8.00 am: An early morning revision of my Advent talk proved necessary. 9.30 am: Back to the more mundane business of completing term admin, putting things away, and setting tasks in motion in readiness for the beginning of the new term. Once these things are behind me, I’ll have a clear space in which to complete an article during the Christmas holidays. What I, and some of my colleagues, have learned is that one cannot simply stop work, anymore than one can bring a car to a sudden standstill without risk of injury to the driver and passengers. A progressive and very slow deceleration is preferred.
12.15 pm: Off to church, to set up the context for the Advent Light lunchtime service. (In my mind, it’s ‘Advent Lite’. A sort of low-calorie version of something more substantial.) I have never actively sought opportunities to conduct church services. And, few have arisen. The responsibilities associated with academia, these days, are so many and demanding as to preclude certain commitments that would require a significant investment of time, study, and energy in order to acquit myself of them with any sense of usefulness and integrity. I can make the tea and coffee after the morning service though! Now, I’m available for, and good at, that:
1.15 pm: The half-hour service ended with five minutes to spare. Was that a good or a bad thing? Better to be under, rather than over, time, I guess.
2.15 pm: Following a late lunch, I pressed on with completing postgraduate admin (more poured in even as I was bailing out my dingy) until I lost the will so to do. 3.40 pm: [Pause] ‘I know! I’ll make and send a Christmas e-card instead!’ So much more fun:
In the back of my mind, I recalled images of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, after the command module had had a large hole blown in its side by an exploding oxygen tank. None of the newspaper photographs showed the spacecraft’s debris. But for some reason, I’ve always imagined having seen it. 4.20 pm: My will for admin restored (temporarily (don’t push it)), I plodded on with postgraduatisms.
6.30 pm: Practise session 1:
7.30 pm: Admining on. Now, I’m losing my will to live. ‘Some Miles Davis, electric period, please!’ Miles would never have countenanced doing admin. He’d a have responded with a fugue of expletives, if asked. Me … I respond by asking if I can have a further week to complete it. What a wimp! (Who on earth is Florence Biennale? Tell her to please stop emailing me. I’m already taken. (The madness resurfaces.)) 9.30 pm. Admining done … for now. The remainder can wait until after the holidays.