I’ve almost finished phase one of the library work.  I should finish it next week, on schedule (which was lucky as I largely guessed how long it would take as I didn’t really have enough data).  I’ve got the library in a state where I could find a book on a given subject, although a few shelves could do with some further sorting into a precise order rather than a rough one.  The problem is, I doubt anyone else could find anything as issues like stakeholders wanting some books kept together, oversize books needing to go in particular places, some supposedly adjustable shelves not being adjustable and people feeling they can keep personal religious items (and whisky) in the library cupboards/shelves because it doubles as a shul (synagogue) mean that the layout is not entirely logical.  I hope to make some signs next week, if I can work out how to use the laminator.

I need to find out from the benefactor who owns the library (a) if he still wants me to work next month (I’m assuming he does, but I should check), and (b) what the budget is for setting up an online library catalogue.  I’d like to have some idea ahead of a phone meeting I have on Monday with someone from a company who might be able to install a system for us.  (I feel very grown up arranging meetings, something I haven’t really done before.)  I also need to email the person who runs the organisation’s website to find out whether the library catalogue will be compatible.  This could be awkward; he apparently went to the same school as I did.  There was someone with his name in my year and he bullied me persistently.  Not very severely, but enough that I hope it’s not him.  As both his first name and surname are common in the Jewish community, I’m going to hope he was in a different year and just has the same name as the bully.  Whoever he is, I think he’s become very Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) now so that could prompt all kinds of thoughts.

***

I managed about forty-five minutes of Torah study today, but was too tired to do much on the way home.  I did walk both to and from the station.  I think I’m losing weight.  I don’t weigh myself regularly enough, but when I have weighed myself, my weight has been fluctuating quite a bit and I wonder if the digital scales are accurate.  On the other hand, after several good days I gave into temptation tonight and ate three Quality Street chocolates.

***

The lack of a real lunch break at work is hard for me.  I get thirty minutes for lunch because the other half-hour goes on Mincha and Ma’ariv (Afternoon and Evening Services), which are currently at an awkward time mid-afternoon.  I don’t like to eat in the library because (a) you shouldn’t eat in libraries and (b) it’s also a shul and you shouldn’t really eat in shuls either (although Jews do).  That means I eat in the anteroom where there isn’t a table, so I sit with the sandwich I’m eating in one hand and the second sandwich in the other and find it hard to read.  I should really put the other sandwich on the side of the sink which is the nearest thing to a table there, but for some reason I never think of it.  By the time I’ve eaten (sandwiches and vegetables), I only have about ten minutes left of my lunch half-hour to read and break from work.  I suspect that some of the not reading isn’t anything to do with holding sandwiches and is more due to total exhaustion and need for no brain stimulation at all for a bit.  I get through the day, but I’m exhausted after work.  After dinner I sometimes get a burst of energy, but I’m a wreck the next day.

***

I had some energy after dinner, but decided not to work on my novel as I felt I needed the rest.  I watched Spectre, and have now watched all the Eon Bond films in order (but there’s a new one out later in the year).  Not that “in order” matters much when the continuity is usually minimal.  I discovered that I do still like James Bond films, but I don’t like the character of James Bond much except when he’s played by Roger Moore.  Likewise, I prefer 1970s-style silly adventure romps for all the family to modern Serious Drama Bond (I seriously believe that for its first half or even three-quarters, Moonraker is an enjoyable film if you don’t think about it too much).  Live and Let Die is my favourite (probably my favourite title song too), taking over from The Spy Who Loved Me, which was my childhood fave.

There’s a serious point here.  I’ve noticed for a while that I mostly watch films and TV from before I was born or at least before I was old.  The cut-off is probably somewhere around 1990.  It’s not a nostalgia thing, because a lot of these things I discovered as an adult (e.g. QuatermassThe PrisonerSapphire and Steel, Blake’s 7).  You can definitely find cultural changes that have happened in the last twenty or thirty years that partly explain it.  I certainly don’t like the way that culture is even more sexualised than previously with once-celibate characters like the Doctor, Sherlock Holmes and Mr Spock being given Significant Others.  But I wonder if there’s also a more technical answer, that my autistic brain doesn’t like the rapid pace and fast cutting of modern film and TV, finding it over-stimulating and hard to follow.  Spectre was cut slower than some other recent Bond films and I found it easier to follow, although I did still have to pause or rewind the exposition scenes to let my brain catch up.  I think I do tune out of the very fast action scenes.

***

And that’s it for another work day.  I’m crashing now, so should go to bed.  A friend has just written an email in some distress and I’m worried for her, but am in no state to reply in a helpful way so will have to hope that she can hold on until tomorrow.

12 thoughts on “Thoughts Before Crashing

  1. I think you and Matthew above are the only two I’ve ever read who agree with me that Moore does a good Bond. I love the lighthearted aspect to his Bond as opposed to Connery’s and Craig’s dead seriousness. I do enjoy all three, but I don’t dismiss Moore as so many have done.

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  2. Well done for finishing phase one. You seem to have done a lot in a short time. You did say you thought you had enough work for about a year — is this still the case? How many phases have you mapped out? As a former librarian I have so many questions! How big is the collection? Is the library still acquiring items? How is borrowing (if it is happening) monitored? Who is the library open to? And does it have any special value as a collection? And what problems is the work you are currently doing designed to overcome? These are mostly rhetorical questions — not expecting you to answer them all especially as you need to keep the details of the library confidential.

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  3. Well, phase one is not quite finished, but hopefully next week.

    I was hoping for work for most of the year, but probably not all. Whether that happens depends on what the benefactor wants to do next. If he wants to build a proper online catalogue, then that will take most of a year at least, as there’s 1,500 items to catalogue and no online database that anyone can find (although there was reference to one in the cupboard of library stuff, so I need to investigate that if I can, but no one seems to know anything about it).

    I’m not sure if the library is still acquiring items. This is another thing to talk to the benefactor about. If it does acquire more, we’ll need to weed too or there won’t be enough space. This is complicated by the fact that I suspect that acquisitions were usually donations and people don’t want their donations sold or given away.

    I don’t really want to go into who the library is open to online.

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  4. Although the library work is making for some stress, you also sound engaged and interested. You’re definitely making a difference, which is a powerful feeling. About Bond: I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never seen a Bond film. Not one!

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