Due to burgeoning debts after a trip to San Francisco, Dr Kate is writing a novel, set in the imaginary (totally imaginary) cities of San Paradiso and Ruffield which bear no relation to San Francisco and Sheffield.
The main characters are Artemis (San Paradiso, partner is Hope, a plant therapist) and Karen (Ruffield, partner is Kevin, a regeneration expert).
These two women academics have applied to the Hilary Clinton Travel Fund to CHANGE PLACES (no relation to David Lodge). Now read on.....
"You might as well lie down and die honey" said Hannah, Artemis's dean at San Paradiso University.
This was her favourite expression when confronted with academics wanting anything yesterday, or who presented her with unfeasibly costed research proposals.
Artemis looked depressed.
"But Hannah, you would get such a wonderful subsitute! Karen Singleton is world famous for her ethnography, she is an expert on communities and she was taught by Raymond Williams!"
Hannah looked thoughtful. Just last week, she had an an email from one H. Dubois, asking her if San Paradiso could offer community courses, specifically, this H. Dubois suggested, community courses in Plant Therapy for Women of Colour in the bay area.
Hannah was conscious that San Paradiso, while attracting a certain kind of moneyed student, was not famed for its connections to the community of San Pardiso.
She could do with a new member of staff prepared to co-ordinate such a venture.
She went to her window, and lifting the blind, peered out at her view over the bay (pictured here).
One day she would retire to her vineyard on the Sapa valley and make the most fantastic wine.
Until then, she must do her duty by the University.
"OK honey" she said "Let's take another look at those forms".
TO BE CONTINUED...