The pace has begun to increase. We are now into the planning stages of our Memorial Site tours, which means that reading up on the history of the site is the main priority for the next couple of weeks. It feels a lot like I am back at University, struggling to concentrate on the texts and the work, only this time there will be serious consequences to my not reading properly. It will all be fine, and the fact that my bosses are expecting it of me is a confidence boost in that they must think we're up to the task, even after dealing with my paltry German for the past two months. It's just a case of burying my head in the books rather than the sand for once.
As a result of such pressure my mind has begun to turn to home, the comfort blanket for all ex-pats in the world. Yes, the Coalition is taxing people into oblivion and yes, we turn up at the bottom of almost every UN Standard of Living Index produced, but golly gosh I do miss my Sceptred Isle sometimes, especially the pleasure of understanding everything that's going on.
One of the ways I cure this Sehnsucht for home is through that wonderful bastion of Middle England; BBC Radios 3 and 4. I am the proud son of a mechanic and a shop girl, yet the soothing suburban voices of Charlotte Green, Sandi Toksvig, Petroc Trelawny (his name is Petroc for God's sake!!) force my accent and my tastes to ascend gracefully above my station. With its deliberately archaic theme tunes and cuddly soft Liberal viewpoints, there's nothing cosier to settle down with of an evening.
Radio 3 of course is on an even higher plane. While Radio 4 makes a token effort to be 'accessible', Radio 3 has thrown all caution to the wind and made it almost impenetrable to anyone aware of the existence of music that doesn't cost £100 for tickets or whose favourite musicians wear anything but an open collar shirt and a tweed jacket. They make you really work hard to become a proper listener, as if they are saying "Well if you bally don't like it, toddle on over to Classic FM- they're playing the Theme from Jurassic Park again, why not try that?". The day I heard something on Radio 3 and recognised the artist by its style (it was Dvorak) I knew I had earned my right to listen.
P.S- Apologies to non-British readers; the last two paragraphs probably didn't make any sense to you. Perhaps at some point I'll write a post on "The British Class System for Beginners"