Friday, 6 March 2009


1. Well, once more I'm having a frustrating time with work-related stuff about which I do not feel I can appropriately blog; and guess what, it's the same two culprits as last time. Luckily I only occasionally have to deal with them -- the people I actually work with day-to-day are all great. They're a witty and erudite bunch, and I shall miss them almost as much as the manuscripts when we're all out of a job this autumn. If anyone's looking to hire a travelling digitisation team we'd be interested to hear from you.

2. Overheard in the UL: "Bugger the man! If he was sat there now (gestures at seat opposite) I would gob in his face! I'd tell him to stick his crozier up his arse!".

I was doing that unwilling eavesdropping thing in a very crowded tea-room. The speaker had already managed to come over as a remarkably unappealing person. From references to his "disciplinary hearing" I understood that he was a compromised Anglican vicar. The problem with the CofE is that the "priests" and bishops think it's all about them -- read the Church Times and despair. It's stuff like this that makes me yearn to immanentize the eschaton, although I know it's wrong. (In the socialist/communist sense, not the crazy dispensationalist lets-all-breed-red-heifers sense. I'm all for red heifers -- there are some beautiful Devon Reds around my parents' village -- but I'm firmly against their use as tools of political oppression. Poor cows.)

3. I went to a seminar yesterday, of the sort where people sit round a large boardroom table and others draw chairs up behind them. The girl sat next to me spent the entire time first cleaning and biting her nails, and then using a pair of clippers to trim and file them. Maybe I should have some stickers made up which say "Your behaviour has earned you a mention on my blog" which I could unobtrusively attach guerilla style to the belongings of those who annoy me. It would be like the M.R. James story "Casting the Runes" where someone slips an accursed runic inscription into a victim's pocket in the UL, with unpleasant results.

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