Monday, November 26
This morning I went outside in the dark and found the seat of my bike covered in frost to the extent that I had to scrape it off. The grass and path had turned completely white. I left with all my lights flashing or twinkling.
I had promised to make WordPress loops for two students who had complicated problems. One of them, Emilia, emailed me to say that she had solved the problem herself, with a brief explanation of how she did it. She had done exactly what I had planned to do. Phew, I thought: someone has learned something from the course. Actually I felt genuinely impressed because the problem did not strike me as an easy one.
I looked through my notes for the presentation in Hamburg on Friday and felt I might have bitten off a bit more that I should have. I probably felt this because my stomach still grumbled about indigestion. I recognised that I had somehow triggered the acid reflux the doctor suggested I might have. According to Wikipedia, “symptoms include the taste of acid in the back of the mouth, heartburn, bad breath, chest pain, vomiting, breathing problems, and wearing away of the teeth”.
Nothing serious, then; although the “wearing away of the teeth” part sounds interesting.
I spent most of the day writing my paper for Friday. As always I began by throwing away the narrative I had built up laboriously last week. I then panicked and assumed that I had nothing to say to them. I then watched the video Elize had sent me of one of the other speakers and realised that if I remembered to sound supernaturally confident then I could get away with saying anything.
Thank goodness for Scrivener, I say. I had everything, including random quotes in a folder in a project called Essays and Papers, and so I calmed myself down by reading bits and pieces and shuffling them around until I hit another order that made sense to me.
I did this until 17:00 when I met Sophie online to prepare for tonight’s recording. She redid an introduction for what will become episode 6, and we talked about scheduling and then we realised with a big “oh no” that our meeting with Arlene Goldbard was an hour later than we expected because we had made the arrangements in the period between European and American winter times changing.
I emailed Arlene and Sophie went off to do other things, and then ten minutes later Arlene appeared. She had realised the same thing herself. She showed me round her huge house in New Mexico, near where Georgia O’Keefe lived, and the desert looked extraordinary from her kitchen window.
Sophie appeared again and we spent over an hours talking. By the end I felt convinced that, with a little bit of editing, we have two episodes recorded.
At 20:50 I arrive home and take a photograph from the takkahuone. The lights that we put up at the weekend look extremely good through the triple glass. The recede into the distance very effectively.
I will talk with Irma, who goes to Stockholm tomorrow morning, and play with Sunshine who will have to put up with me and no Irma tomorrow evening. The television works tonight and I leave Irma watching a Finnish children’s sex education programme from the 1970s that she vaguely remembers watching.
Explicit? I should cocoa.