Saturday, September 03, 2005

BNTC: Day 2, morning

The accommodation at Liverpool Hope was in two adjacent buildings, one called Wesley and the other called Angela. Wesley was so new that we were the first people to sleep in the rooms. Indeed, we woke up each morning to the sounds of the builders getting to work on the continuing effort to get these new halls ready for the students' imminent arrival. (Just after the new toilet brushes had been delivered outside each door, I overheard one of the cleaners tut-tutting that she could not believe that they had allowed a conference in when the rooms weren't ready!). There were a few things one might have missed, like a cup at the sink, or a mirror, or somewhere to make a cup of coffee, but I don't think it would be reasonable to allow such things to colour one's opinion of a splendidly organized conference, on which more anon.

There was a good cooked breakfast, and the first seminar meetings were after that, 9.15-10.45 and 11.15-12.45, with coffee in between. There are ten seminars and members are discouraged from "seminar hopping", i.e. they are supposed to stay in one seminar for the two days of the conference. As often, I attended the Synoptics Seminar, ably chaired by Helen Bond from Edinburgh. Paper 1 was an excellent piece by society secretary Bridget Gilfillan Upton on Mark 16, looking at how our reading of Mark's Gospel as a whole is impacted by reading of the different endings of Mark. There was a lot of juicy discussion -- a good session.

Unfortunately, this is where my own circumstances began to impinge on my attendance at and appreciation of the conference -- I had to leave that seminar early, and miss all of the next one because of major movements, which I will not bore you with, connected with the collapse of our house sale in Birmingham and the arrival of our paperwork for our visas to the USA. But after most of the morning on the mobile phone and the internet, I got a lot done, and was still able to find time for lunch.

No comments: