published the assessment question for Spoken English. I have chosen the one about the prosody of a conversation (that means all the tone and the way it is broken up and stressed and whether the voice goes up or down). I still wasn't enthused but I set up the computer to record our ramblings over dinner last night and today I started to transcribe the result. It took me most of two hours to write out the basics of 6 minutes of conversation. And that was just the words! Well most of them - there are inaudible bits that I will need to work on. I haven't even started on the prosody bits yet.  But I like analysing real stretches of language and I think I might end up enjoying this.

There is no way I would have chosen the option of 5,000 words on the function of the larynx!!

I really was about to drop out and now I'm not.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Is it getting better?

We are now doing pitch and intonation. I am OK with some of it because I can understand stress and how the way we break up a spoken sentence can change the meaning. (eg 'He spoke to me honestly' can have the 'honestly' as a separate group to emphasise the truth of the statement, or it can be part of the previous group because it is telling how he spoke). I am not so good at rising and falling because my ear is not good enough to detect it unless it is really obvious. But this is the first part of the course where I broadly understand what is going on. With all the problems I have had so far it is difficult to remember that in my last OU course I didn't get a mark less than a first.

I went into the Government Gateway web-site to get information about how much my state pension will be. They think I have a different surname - my record has been altered in some way and there will need to be an investigation. Is nothing straightforward?