January 17, 2017

I took to exploring the back streets around South Road. There’s an allusive magic about Aber. Perhaps because it embodies the essence of the little village by the sea that, as a young boy, I’d longed to live in. Street after street of houses named, numbered, with loose external fittings, rattling and clanging in the sea wind. It’s the town’s the sense of remoteness — of an independent existence apart from the rest of the world — that contributes to this haunted quality (Diary > July 17, 1985).

Electric Cliff Railway tickets, Aberystwyth (Diary > July 29, 1985)

8.30 am: My first outing on medication and after a period of house-bound working. To begin, it was like walking on the moon: a heavier pace, unsure footing, and a little fuzzy around the periphery of the visor. After double marking a portfolio at the School, I headed to the Old College to conduct MA Portfolio assessments with Dr Forster. A rewarding experience for all involved. 12.10 pm: Having picked up my parcel of repaired sound devices from the School, I headed home for a period of respite. For the time being, I need to establish a pattern of work and periodic rest — regardless of the consequences, in some respects.

1.40 pm: A torrent of postgraduate admin crashed through the walls of my inbox. What to do … other than delete them? Question the sender regarding the necessity of such, for a start. In between bouts of emailure and jaw-dropping astonishment at things administrative, I reattached the power supply to PB III and re-trussed the cables. The task was therapeutic:

3.30 pm: I had occasion to return to the article, while responding to responses to responses to emails that I’d posted earlier in the afternoon.

6.15 pm: Practise session 1. 7.15 pm: The feedback forms for this morning’s assessments needed to be written up. In the background, I played recordings from my Aural Diary from 1987. Sound is spatial. The recording doesn’t so much evoke the subject that it re-presents as conjure the illusion of one’s return to the context in which it was made. Sound is mnemonic. With it come memories (visual and auditory) of the moment, and of the broader context of events surrounding the time of its capture. Sound is melancholic. It exacerbates a sense of loss. The recording preserves (or retrieves) part of the past; it appears to offer a way back which, then, it frustrates by coming to an end (always too soon):

 

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