what I'm thinking and doing

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retrospective: old journal

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Les Semaines



Walking Pneumonia (and the Boogie Woogie Flu)

So I really am sick this time. I mean, I get a couple of colds or flu a year and whinge mightily about them, and I had a weird thing about ten years ago with benign microscopic tumours on my pituitary that just as mysteriously disappeared a couple of years later, but this time I'm really sick with something that can sometimes be scary. Pneumonia! Chest Xrays! Honking big antibiotics! And I think that on top of that I've got a cold, as suddenly I'm all sneeze-and-runny-nose, which I haven't been before this.

Clearly I've had this since right after my mother arrived, which means three weeks. I took it with me to Scotland and back. Lots of walking there.

I feel weird. I'm tired and my lungs feel like they each weigh 100 pounds but I'm not sleepier than normal, and while my mom was here and while I was in Scotland I got by on three or four hours sleep because of my coughing and didn't really feel any the worse for it. I've been sleeping fine since I got home, though.

I don't have much of a brain to speak of. Reading feels too hard right now. I rarely get into this in-between space when I can't read and don't really need to sleep. Mostly I've been obsessively reading my email and the omnibb and starting to respond where responding doesn't take too many brain cells. I've been working on The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music some, too. And I did go to work Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday was a holiday and Thursday I was too tired to go (that was the day I went to the doctor--or rather Jim took me because I felt too tired to drive). Yesterday I only went in long enough for a meeting with the dean and his assistant about the new program I'm going to be running. I didn't want to miss that. I'm glad I went, because it reassured me how good he is going to be to work with. That put my mind at ease some about it. And I got the paperwork that has been started for the program and the files for the four students so I'm on my way.

Last night we had some friends over for take out and a movie and I think I did too much, because I was really feeling it by the time I went to bed, so I'm not going to do anything else this weekend but sit here like a queen. Me and Zach, the two old sickies. All he does these days is sleep in the sun and complain about the lack of food service around here, so I'm going to take him as a model.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing



I have been enjoying Noe Venable's the world is bound by secret knots so very much. It's alternative pop with great lyrics and songcrafting. Great songs. I've been totally obsessing about it, playing it over and over.


last week's listening § next week's listening



Having a lot of trouble reading--I just can't keep things in my head long enough to make sense of plots, especially anything complex.


last week's reading § next week's reading



Oh dear. Momentum lost. Pneumonia drains all will to write but not the desire.


last week's writing § next week's writing


Retrospective: old journal

February 1991: Trip to England with Jim and Christina

Note: I added photos of the cast of characters to the previous journal entry from this trip.

Sunday, February 17th, 1991: Friday
About Saturday

Haven't been able to sleep for about an hour and so now I've given up.
     Yesterday morning we got up at 7:00, had a shower in the basement--a bit of an adventure in itself [1]--had breakfast, then went to the Centre Français to book our room from Thursday on. Beautiful day, after yesterday's rain.
     We walked from the Centre to Portobello Road market, winding streets & lovely buildings. Bought a ring near the start of the market--silver with abalone that reminds me of west coast depictions of whale's tails--now I want to get one for Mom [2].
     We walked through the stalls admiring rings and clocks and cameras, had coffee (hot ribena for me), bought a £5 print called "Keat's Seat", bought a stamp each for Susan and Alan and had a long talk with the vendor about the war, ate wonderful deep-fried chicken (sausage for Christina), and walked back. Stopped & looked at tiles in a shop.
     Then to the British Museum, where first we looked at the Roman British things--the mosaic floors, rings and coins and glass, then the Celtic brooches and rings and belt buckles and swords and bindings around cups, and then the Sutton Hoo things--replicas of the pieces and the pieces themselves. The jewelry of course survived the best, still beautiful. Metal bindings still have the etchings clearly twining, other things only hints. It's amazing how the Celtic entanglements call me--maybe to what is Celtic in my blood. The rings that say "Aelfric owns me, Aelwyn made me"; the brooch with the curse for thieves on its back, the weathered bronze, the clarity of the gold still, the gold coins and the things they were stamped with, the animals in the twists and the Celtic lines.
     We went to the Greek statuary and stared and stared at friezes and statues of battles and horses and gods and goddesses and temples, the Elgin marbles and amphoras.


lionsStatuary lions in the British Museum.




Then through the gift shops to the manuscript room--saw Joyce, Wordsworth, Keats, Coleridge's "Kubla Khan", George Eliot, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, then the Magna Charta. Then to the illuminated ms room and the Lindisfarne Gospels and a bible and many books of hours and psalters.
     Jane Grey's psalter.
     Then we went to the Charing Cross bookstores, looking around. Dinner (rather middling) at Happy Gardens. A strange, tired, hungry meal. Failed to find Picadilly, though we went though Leicester Square (got tickets for Fairport Convention). Then home and dropped by Sainsbury's to discover gooseberry fool.
     Fell asleep quickly, but woke at 3:30 and read and wrote notes and tried to sleep and gave up.


1. I recall it being very basement-y and the water heaters being somewhat sporadic, as most British inline water heaters seem to be in my experience.

2. I wore this nearly every day for years and still have it, but the band is broken.

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