Since I've been in Kenilworth for 48 hours now, it's probably time I put together some initial thoughts.
It's difficult. Not being here, just summoning up a description. It's all so... calm. Even during the holidays, Durham University was always afflicted by a sense of barely-contained chaos. It was the same at the school I spend two years teaching at. No matter what the time of day or year, you could feel it, as though decades of accumulated mania had saturated the place, leaving every wall and door gradually leaking out manic activity.
There's nothing like that here. With the exception of a brief attempt to arrange a meeting (that was then postponed) nothing has interrupted me these last two days. I simply arrive; read or write what I had intended to that morning, and then go back to the hotel. The most surprising event of my time here so far was having my introductory chat with my new boss interrupted by the sight of rabbits playing outside the window. The loudest sounds are those of ill-tempered ducks on the pond nearby.
It won't last, I realise. We're in a fallow period right now, but the next wave of desperate, statistically illiterate panickers is already cresting. Indeed, I'm not sure I want it to last - there is only so much staid quiet I can take before I start having to make my own noise.
I have to admit, though, it's making for a nice change.