Little comfort for you front-line medievalists, but it helps me

This is the trivial entry I just promised Another Damned Medievalist. Because of ADM’s Monday teaching load, she wished me to stop saying interesting things that day, so instead I shall briefly let you know something that she certainly doesn’t want to hear, because I’m nice like that :-)

The leave year in my place of work starts on 1 October, but I went part-time mid-way through October last year, and thereafter there had been confusion about exactly how much pro rata holiday time I was allowed. What with that and various deadlines I hadn’t taken all the leave I could have, in fact nothing like. When we finally did all the maths, I had 15½ days of leave owing which the Museum would like me to have used by December 31st. I work four days a week, so this was tantamount to ordering me to take a month off before Christmas.

So I’ve basically been on holiday and will be so until the Haskins Society Conference and probably quite a lot thereafter too, which will let me get not just that paper properly written I hope but also some others that have been hanging fire for too long, to say nothing of the book. I probably won’t be taking much actual holiday, but that’s how you know I’m an academic really, isn’t it? And you know, I was working all summer, though my institution is not stingy with holiday I’m not shockingly privileged, I have earned this. But you people with actual academic jobs, of course, won’t be feeling my good fortune until term’s over. Sorry about that…

By way of marking this transition, let me join in a tiny WordPress meme that seems to be afoot, and join Meli of Northern Lights and the Naked Philologist of, well, herself, in posting a picture of my work set-up. Firstly the place where they pay me:

The main documentation station in Coins & Medals

The main documentation station in Coins & Medals

Observe the poster for the first exhibition I made a poster for, one of our trusty and much-battered Epson 1200 scanners brutalised to run upside-down on a light-box you can’t get any more (we had to make one in-house for the second documentation station), and a tray full of Alexander the Great tetradrachms, which in turn tells you roughly when this was taken… But it still looks like that.

And now I can take refuge here:

The Tenth Medieval blog post production station, at a secret location in Cambridge

The Tenth Medieval blog post production station, at a secret location in Cambridge

Here note instead the speaker at left (if you’re right next to them you don’t need them on very loud), the open WordPress window on the computer, the trusty and more importantly free LaserJet 4 under the desk partly obscuring a hideous mare’s nest of cables, and the huge pile of books I should be reading, none open of course at time of this photograph, worryingly symptomatic. Don’t note that fact, or the ‘creatively sorted’ piles of stuff that need dealing with at desk right. But it all suffices. Note especially, if you don’t mind, the figurine at desk centre, which in better light looks like this:

Someone I still care about a great deal got me this rather beautiful creature, and though she’s always mopily crouched like this and nothing I do seems to cheer her, nonetheless I do kind of love her. In a long series of desk set-ups I’ve had in Cambridge, none of which have been meant to be more than temporary even if I’ve had them for years, she’s helped make them home rather than work.

4 responses to “Little comfort for you front-line medievalists, but it helps me

  1. Charming post which I will trivialize by saying, “love those LaserJet 4s.”

    Perhaps she’s not moping?

  2. Well, if not, she’s had an awful lot on her mind for many years now…

  3. Harumph. Just wait till I see you at Haskins.

  4. Just let me get the paper off my back and I can die happy. No, OK, not really.

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