Unreliable and possibly off-topic


Friday, September 21, 2007


This week I've been very, very good and very, very bad. I was good when I went in to work voluntarily out of hours to help a colleague and also good at the conference today. Going to the conference was a big deal, because it's the first time I've attended in the new post. I had some fear and trepidation that moving from public into private work would make me persona non grata, but on the contrary I was warmly welcomed, given a glowing introduction and asked to help chair the session! A feather in my cap!

I was very, very bad when I stayed up far too late on Wednesday night, boozing and playing with my new mobile. Never even woke up till 2 pm the next day and totally missed the day's work. I didn't have any appointments that day and have a week of extra hours worked up, so I thought this was not so very bad, but the boss thought differently as I learned this morning. He was hinting he wanted an explanation, but none was forthcoming. I could've lied and said I was sick but chose to leave it unexplained, saying that I'd take it as hours back. Boss wants me to text in the morning if I'm not coming in, but it's hard to do that when you're asleep. I expect normal people use alarm clocks for such eventualities. I have never failed to show for a booked appointment, but have put myself out to work long hours at no notice. On the near horizon are plans to have us working weekends too so I don't think my flexibility can be doubted. Luckily the new mobile has an alarm clock, as well as hot-shit camera+flash, video, MP3 player, email and radio. It will take me at least a year at my advanced age to learn to use all these marvellous facilities.

This week saw another birthday- for the wee wan, now big 11. She was at her dad's that night, so instead we all got up an hour early in the morning for presents and non-nutritionally balanced sweeties for breakfast. She seemed quite pleased with the knickknacks she received, and if she's happy so am I. She's a very good girl, and I wish I could freeze her now forever before puberty and all that nonsense hits. The big wan of course remains the apple of my eye too, but there are some issues arising out of recent drinking and economy with the truth as he exercises his growing independence. As suspected, on close questioning I discover a recent reported 'accidentally' smashed bottle of wine from my fridge was only in actuality smashed after it had been necked. And this from an individual who was off school 'sick'. At least he can't fall pregnant... Anyone with personal experience of raising a socially experimental 15 yr old- good advice much appreciated.

His dad is in charge next week, as I'm off for conferencing and friend-visiting in Engerland. Having been on the wrong side of his dad's disapproval on similar grounds before, I wish the big wan luck.


Sunday, September 16, 2007


Where does the time go? Mostly working, clocking up 54 hrs both last week and this at all times of the day and night.

This week I worked all day Mon, Tues and Weds, went in Weds night for 2 hrs till late then couldn't sleep. Up till 3 am at home working, downed a temazepam to get a nap, then up again to go in for another full day at 9.30 am on Thurs. I got home about 5.30 pm for a short break before returning for 13 hr overnight shift that night. Over Thurs night and Friday morning I suspect I was becoming slightly doolally- overly happy and disinhibited, more extrovert than normal. Exchanged stories in the night with a favourite colleague of hallucinogens I've enjoyed and historical encounters with god.

When I exited on Friday morning, colours were preternaturally bright, the trees rather wise and birds were talking in tones only I can understand. Getting on the bus, I'm smiling foolishly at the other passengers in my bonhomie. All drug-free, then home for 15 hrs of catch-up sleep.

William Blake pictures showing at the National Galleries for this quarter. Dare I see them without blowing an already overstretched mind? Yes!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007


The same day that delivery was received of a new landline phone (cost £32.33) after That Party's phone theft, my mobile went on the blink and expired. Is that sod's law or what? On the other hand, what expert timing that both were not excommunicated at the same time. Is that lucky or what? Truly, I am blessed.

I have two three books to recommend-
'Pompeii- the Living City'. (A. Butterworth and R. Laurence)
'The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World'. (J. Boardman, J. Griffin, O. Murat, eds)
'Courtesans and Fishcakes; the Consuming Passions of Classical Athens'. (J. Davidson)
Each of these have breathed life into ancient cultures that are similar but so different from the one I inhabit, and made me glad to have been born female now and not then.

Off to slug-watch again now for 12-13 hrs. You will find me in my dressing gown watching Jeremy Kyle and dozing on the sofa tomorrow, but hopefully not drinking White Russians.


Monday, September 03, 2007


It's quite a change to move, even gradually, from dole-claiming scum to full-time professional, so my lack of posts should be excused in this light. Still working staggered slug-watch shifts (four over the next fortnight) as well as daytimes so it's sometimes difficult to separate work, sleep, home and play. So far weekends are still exclusively play and not work, and the last was decadently spent mostly in a dressing gown, catching up on reading. Luckily both the Hellenes (2000 BC) and the Romans (500 BC-200 AD) had written script that gives an insight on their culture and our history.

One of the biggest disappointments this summer has been the conspicuous lack of invertebrate company which enhanced my nightwork last summer. There was a good crop of interloping flowering weeds out-by back this year, but unlike last all I've seen are honey- and bumble-bees, hoverflies, yell0w slugs and slaters. No emerald beetles, bats or hawkmoths, so that obligate nighthawks were quite deprived of entertainment.