Irish Papist

Irish Papist
Me and General Robert Lee

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Last Day Before the Christmas Holidays, 2015

My diary is almost two years old. I like to read back on random days. This is a random day I read just now; actually, the last day of work in the library before the Christmas holidays 2015.  (I'm only including the workday, not the evening.) Of course, I've changed names. I had given up tea and coffee at this point, as a mortification-- it was a terrible failure, at this stage I was reduced to drinking hot water as a substitute. I allowed myself beverages on social occasions.
 
I headed into work on the bus, praying my Rosary pretty well on the way-- although it still takes me the entire bus journey, TWO bus trips. I so often hear people say it takes them ten or fifteen minutes to pray the Rosary. I would pray it sooner if I didn't keep losing concentration.

I made myself a cup of hot water and went up to my office where I had a nice conversation with Dagger. He was telling me about his burst ear-drum and his consequent lack of balance, and showing me a diagram the doctor drew him. He thanked me very kindly for his gift, although I think he was being polite.

I was on the desk from ten to eleven, then I went on break with Dagger, Monkey and Ermine, to the science café. The cleaner Crispy from Latvia was there too, at first. I never go on break but I thought I would make an exception for the last day before Christmas-- and also, out of a thirst for coffee, though I had hot chocolate instead in the end. We spoke about pranks and disc jockeys. It was pleasant. Ermine is pregnant and far gone. On the way back, we spoke about names, and the fact that Muhammed is the most popular boy's name in the UK right now.

There was absolutely nothing going on today. I watched Fairly Secret Army, without any shame. I gave Christmas cards to Muffin (left it on her desk), Echo (handed it to him), and Bronze (also handed it to him). Muffin because I haven't been all that nice to her recently. Echo because I like him. Bronze because I couldn't think of anyone better to get my last card, even though we've never really worked together. I enjoy our brief conversation. I could tell he was surprised.

I went to the Christmas party in the Associate Librarian's Office around ten past one (it had been going on since twelve). I wanted some wine, and I also felt the desire for a send-off to the term. I regretted not going in previous years. I had a glass of red wine and a glass of white wine, as well as lots of salmon canapés and other edibles. I spoke with Dagger and Echo and Polo and Azure, but mostly with the first three. We mostly spoke about Subbuteo and Hornby and other toys.

After that, I was on the desk, speaking to Dickens (and later Clay) about history. There was a small flurry when we announced we were closing, but not that much of one. Something somebody said gave me a sudden thirst for Yeats criticism, so I went upstairs and borrowed three books about him. There was a procession of people to the desk to say Happy Christmas to us, and a lot of the students said Happy Christmas. I love that kind of atmosphere; sad and sweet at once.

I went upstairs with Dukey to switch off some computers, and when I came down Dukey said me and Clay were good to go. (I'm impressed by Clay's knowledge of literature and history, and was both impressed and surprised when he said, in response to a question I posed to both him and Dickens, that he thought the 1916 Rising was justified. I don't agree with him, but at least he didn't parrot the expected answer.)

As I was scanning the book exchange shelves [outside the library], Dickens came out, and I walked out with him. I was heading to the church and he was heading to the Student Bar-- he offered to stand me a drink. We spoke a little bit about the decline of Catholicism, just before we parted ways, and then he said: "You're going to the house of God, I'm going to the house of man". There was something memorable about the way he said it-- like a scene in a novel. (After I prayed for a short while in the Church, and walked to the bus stop, I saw him ahead of me, so I guess the pub was shut.)

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