Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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21/12/14: how do I find the time to work?

Greetings from cold, wet, dark, overcast Witney, Oxfordshire.  Arrived here last Saturday.  Starting to acclimatise, so able to cope wearing just the one coat rather than needing two as last Sunday.  Been pottering around, really: swimming a bit, practising Organ for a couple of fixtures while I'm here, meeting up with old school friends which has been fantastic.

But the big question in my mind right now is: how do I manage, in the normal course of things, to find the time to work?  It's just so essential, before doing anything in the morning, to read the newspaper from cover to cover (precious little African news, I would point out - does the escrow scandal mean nothing here?)  But, clearly, before starting to read the paper it's necessary to do all the numerical puzzles - deliberately done in pen so that if I make a mistake that's it, got to draw the line somewhere!  By which time it's morning coffee, only a short amount of time before lunch.  By the time that's over it's about to get dark, then it's dinner time - so where has the day gone?  And where does work fit into all of this?  A bit of a mystery.

Similarly, going into Oxford - about 1/2 hour by bus - to meet an old school friend for lunch, it should be possible on the same trip to do some shopping.  So why does brain turn to jelly to the point that all I manage to do is some window shopping, actually only deciding what it is I'd like other people to get me for Christmas - small light things for obvious reasons - which isn't really a very helpful approach.  So a separate trip to Oxford fully focused on shopping required early this coming week, no meeting of friends allowed to distract me.  I mean, I buy into the 'men can't multitask' argument but this is a bit ridiculous.

So, one week down, two to go, a strong sense of needing to hit the ground running when I return, building work means that we're out of our offices and my first working day, January 5th, is when the next group of students is due.  So taking things a bit easy.  Which means that little things - uploading the photo taken at lunch with my schoolfriend then to email to her - seem like herculean efforts.  I suppose I should enjoy it while it last bu it feels more necessary than enjoyable.  Must try to take a holiday at some stage with sufficient energy to actually be able to enjoy it fully.

Aware that this entry is going nowhere slowly so I'll bring it to a halt about now.  To all my readers, a very restful, peaceful and enjoyable period celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  If I manage to muster up the energy I'll be in touch again soon.  Now I need a bit of a snooze, I think.

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