Tuesday Morning, July 9

1) Between 4:40 and 6:18 AM I ended up falling unexpectedly into deep sleep, after roughly five hours of getting up every hour. It was beautiful.

2) Yesterday was the first day of my last three weeks at ye Instytytte; one down, 14 to go. On the way home I tried to get myself organized in my mind, realizing that I have four activity tracks in the next four weeks:

  • Professional: There is so much to wind down, so much institutional memory to share, and some volunteers who need a lot of managing before I go. The office feels very much like it’s in a state of transition, and not just for me.

  • Vacation: If my last day at the office is in three weeks, then the first day of my Big English Vacation is in four weeks! I’ve barely done any of my usual research. I need a new waistcoat to wear with my black tie, one that doesn’t make me look like a satin sack of something. And I need to firm up some other arrangements. Only yesterday I started rereading The Sway of the Grand Saloon, John Malcolm Brinnin’s magnificent history of scheduled transatlantic travel.

  • Creative: Oh right, I’m leaving my job to pursue my creative endeavors full time (and monetize them)! Aside from needing to get back on a twice-weekly schedule of columns, I need to launch another social media account, ramp up research for my talk September 17, buy a printer, firmly establish a home office in the study, and figure out how to handle some domain and other tech issues.

  • Domestic: The nice man is coming to repair Gramma’s bed on Friday. I’m living in a perpetual rummage sale and must at least move the boxes of stuff to sell into the basement. Plus I need to initiate some condo association business, now that the second floor is for sale. At this point I’m indisputably the dean of the building (this entirely honorary title based solely on length of ownership and residence), but now I’m also running it. On the plus side, benign neglect of our shrubbery is bringing back the vine of orange trumpet flowers I loved so when we all moved in.

3) To my delight, yesteday the new neighbors bought my Haviland china - the china that had been given me by the One Man I Could Call an Ex, the only china I have that isn’t family china. They are a really nice young couple, and I expect they will have some happy occasions using it. And I am pleased to have a handful of cabbage instead of a tax-deduction letter from a thrift shop.