Every so often, I'm sent an email by the university requiring me to fill in a Time Allocation Survey form. In it, I have to explain what I've been doing in a particular, randomly-chosen week.

In the past, I've been sent forms to outline my work-related activities while I was on holiday, or during the week after Christmas. or while I was at a conference, or while I was doing external examining. As a result, it looks as if I never do any work at all. I almost hit the jackpot when they chose my intense, 10-5 every weekday for a fortnight period of teaching, but then that was scheduled to a different fortnight and I looked like a layabout again.

This time, though, I finally struck gold. They chose a week in the spring term, which is when I'm inundated with work.

Teaching of Undergraduate Students: 14 hours. Lectures, classes, preparing lectures, preparing classes, project supervisory meetings, meetings and emails about next year's projects, ...
Teaching Support: 2 hours. Meeting students who don't come to meetings, emailing admin staff about said students, interviewing prospective undergraduates, ...
University/HEFCE Funded Research: 3 hours. Speaking at a university event on gamification, ...
Research Council Funded Research: 2 hours. Weekly IGGI meeting, weekly DALI meeting, ...
Supervision and Support of Postgraduate Research Students: 13 hours. PhD/MSc supervisory meetings, reviewing/editing a paper, ...
Total: 34 hours

Ha! 34 hours when on my 0.5 full-time equivalent contract I'm only supposed to do 18 hours! No wonder I couldn't make the Senior Staff meeting.

Hmm, I think I may have interviewed a research assistant candidate too. Or was that the week before?

There is no part of the form where I can indicate that I spent time filling in the form.



Suppose you put an unopened packet of Chocolate Orange segments in the glove compartment of your car and forgot about it for two years. What would the contents look like when you rediscovered the packet and opened it up?

This is what they'd look like.

They still taste of Chocolate Orange but they're fragile, as if made from dust.



This was the view from my office at about 3:45pm today.

Perhaps in anger at having been lumbered with an old-fashioned name, storm Doris decided to blow solar panels off the roof of the Network Centre. They made quite a noise.

A couple more did slide off this side of the building later, but fortunately not when one of my colleagues was looking out of his window to see what had made the racket (which he had done moments after I took this picture).

To think, I could have witnessed a guillotining.



These are paint samples for the same colour:

I don't suppose the obvious difference in shade matters: none of the dozen or so paint samples we've bought over the past couple of weeks have borne much resemblance to the samples anyway.

Hmm, there's probably a party game in that: match the sample to the paint as it appears on the wall.