Gosh. Seems like quite a lot happened while I was away. E apparently performed Miles Davis’ fab So What? (watch the vid!) on piano wonderfully, and M had exams (I think they went fine, Mummy). For his part, R kept the whole ship afloat, driving halfway round Kent daily, cooking fine food (better than I had in the Lakes, that’s for sure — spot the chef)… and tearing his hair out over the RAE. For those who know, you’ll really know. For those who don’t, suffice to say it’s a higher education research exercise. Which happens to attract funding, and which takes years to draft. And years off your life, methinks.

The RAE is one thing I don’t talk about in a recent article for Writing in Education (the extremely informative publication produced by NAWE — National Association of Writers in Education — which arrived while I was away) because I’m lucky enough not to be at the coal face of that. The article, Over Here: Being an American Writer and Educator in the UK does ponder just about everything else: my history at Oberlin College, what I think about writer/educator interfaces, my MA at the UEA, my take on the similarities and differences of the two creative writing systems.I was surprised to find that once I got started, it was difficult to stop — always a sign that vital stuff is going on, of course. Writing it was a thorough exercise in itself, but an infinitely more enriching one, I’m sure. For that I thank co-editor Philip Gross, who first asked me to contribute. Unfortunately Writing in Education isn’t available online, but you can go here for more details should the spirit move you.