December 7, 2020

There’s only this moment, then, this moment, then, this moment, then … .

Sunday, December 6. ‘Done!’:

Monday, December 8. 8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: eBayology: A wrapping, packing, and boxing of redundant equipment, and sending to their new homes. 9.15 am: Admin: current student references, former student references, and External Examiner correspondence. (In the background: antiphonal, medieval Christmas carols.)

11.30 pm: A little sourcing — while batting-away incoming email — in advance of an exploration (which I’ll undertake over Christmas) of guitar-amplifier recording techniques, using close-proximity microphones. Some movement on the External Examiner front(s). On, then, with REF update material. (I gritted my teeth; this would be the last time that I’d engage with the exercise.) In the end, the submission is a reflection of team effort, for the good of the School and university.

My main website needed some updating. I began that process, in between admin volleys:

Anticipation and disappointment regarding a recent purchase, neatly packaged into one short notification:

Your order has been dispatched with Royal Mail. Track your order here. The tracking will go live around 6 pm. Please be aware that items dispatched with Royal Mail cannot be tracked.

Clearly, this country’s ability to successfully manage ‘track and trace’ has spilled over into other domains. I forsook the evening stroll and maintained my trajectory. I kept coming across inconsistencies in the website text’s style that would need to be rectified throughout the many pages. My objective today, however, was to get the whole up-to-date.

7.30 pm: It must be the season for reference requests. I was keen to keep on top of them. At bedtime, I’ve been reading a compilation of putatively true ghost stories. Last month, I’d recalled what, for all the world, looked like the figure of my late father standing in the road (diary, November 25, 2020). Last night, I remembered an event that took place at the moment of his death, while I was watching TV in bed at night in our house in Aberystwyth. In my Diary for March 17, 2017, I recalled:

My father died suddenly at his home in Abertillery sometime after 10 o’clock on this day in 1991. At the time, I was in Aberystwyth watching a drama about ghosts when, unexpectedly, the TV signal was immersed in static and high-pitched feedback howled from the speaker. The device had never behaved like that either before or subsequently. The coincidence was striking and inexplicable.

If it was a coincidence, then the timing was extraordinary. If not, then the phenomenon begs a great many questions that must remain unanswered in this life.

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