November 23, 2020

We’d spent a few days north of Aberystwyth. It was the first time I’d slept under another roof since March. Only when you begin to relax does the extent of your tiredness becomes evident. A restorative period, nevertheless, and one that helped to strengthen my resolve as I pushed towards the end of term.

8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 pm: Proof of presence:

8.45 am: Administrations. I waded through the incoming mail that had accumulated since Saturday morning: ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’. Another busy week lay ahead. I was having to make adjustments, now, in the light of the the students’ earlier than anticipated departure. Teaching would need to be compressed. 9.45 am: I reviewed the ‘John Williams’ composition, which I’d begun on Friday. At this stage in the finalisation of the CD project, I can’t afford to have the sounds out of my head for too long. There is, I find, a momentum that builds as the finishing line comes into view. Adjustments were made. 10.30 am: Teaching prep for the final Vocational Practice class. (In the background: Hildegard of Bingen, Canticles of Ecstasy.)

1.30 pm: I was on a roll, so I maintained prep mode for the afternoon. How quickly the daylight seems to end. 4.30 pm: The ritual:

I enjoy the slow quietness of late Autumnal afternoons. The town centre felt as though ‘normal’. Perhaps the recent optimism regarding the availability of a vaccine, shortly, had quickened the shoppers’ pace. I recalled returning home from an afternoon’s teaching at Old College, this time last year. That’s something I’ll never do again.

7.30 pm: Multi-tasks … but in series, rather than parallel. One fly in the ointment can be costly in terms of time and effort. But we persevere.

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