Wednesday, 30 November 2011

(just for the record)

The Annual Lecture

MrsM realises to her horror
that the publicity is wrong because
that the wrong lecture theatre has been booked
by the All Powerful Timetabler.
MrsM sobs pathetically and realistically.

The All Powerful Timetabler
does not admit his mistake
but graciously enables a swap
to the correct lecture theatre.

MrsM spends too much time
deciding which wines to order.
More white than red??
More red than white??

The Head of Department worries
about the jokes in his eulogy
for The Distinguished Speaker.

MrsM reviews her extensive knowledge
of local restaurants to choose one
which is comfortable
but not toooo extravagant
for the after-lecture dinner.

The Professor of Interesting Films
purchases a souvenir book
for presentation to The Distinguished Speaker.
Everyone is delighted with this thoughtful touch.

The Distinguished Speaker arrives.
He is wearing the same colour top as MrsM
but he does not notice...
his mind is on loftier things.

The Lecture Theatre is full.
People standing against walls
and sitting on the floor.
Students, Staff, Visitors.
There is an excited buzz of anticipation
because he is a Distinguished Speaker
and his subject matter is very relevant.

MrsM helps set up the wine reception.
Marianne takes pride in her work.
Tablecloths are folded to achieve perfect corners,
wineglasses are polished and arranged.
Crisps and savoury snacks laid out beautifully.
MrsM tells Marianne that she is an artist.

The presentation book has been left
in the Head of Department's office.
The fastest member of staff is selected
to run back to the Department.
(This is NOT MrsM)

Loud applause.
The lecture is ended.
More loud applause.
The book is presented.
150 people surge out of the lecture theatre.
Drinks are drunk.
Snacks are eaten.
It is all over.

MrsM is delighted to receive
a twitter update later that evening.
It is clear from the photo
sent by the Young Academic
that the after-lecture dinner
is a great success.

MrsM sips her mug of Tranquility tea
and permits herself to breathe out.


  1. Whew!!! I remember once a 'important' meeting was scheduled and I was in charge of the catering and welcoming and realized instantly that instead of 4 VIPs 5 came in the door and there was indeed a mad dash to get the proper things for a 5th guest...

    glad it went well!

  2. More red than white here, please.

    So glad it all went well - it sounds jolly stressful!

  3. Always such a relief when a do like that becomes a done!

  4. Sigh. I do love a "(just for the record)".

    E x

  5. I'm disappointed you did not snatch the opportunity to slip into your spandex running gear and streak to the office for the presentation!

  6. My head ached in sympathy!

  7. Gasped a few times but then relaxed.

  8. Well done Mrs M! - These events always present their own unique set of challenges don't they - handled with grace and poise it would seem.. whilst little duck legs flap beneath the water's surface :-)

  9. Brava, MrsM! And I love Brown Paper Packages' image of the little duck legs. Very apt.

  10. Whew alright, I don't think I could handle the pressure!


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