Tag Archives: writing

Teaching & Learning

Summer must be coming to an end: the Open Studies 2010-11 programme is out.

This year, I’m not offering my old faithfuls, the Six Wives of Henry VIII and the Life & Times of Elizabeth I. I’ve had great fun teaching them over the last few years but felt that I, and potential students, needed a change. Instead of the biographical Tudor courses, I’m offering a more historical one: The Tudors. This course amalgamates elements of both the older courses but is focused much more on the historical factors such as religious change and cultural life. It starts on 27th September and runs for 10 weeks, 6.30-8.30pm on Mondays.

Holbein study of a young English woman

In January, I’m teaching my favourite course again: Harlots, Harpies & Harridans! I’m delighted it’s back on the programme as it was great fun to teach last time round. It’ll be on Monday evenings at the same time as The Tudors was. It will cover lots of the women that I talk about on this blog and more besides.

As well as teaching, I have some learning planned for this coming year too. I have exam results on Wednesday morning for a professional qualification. If I have passed (and I desperately hope I have!) I will be finished that for good and focussing on history, writing and bookbinding properly again. Therefore, I’ve lined up a couple of things:

Starting in about 3 weeks, I’ll be attending Glasgow Met’s bookbinding course. I went to their introductory course in the third term (April-July) and really enjoyed it. This course is at a higher level and carries some SQA credits (which means if I pass, I think I can claim to be a qualified bookbinder!). Glasgow Met has the most amazing bookbinding department with all sorts of fantastic equipment. It’s a huge shame they are no longer offering the HNC in bookbinding since there’s obviously demand: their evening bookbinding courses are regularly sold out and have waiting lists. Perhaps they’ll change their mind?

Handwritten notes

In April, I’m going to an Open Studies course as a student. I’ve booked my place on a fiction course as I’ve been doing some work on, and getting rather excited about, a novel I’ve been brewing for a year or two but made little progress on. My writerly ambitions very much lie in non-fiction but this idea has been taking shape and it’s at the stage that I really want to read it so I figured it may be about time I wrote it. I am fairly sure that even if I finish it, only a handful of my closest friends will be subjected to reading it. It’s set in Renaissance France (but you guessed that) so even the research is fun.

Off to London to see (some dead) queens

Tomorrow I am off to London. My partner’s work have sent him down there for a course so I am taking advantage of his plush hotel and joining him. We’ll be staying in Kensington, just along the road from the Natural History Museum and the V&A and just round the corner from the French bookshops I love. I haven’t spent much time in the V&A so I am hoping to remedy this.

Aside from that, I am planning another trip to the Tower. I will sit through the Yeoman Warden’s iffy history once again in order to do my little pilgrimage to the graves of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey. I wish you could spend a little time there alone but sadly not.

I am also planning a trip to the National Gallery to see the Delaroche exhibition which centres on his spectacular Execution of Lady Jane Grey.

Since I will be in the vicinity, I might pay a visit to Kensington Palace as I have never been before and the Enchanted Palace exhibition looks fun.

Then, when I get back to Edinburgh, Stranger Than Fiction, our new non-fiction writers’ group has its first meeting on the 474th anniversary of Anne Boleyn’s execution. I am hoping this proves to be a good omen! Art for the site and posters is by my co-organiser Sharon- more of her work at her blog, The Sapient Pig.

In other news- big website revamp is being planned.