June 22, 2020

WFH: DAY 73. 7.30 am:

8.15 am: A communion. 9.00 am: Admin would dominate my day’s work. But it did not dominate my mind. To begin, I disinfected my inbox and arranged my tasks in order of priority and irksomeness. ‘Where possible, make admin serve the most elevated purposes: Do well. Do good. Do right. Encourage. Lift burdens. Relieve anxiety. Make opportunities. Grant hope. Apologise. And, above all, forgive. (Remember Him to whom you’ll have to give account one day.)’ (In the background: Mike Westbrook’s Love Songs (1970).)

11.00 am: Fruit-tea to lubricate the will to live:

As admin was shown the door, its friends came through the window. Occasionally, I’d take refuge in the sculptures of Canova, as I did over the weekend. His work has been a longstanding passion. Their draw is immediate, but not straightforwardly articulable. They’re statues, and yet they ‘live’:

After lunch, I ploughed on with the routine, bothersome, endlessness, (sometimes mindless), and debatably necessary tasks. Just as soon as you think that you’re approaching the summit, the ground slips from underneath and you’re half way down the mountainside again. From MA applications to PhD monitoring to exam board preparation to resit papers, and back again … like a musical round. I distracted myself with ‘Instaprose’, having had my imagination enlivened by the new discovery near Stonehenge:

4.30 pm: The circuit beckoned. I caught some of those shops that had opened today, shutting up for the evening. It gladdened the heart. Others will recommence business tomorrow. Not until the cafes and restaurants lift their blinds will a more palpable sense of normality return to the town. But how many premises will remain closed due to the crippling financial burden that the lockdown has imposed?

7.00 pm: The busyness continued. I returned to PhD monitoring forms … those that I’d received, anyway.

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