Home now – building works. A three-storey tent (C and I both independently coined this description so it must be true). A loo in the attic, cold tap in the kitchen three floors below, brick dust everywhere, shoes on all the time, cats traumatised, tempers fraying, and a vanful – all my wordly goods – on the front room floor, no route to the piano even, until they’ve put my new skylight in and me and my room are left in relative peace.
Shadowing researchers round the university. Labs, day old mice pups, killed quickly though I won’t tell you how in case it makes you squirm. Microscopes, centrifuges, familiar technology, techniques (Western blotting, cell culturing) heard about and now to be seen and learned, Nanotechnology, collaborations across all kinds of fields of expertise, building condemned though to my eyes stunning. Showers (and thank goodness – options at home = washing-up bowl, kettle, what a performance) in the basement, splashy, motion-sensitive timer-switch controlled and a little chilly but heaven as far as I’m concerned), day flashed past. Sister, tears, tension, fear, homecoming, guilt; I never tell her how proud I am of her, how I tell all my friends about all the things she does, how much I love her – but I never say these things to her, it’s not my way, I suppose.
American quilts, trains, buses, food, drink, pubs and friends and plans and hopes and sunshine which I am rarely able to go out in. New year, I feel, every summer, not winter – I mean, here it all is, being new.
I’m mainly just glad to have clean hair.