Read the cut only if you're really interested in trivial details of my life. I'll try to get more interesting soon. I woke up with a headache and did the preparation for the service (that I should have been doing yesterday evening) in a very slapdash fashion. As usual, lots of people had said they might come if
The service was kind of ok; I was feeling a bit miz because it's very likely the last service I'll be taking in Dundee, and there was nothing wrong with it but it wasn't as special as I'd hoped. And poor attendance doesn't normally bother me but I had hoped to say goodbye to more people. And all these trivial things seem like a big deal when I'm sleep-deprived and know full well it's my own stupid fault.
Afterwards H and J gave me a mezuzah to thank me for all I've done for the community. I was really touched; apparently the whole community have been conspiring over it for months! Prof S chose it; it's not one I would have picked myself, it's rather chunky and almost childish in design, but very attractive, mainly blue glass with lots of bright coloured bits. hatam_soferet, you don't write mezuzot, am I right?
The boys were acting up a bit, nothing terrible, they're basically good kids, but tired and out of sorts and not wanting to sit still or speak politely to adults. The older boy, B, is four and a half, just starting to be old enough to have a perceptible (to me) personality but also old enough to be deliberately naughty.
I feel really bad for J&J; Mr J looked absolutely drained, and we had to beg him not to leave when his kids were being disruptive. Plus, I basically haven't seen J&J for months; they have been completely swallowed up by the children, and keep cancelling social arrangements because the boys are ill or tired or they're just too exhausted to come out or can't get babysitters. To be fair I've been a bit swallowed up by my thesis for some of that time, but the difference is that my thesis had a definite finishing point and now I have done it and I have my life back and a nice shiny title. J&J seem to be really isolated, Mrs J especially (she didn't come today because she was entertaining her mother and grandmother); she's essentially given up her PhD and from what I can gather has almost no social contact with adults apart from her husband.
For all I'm extremely glad not to be a parent, I am fond of B. He's fundamentally nice even when he's not on his best behaviour. I think he likes me too, but it takes him a while to warm up with most people (especially when I haven't seen him for half a year or something ridiculous). I walked into town with the three of them after the service. It was drizzly and horrible, and I was getting to the point of really pining for a cup of tea and a siesta, but it's hard to be miserable around B when he's being charming.
He was terribly excited to show me the Real Big Bear in the Contemporary Arts centre... Really real, I asked him? and he grinned in that way kids have when they're first learning how to lie. But it's a very impressive model, life-size and lit with a slightly flickering light so you're momentarily fooled into thinking it's breathing. And we had a silly discussion about accessible architecture: he asked me what a ramp was for, so I said it's to make it easier for wheelchairs and buggies to get up steps, and he said, what if an aeroplane wanted to get in?
Came home, grabbed a cup of tea and sat down for 20 minutes before leaving again to get out of the way so that people could look round the flat. It was properly raining by this point so I headed to the library and read for an hour or so. And I've spent most of the last 3 hours more or less staring into space.
Moral of the story: don't get so absorbed in computer games that you forget to sleep, nitwit.
Today is the 34th day, making 4 complete weeks and 6 days of the Omer.