ery weird dream last night. I was walking with a group of people (no idea who, but it seemed very important to me that I impress them). They were talking about how wooden spoons are made, and that it’s necessary to heat-temper the wood that’s used to make them (yes, I know that makes no sense whatsoever, but dream logic). I mentioned the spurtle Granny used to have, and one of them asked what that was, so I described it as a porridge-stirring stick. Suddenly, a woman with a Scottish accent turned to me and told me I was wrong, that wasn’t a spurtle at all, because “spurtle” actually means the elbow patches made out of coal sacks that are worn by Father Christmas (!?). I was worried that everyone would think I was stupid, so I started peppering my speech with random Scots words, trying to convince her that I really did know what I was talking about, and getting more and more anxious.
Not difficult to figure out where the anxiety came from at least (if not the subject matter) – I’m going up to Wellington on Thursday (just for the day, sorry Wellington people, so I won’t have time to meet up with any of you), to a workshop on community archiving at Victoria. I’ve been reading the suggested pre-reading material for it, and getting more and more worried that everyone else there is going to be a proper professional archivist with qualifications and stuff, and that the whole thing will be way above my head and full of theory I don’t understand. I’m sure it won’t be, and that even if it is, I’ll learn huge amounts just by being able to talk to professional archivists about what we’re trying to do down here, but obviously my subconscious isn’t quite so convinced…
All you have to do is ask a few questions and let people talk. They will. You learn.