March 30, 2020

Sunday, March 29.

WFH: DAY 11. Monday, March 30. 8.15 am: A communion. 9.00 am: I surveyed the days before me. The university is now in the first week of the Easter holidays. (The distinction between term time and vacation time is somewhat ‘academic’ presently.) There were now no appointments in my diary other than those that I’d make. Post-it at my elbow, I entered the inbox and began drawing-up an itinerary for the week ahead. Today is for admin. (In the background: Mike Westbrook’s Love Songs (1970).) Unless I maintain a pace, I’m fearful that a moribund spirit may descend upon me. If a vocation has ever been worthwhile, then, its worth pursuing now, and with vigour, in defiance of the present crisis and in the hope that the world will in time return to some semblance of normality. We must work with the resources and restrictions that are presented to us. But work we must.

11.00 am: Tea. Wednesday’s PhD tutorials arranged, I attended to letters that required a good deal of tact, empathy, and support in my response. Some of the ‘best laid plans of mice and men’ have been upended due to the pandemic. There’re questions hanging over so many events and initiatives for which the answers will be, as one of my correspondents expressed it, either: ‘cancelled’, ‘postponed’, or unknown’. (In the background: Devadip Carlos Santana and Turiya Alice Coltrane’s Illuminations (1974).)

Nevertheless, some projects must proceed as though as normal, in the hopeful anticipation that opportunities may be back on track before their deadlines expire.

After lunch, I began setting up a profile on the British Music Collection website while updating my CV. 3.00 pm: The historic first School of Art Staff Meeting as a video-conference:

We all adapted well to the new protocols. Business was engaged and dispatched just as well as if we’d met in the flesh. There’re so many considerations in the air. They’ll settle soon. Creative thinking will be the call of the day. This is our forte. Our consolation: we’re in the same position as every other department and university in the UK. For a while, the grimness our the predicament evaporated in the heat of bonhomie.

4.30 pm: Off down a deserted Llanbadarn Road for another constitutional around the Vicarage Field. Even the birds were free to congregate.

7.30 pm: I posted several emails to find out how some of our students are faring. Then, I took up the texts to Jones’ frighteningly loud noises again.

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