punting on the cam

So we are in Cambridge! It didn’t help that we got here at the end of the week that started, for me, in Vegas; so what with the implausible Northern twilight and the pretty pretty greens and colleges so forth I have begun to think of this as just another themed casino. The Cantabrigian. With live shows called Tripos and Viva Voce! We punted on the Cam, which I insisted on spoonerizing, to my own hilarity and the resigned amusement of my entourage.

Anent which entourage Julia has jetlag which means that no one within earshot may rest. As a result Jeremy and I went for about six days with no more than four hours of sleep at a time. Jeremy coped with this better than I did; I was up at 5am yesterday, trying to help Claire in the bathroom, when I fainted. The flat has a wooden floor so I am sporting handsome bruises on my head and hip. It was extremely unpleasant but has had no alarming sequelae. I shall avoid recreating the circumstances.

Not suprisingly, my academic anxiety has been flickering on and off like a flaky Wifi signal. I had another good hard look at the MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science, a course I’ve thought about doing before. Grace Hopper, maybe, or Unix as literature? But I couldn’t help thinking I already have a perfectly nice MPhil that I am extremely fond of, and that the books I dream of having written aren’t academic texts at all but novels. And you don’t need any degrees from anywhere to write novels.

This cheering thought had me working on the novella on the train to and from London today. It’s far from perfect but there’s some decent writing in there. That said, I think I’m going to have to smash it to bits and patch the bits together if I want to get it to the next stage. I think it’s publishable as is but that’s not really enough for me any more; I think I can do better. Guh! What’s happening to me? IS IT SOMETHING IN THE CAMBRIDGE WATER SUPPLY???

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