What a difference a year makes.
Last year, March 2009. I was a stay-at-home Mum who had recently left a career in banking. I'd noticed in the local paper that Andrew Davies (the TV scriptwriter famous for his BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice), was speaking at DMU's Cultural eXchanges week.
"Well, that's a good way of spending an hour or two," I mused, as pictures of Mr Darcy fresh from the lake ran through my mind. What a fascinating man! I mean Andrew Davies, of course. He brought a wealth of inside stories from the world of film and TV. University seemed another world to me then.
Fast-forward to March 2010. I'm a full time first year Creative Writing and English Language student at DMU and have booked to see nine events in Cultural eXchange week, 2010.
I met a teenage hero of mine on 1st March, Alexei Sayle. Several of his comments struck me: everyone is searching for significance and safety. How true - we all want to matter somehow, and feel secure.
His thoughts on the similarities between Santa and Stalin were sickle-sharp. I'm not sure I'll look at either of those two 'great leaders' in the same way again.
Finally, his method of writing comedy was inspiring: take a mad, insane leap into the great unknown, don't be Earth-bound. I may take that as a new mantra for my own writing.
(Meanwhile, for those of you who like men in breeches, here's a picture of one of the men I've discussed in this post.)
(I bet you're glad it's not Stalin in the red breeches.)
[photo by Shawn Lee from wikimedia commons]