8.00 am: A communion. 8.45 am: There were several parts of general and research admin tasks to attend to. A certain straightforwardness to some many aspects of life has gone. Exchanges that ordinarily would have taken one or two emails to resolve now require a good half dozen in some cases. Responses are far slower. Decisions, conditional. It’s nobody’s fault. Just so long as there’s effort, grace, kindness, and flexibility in the system, then, we’ll patiently endure. ‘Normal services will be resumed as soon as possible’, as the TV announcers of my youth used to say.
Mrs H. returned from the shops with the weekly booty. (I recalled a still life by the American Precisionist Charles Sheeler.):
The saga of the money transfer to Russia rolls on. All for want of an IBAN (which is not applicable in that country). 10.30 am: I did as much admin as I could, until others made a response to my requests for information. There were technical issues relating to remote access and file transfer on my computers to resolve too. The Twitter accounts and academic fora I frequent suggest that a good deal of stress experienced by university staff presently is caused by either learning new technology or dealing with it when failure strikes. The morning was proving to be too fractured for comfort. My ‘Dear Elena’ posts to the museum assistant in Russia now felt as though I was dealing with a bot. We were getting nowhere.
12.00 pm: As files floated through the ether from one computer to another, I returned to the questions posed by the BBC reporter earlier in the week, in readiness for Monday’s interview. Sunshine broke through:
1.30 pm: More computee things before returning to my research. I forsook my walk; I was on a roll. (In the background: Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s, Karn Evil 9 (1973).)
7.30 pm: On with preparations for next week’s face-to-face Vocational Practice session. My last year of full-time teaching might just prove to be as demanding as the first.