Today was the first day of my new job at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham, part of Birmingham City University. I've spent the last six weeks preparing for the move, packing, preparing for the house to be sold, moving to Birmingham and saying goodbye to my (ex-)colleagues at Glasgow Kelvin College.
A big move, to be sure; a big change; having said that, it hasn't seemed like such a huge wrench. I am, of course, very sad to be leaving colleagues with whom I have worked for as long as 27 years, some colleagues who have become friends, sad also to be handing over some projects I've nurtured even though I know that the people who are taking them over are more than capable of making a success of them. Wednesday night last week was my night-out with my colleagues and I handed my camera over to Anne Wood of the fashion department to record:
Moving to Birmingham is a bit of a dream-come-true for me; I've had the vague idea since I first visited the school (1993? 1994? Norman Cherry was still head of school in those days) that I would like to work in such an environment but never really pursued it, so when the post came up before the summer holidays, it was with some enthusiasm that I applied and today found myself walking through the doors.
From being met in the car-park by Jeremy Hobbins, Deputy Head of School and Head of Horology, to being welcomed by my new colleagues in Jewellery - Rachael, Kate, Sian, Sally - plus all the support staff, I've had a brilliant day, visiting the other campuses, seeing the MA show at the School of Art and having a rather good coffee and cake in York's.
The school is undergoing extensive refurbishment at the moment, so most of my work today was done wherever there was a seat. This does have the advantage of revealing some interesting facets of the history of the school and I absolutely couldn't resist these wonderful photographs uncovered at the back door (and I trust not heading skip-wards):
More from the heart of the West Midlands soon, once I've settled in a bit more.