Friday, October 9. 8.30 am: ‘8.30 am!’, I awoke, late, after a dismal sleep. I felt like a lethargic first-year student who’d been out all night on the tiles. (Admittedly, this was being generous to that type of student for whom 8.30 am is still the middle of the night.) 8.45 am: I approached my inbox, still bleary-eyed and digesting breakfast, and dispatched responses to emails with unusually short account. The BBC’s questionnaire for Monday’s interview was waiting. Before this could be addressed, outstanding admin needed to be resolved. (Already there was a leak in my research day.) 11.00 am: I approached the questionnaire. The questions were straightforward. However, the answers would be difficult, because they had to be intelligible to a broad listening audience.
12.00 pm: My blood pressure spiked alarmingly. My body felt like a pressure cooker. 7.00 pm: The doctor, who’d already had a hideously long day at the surgery, phoned back to hear my story. While I’ve remained cool in my head and spirits, the rest of me was now experiencing a generalised anxiety response. I’ve never before felt quite so divided unto myself. Getting the hypertension under control was the priority. The two conditions were, now, like orbiting binary stars, sparking-off each other.
Saturday, October 10. 9.00 am: Additional kit. I’m building up devices for my ‘new world’ activities. Vloging and online teaching may be constituents. My younger son, who’s a computer whizz, ‘sorted’ my hardware problems and enabled a third monitor to be attached to the studio PC. To teach online, while sharing screens with tutees and having documents open, requires more than two monitors in my experience:
Most of the day was dedicated to rationalising back-ups in readiness for decommissioning my study’s iMac. Interspersed, I proceeded with small, outstanding tasks, in and around the studio. 3.00 pm: In between the rain storms I …