I struggled with sleep again, mostly insomnia, but also waking a bit earlier than intended.  I got about five and a half hours in the end and dosed myself up on coffee this morning.  I got up extra-early because it was Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) and there was extra davening (prayers) although I only do I tiny amount of Shacharit (Morning Prayers) most days because of depression, excluding the days I’m too depressed to get up in time to daven Shacharit at all.

At work the people from the company who I wanted to speak to about setting up a library management system (LMS)/online catalogue (OPAC) phoned an hour early.  I was going to be super-ready for them, but because they phoned early the cleaner was hoovering in the library and I had to hurriedly find somewhere else to take the call, which probably didn’t seem very professional.  The call was short as they said what I expected: that the LMS/OPAC is really for larger libraries with larger budgets.

After that I made and laminated some signs for the library so that people can locate books now that I’ve moved things around a lot.  I also started looking at alternatives to the LMS and OPAC, using websites intended for individuals or small libraries to catalogue their collections for free or cheaply.  I think this is promising, although I’m not sure if we will be able to link easily to the institution’s website.  A bigger problem is that I doubt that either system can allow cataloguing in Hebrew, but I had a quick look around the library and I estimate the number of Hebrew (rather than bilingual) books is fairly small as a percentage of the whole library, so this may not be a big problem.  (EDIT: as I was writing I heard back that one of the sites does allow non-Latin alphabets, but the search function using them is not as thorough.)

The main issue is whether I have a job after this week.  I spoke to the benefactor who owns the library.  He seemed pleased with what I had done, but didn’t really look around or ask what I had actually been doing.  He said that he will only carry on paying for my salary if the institution as a whole contributes, so I’m currently waiting to hear what will happen.  I’m pessimistic as to whether they have the money or inclination to keep me on.  There isn’t any work to do on this phase of the plan (as opposed to if they keep me on to try to find a cataloguing solution), so at the moment I’m not going in on Wednesday.  The benefactor said to invoice for it anyway, which was nice.  I found the whole meeting awkward.  I was nervous and worried that I was incoherent.  I wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to hear, and we were having the conversation while there was a shiur (religious class) going on across the room, so it was not under ideal conditions.

I feel pessimistic about the job and shouldn’t.  It is possible that the institution and the benefactor will come to an agreement about paying my salary.  Even if they don’t, I’ve had some good experience in writing proposals, planning, researching and executing a project unsupervised, as well as dealing with stakeholders and “difficult” library users (a classic interview question, so something to remember).

The pessimism has spread.  I feel more downbeat about my relationship with E. today, not the relationship itself, just whether we will ever manage to sort it out.  I still think we probably will, even if it takes years.  It’s hard to wait though and if we want children there’s a time limit (albeit not a very imminent one).  Although whether we could cope with children is yet another issue.

I am unsure whether I should try to go for Chartership (the next stage of librarianship).  I was going to try, but if I don’t have this job as experience, I’m not sure I will be able to complete the necessary amount of work in time and there is a fee just to start so I don’t really want to do that if I’m not going to get anywhere (annoyingly CILIP’s website doesn’t say how much the fee is).

I decided I couldn’t be bothered to return the defective second-hand CD I bought (case completely broken and a track I don’t even like doesn’t play properly, but it did download to iTunes so I can play it there).  Having spent well under £3 for it, including postage, it didn’t seem worth the bother and I could easily end up spending more to buy a replacement copy.  But it just feels like another thing going wrong.

Just to round the day off, I watched yesterday’s Doctor Who episode, which I didn’t watch on transmission because of the family dinner.  I thought it was awful.  A “laughing at” rather than “laughing with” episode.  And it could have been so good!  The ideas were potentially intriguing, if somewhat familiar from previous years.  Bear in mind that I quite like Arachnids in the UK, perhaps the Chibnall episode most like this*.  Meh.  I’m not enjoying this series at all, and I take no satisfaction in saying that, especially as I felt series eleven, while not great, was on the way to being something better and defended it against people who said it was “Too PC” or “boring history lessons.”  But everything that was interesting and innovative about that series seems to have been jettisoned and replaced with tired rehashes of Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat’s greatest hits.  (Although Heaven Sent and Hell Bent seem to have been forgotten as the Doctor is back to mere “thousands” of years old and Gallifrey is destroyed twice rather than three times, four if you count the novels.)

Doctor Who rant over!


Just generally speaking, today I feel that the world I live in is uncomfortable and just plain wrong, but as a student of history and a reader of science fiction, I’m not sure I know of any other worlds that are any better.  I feel that I just mess stuff up and that stuff I don’t mess up is messed up for me.

I’m not sure what to do with the evening, what’s left of it.  I’m too tired for extra Torah (I managed half an hour or so on the Tube in to work, but was too tired to do any on the way home) or work on my novel.  I might just watch Star Trek Voyager and hope it’s better than Doctor Who was, disloyal fan though that makes me feel.  I feel too depressed to do anything useful, and despairing about the future (work, E., life in general).  I’m not sure where this has suddenly come from.  I feel like I’m a bad person even though I don’t think I have evidence to substantiate that claim, or not enough to prove it to the extent that I feel.  I feel like I’m not going to keep this job or find a new one.  I feel that E. and I will never get things sorted no matter how hard we try.  I feel that my life never works out.  I have a physical health issue I won’t go into now (not hugely worrying, just irritating).  And I’ve just remembered there’s a super-scary thing happening this week that I’m really worried about that I can’t even write about here.

I just feel in a state suddenly.  I hate it when my mood suddenly plummets.  Somehow it seems my fault.  Like, I was OK (admittedly for a very poor definition of “OK”) a few minutes ago, so why can’t I stay OK like normal people?  OK isn’t even happy, just moderately OK for a bit.

My parents had a dinner party a few weeks ago and bought Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.  There’s been a load left in the freezer ever since and I haven’t eaten any because of my semi-diet.  E. said I had strong will-power.  That may change…


One amusing thing today: I read a news article too quickly and for a moment I thought that the Labour leadership frontrunner Sir Keir Starmer was advocating a system of government “built on the principle of feudalism.”  This seemed shocking and unlikely, but after the last five years I wasn’t ruling anything out as impossible.  Perhaps fortunately, on re-reading it turned out that I had misread “federalism.”  This is a shame, as I was hoping for a new career as a knight errant.


* Admittedly my favourite bit from that episode only happened in my head.  When the Doctor asks Robertson, “Are all your hotels built on repurposed sites?” he answers, “No, some of them are built on Native American graveyards.”  It’s my headcanon and I’m sticking to it.

4 thoughts on “Crashing

  1. Are these the fees you are looking for? Looks like £150 total. https://www.cilip.org.uk/page/ProfessionalRegistrationApplyNow
    Also this came into my inbox this morning — probably of no interest to your library but just in case: Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe – Archives and Libraries Programme
    Grants are available for charitable organisations to protect, preserve and enable better access to Jewish archive and library collections in Europe. This grant programme recognises the significance of protecting, preserving and enabling better access to archive and library collections. Grant Size: £15,000 – £75,000.
    Hope your mood lifts — expect the uncertainty of the job has affected you. Even if the job ends tomorrow, you have gained some valuable experience and something to add to your CV. The chartership does not have to be in just one library or project. I covered voluntary work in mine as well as several projects in my paid job. The main thing is to chart your professional development over a period of time.


    1. Yes, thank you! I don’t know why I couldn’t find that! I understand that it can be at more than one project, I’m more concerned with the timescale, as I was out of work from April of 2019 until the start of this year, so any previous experience was some time ago. Do you know how long a period you can bring under consideration?

      Thanks for the Rothschild link. A library I previously worked at applied for grant from them around the time I left, although it was a situation that got tied up in internal politics.

      My mood has been pretty awful today, but I’m hoping things might be better tomorrow.


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