Hourly diary: 20th of August

I saw this on Twangy’s blog. Twangy, of course, did it in pictures, because she is genius. I can’t draw for nuts and I don’t even own a scanner, so I am doing it in words. This’ll work in words, right?

[Can't draw for nuts! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!]

I have no idea why I am doing anything so very solipsistic, except that someone once commented (on this blog? On another blog? On their own blog? Can I be arsed to hunt the mention down in the dark backward and abysm of time?) that they liked details about people’s real lives, as well as all the stuff about Barren Woebollocky Dreariness? So, I suppose, this post is for you, whoever you are. (If you know who you are, could you enlighten us? Kthxbai).

It’s Friday the 20th of August. Some few details possibly should have been changed, to protect ma identiteh! Heigh ho.

  • 7am – The radio alarm flicks on to Radio 4 and the Today Programme. I am woken up by Justin Webb saying ‘Excuse me, that’s not the right piece of paper,’ before suavely moving on. This amuses me immensely.
  • 8am – I have taken my laptop back to bed with me and am reading blogs while drinking tea. This is decidedly unusual for me. Normally, by 8am on a weekday, I am in the shower or wandering around the kitchen half-dressed or even sitting in the living-room reading blogs when I should be in the shower (bad habit, that). But today, I am on a late shift at work, so…
  • 9 am – H is in the shower. I am reading a knitting magazine in the nude while waiting for him to get out of my way. Normally, I’d be fully clothed (alas not fully functional. Not before 10) and on my way to work. This is bliss! Haha!
  • 10 am – I am walking all the way to Nappy Valley, where all the gift-shops, cafés and yummy mummies live, to buy this gosh-darned present for V at last. Oh, I never told you guys – I went to John Lewis’s Baby Department a couple of weeks ago, to buy this sodding gift, and ended up standing in a bewilderment of light-up-and-dance infant entertainment centres and lurid plastic chew-toys, holding a machine-washable teddy in one hand and a baby-gro with elephants in hats on in the other, listening to all these happy bulging families choosing cribs, and thinking ‘JESUS FUCKING CHRIST GET ME OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW.’ I rationalised this, eventually, to, well, V’s baby is less than a month old. All he wants is nursing and cleaning and cuddling, and a teddy is not going to provide any of that, so I may as well ignore him and all this revoltingly coloured plastic tat and get a gift exclusively for V. Who is a grown-up lady. So. That is what I am on my way to do at 10 am on a Friday morning.
  • 11am – Help help I am trapped in a never-ending conversation about facial skin with the owner of the fancy toiletries shop.
  • 12am – Just getting on the train to work. The train is half-empty. This is also a pleasant novelty. Normally I do this journey at 8:50 am while being choked by the fumes of 27 different brands of deodorant and trying not to fall against the person wedged in front of me every time the carriage sways.
  • 1pm – I’ve been at work for 10 minutes now, and I am checking my emails and eating a sandwich I bought on the walk from Great Big Station. Nearly everyone else in the office has gone to lunch. I am tempted to have a quick peep at my blog and see if anyone has left any comments. Ooh! Comments!
  • 2pm – Have just discovered that all the previous editions of a book have been miscatalogued, so I am in the stacks trying to find them all so I can rip their spine-labels off and get them re-done correctly. Because it would be nice, would it not, if you could find all the copies of a given book in the same place rather than scattered over three floors according to the whim of my predecessors? I am also multi-tasking by thinking uncharitable thoughts about my predecessors.
  • 3pm – The Maintence Team are back in the office above us and are, I think, given the noise, battering a king-sized nipple gong to metallic smithereens with a complex hammer-and-drill ensemble. One of my colleagues is wandering pathetically round the office, begging for a paracetamol. I gave him my last one yesterday, when Maintence were still merely smashing the walls apart. Any minute now, something disastrous is going to happen.
  • 4pm – Yep, they sawed through the electricals, and now there are no working lights in any of the corridors on our floor. I am counting the minutes, nay, the seconds, until my tea-break. Also indulging in a virtuoso display of presentee-ism, as I can’t effing think with all the effing drilling going on above me. But I can stare at a cataloguing record with apparent intent for minutes on end.
  • 5pm – Have just been queuing in the post office to send V her parcel of scented ‘new mama’ bath goodies. No incidents of note occurred. I am now in a café, drinking tea out of a paper cup, and writing frantically in my diary (the paper version, with all the indiscreet bitching in). (Twangy Pearl, if you’re reading this, you know which café, and indeed, which table!). Today, I am mostly bitching about the fact my ovary is still on strike. Probably. Damn it. ARGH.
  • 6pm – Back at work. I am spending the evening on the Desk, helping our ‘patrons’ with their bibliotechnical questions, rather than up in my nice safe sequestered office. So far, I have been mostly giving people directions to other departments whose job it is to deal with lost passwords, deadline extensions, student bar opening hours, and laboratory equipment. Eventually I clamber over the desk to check that the sign still says ‘Library’ and not ‘I Know Everything! Ask Me Anything!’
  • 7pm – Still at the Desk. Am reading the Guardian online. So are my shift-colleagues. Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful.
  • 8pm – Again, you’ve missed all the excitement, as we roamed the library telling the patrons that we meant it when we said we were closing. I am now merely going round turning all the lights off. As I lock the front door, one last person scuttles out past me, making me damn near wet myself in terror. We had checked every floor – where the buggery fuck was he hiding?
  • 9pm – Nearly home. Just walking the last little bit through the quiet dusk. A few weeks ago, it was still light at this time. Have ‘Oh God, Time is fleeting, what the hell happened to the summer?’ soliloquy as I go.
  • 10pm – Footling about online again, as H has put the first episode of Dollhouse on, and I watched it already, so I can safely tune out. I love my laptop. It lets me (nearly) ignore everything and everyone from the next armchair. H hands me a large glass of red wine.
  • 11pm – Am having spirited conversation with Ann via F*c*B**k IM. We decide ‘PMSL’ is an outmoded and now boring way of telegraphing extreme amusement. I point out I have never PMSL in my life. I have, however, fallen off a chair and ended up lying on the floor in hiccoughs. Ann counters that she has been known to choke on her coffee. Pause. Then Ann types COCFOC! And the viral marketing campaign to spread a new, improved acronym is on! COCFOC, people! COCFOC! Remember, you read it here first! COCFOC!
  • 12pm – I am brushing my teeth. This is very boring.
  • 1 am – What do you mean, why am I still awake? Of course I’m still awake! I’m a professional insomniac! One who has Drunk Wine, too! I’m going to lie here in the dark listening to H’s gentle breathing (nice change, that. He has been known to do vigorous snorting instead) for hours and hours, thinking deep and meaningful thought….. zzzz
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7 responses to “Hourly diary: 20th of August

  • Heather

    Yours is a LOT more interesting than mine would be…

    It is nice to hear about other bits of your life.

  • a

    That was fun! But, what’s wrong with your electrical system? If we have an outage, it takes out the whole room (proven once a week in winter when we all try to run our space heaters at once and overload the circuit) – lights, computers, everything!

    Wine puts me to sleep almost immediately…

    • May

      At work, to prevent total outages, all the different things are on different circuits – lights on one, sockets on another, fire-alarms on a third… It’s quite normal in big office buildings over here.

      Wine makes me sleepy for an hour followed by Madly Awake for five hours. I got lucky Friday.

  • wombattwo

    Knitting magazines in the nude… Sounds very… indulgent?
    Agree with a – I drink wine, I fall asleep. And usually have disturbing dreams but that’s another story…

  • manapan

    I am jealous of your ability to have never PMSL. It ends the amusement rather quickly. :)

  • Twangy

    19.50PM: COCFOC! – HA! that was BRILLIANT! Love this stuff. What could be more interesting than people?

    Satisfied sigh.

    PS. Sort of beginning to hate buying baby presents too. I zoned out in baby gear shop recently. The assitant asked me if she could help me or if I was just in a daze. HMPH! Such people should have to earn badges in IF diplomacy, or something. Baby shops are not easy for us, baby shop assistants of the world! BE ADVISED. Online might be the way to go, henceforth.

  • Phil

    Normally the builders at our place do take out the fire alarm system with the result that 4 buildings worth of people (especially fun when all the students are here) have to go and stand outside in whatever the weather is.

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