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Over the last year or so, my body has forced me to learn how to take time out. I’ve not necessarily learnt to be fully effective at it, but I’m making progress. Interesting article then, in Times Higher Education this week:

These are the days of Malvolio’s revenge. At the end of Shakespeare’s saturnalian Twelfth Night, Malvolio, sick with self-love and self-regard, vows vengeance on the play’s merry characters. Toby Belch, Andrew Aguecheek and Maria have exposed his hypocritical pieties and laughed at his unfashionably yellow-stockinged and uncomfortably cross-gartered legs. Faced with Malvolio’s austerity, Toby asks indignantly, “Dost think that, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?” We live in austere times, say our politicians: puritanical Malvolio’s moment. No time for frivolity; or, as David Cameron tells us, we should “roll our sleeves up” like him, modify our behaviour and “do the right thing”. We must pay now for having enjoyed a sybaritic period when every day was Christmas.

It’s probably not the easiest moment, then, to advocate the extension of sabbaticals – with their cakes-and-ale values of rest and play – especially for those in supposedly less research-intensive institutions; but here goes.

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