Monday, July 30, 2007

University closed till Friday 3rd August

As some of you may have heard, as a result of flooding there is no running water in our taps here in Cheltenham...

As a result, the University is closed until Friday 3rd August - so if you have any course-related question, do e-mail - but replies may be slower than normal...

Once all is back to normal here, it may be that we want to think over the debates that have been happening here - over how quickly the usual order, some have claimed, turns to chaos - with panic-buying, police supervising water supplies, etc - and the converse tales of neighbourly solidarity...

For more news on the University of Gloucestershire - see


  1. Greetings and sympathy from relatively dry Brighton!
    Our ability to tame the ordinary is increasingly often foiled by the extraordinary: I experienced my second very large earthquake in less than a year a couple of weeks ago while visiting Japan, which would have been merely discomforting were it not for the fact that someone had seen fit to build a nuclear power station on a fault line, and it broke. Of course, the Japanese have largely come to terms with the extraordinary and life continued as ever it does: the national psyche has shaped itself around such events. I wonder, as our society becomes more familiar with the unfamiliar, whether we shall become more collectivist in our view of the world or whether the individualism that characterises much of Western society will still hold strong. We live in interesting times!

  2. jeangenie11:43 pm

    this is a bit out of context now as the weeks have passed since our water stoppage here in gloucestershire...but i wanted to get on my soapbox about the chaos and lunacy that erupted due to the fact that water no longer flowed from the taps.
    i believe that here in the western world we are thoroughly spoilt by our luxuries of everyday life that, as has been made obvious, we totally take for granted. there are many many places in the world where running taps are a thing of the imagination, and without any bother, people do whatever is necessary to get their daily water. here in england, it was 'a disaster', the poor poor people in gloucestershire had 16 days without running water.
    i actually thought it was great, a brilliant social experiment, and sure enough, as in all times of need, everyone rallied round and the neighbourly spirit was immense... i had people speaking to me where i live who had never even given me the time of day before, asking if i was ok etc... is it in times like this, or wars etc, that we as a species remember that we are actually linked, that what one feels so does another, that all are affected by the actions of the seems that 'bad' times in the community are the only times that people feel free to openly express compassion and openness.

    as for police supervising the water supplies, i witnessed one night a convoy of army trucks bringing thousands of bottles of water into cheltenham, they had a police escort... were they expecting to be held up at gunpoint? had it so quickly developed into a 'mad max' scenario of water being something that people would fight over? or was that the 'powers that be's' perception of how the situation had unfolded?

    on an environmental level i thought it was brilliant for people to actually have the opportunity to see that we do not have to use so much water... gloucestershire usually uses 120 million litres of water a day, during this period only 6 million gallons were being brought in daily, and everyone coped. i for one have lived for many years without running water and know that it is easy to limit the amount used daily.

    my only gripe was that the poorer areas had notably less water bowsers and no free bottled water points, whereas the middle class areas had bowsers every 50 yrds it seemed and abundant free bottled water... was this just my perception or was it real, in which case was this a way of keeping happy the voting section of the community? i wonder...