Monday, August 24, 2009


So what did today look like?

By 9.15 a.m. I was hunched over my desk writing up question 1 of the final Tutor-Marked Assessment (TMA) for my OU course SM358. To be precise, I was analysing an eigenfunction of the Coulomb model of the hydrogen atom. Then I completed question 2, which was about the use of perturbation methods for the hydrogen atom.

I stretched, noticed it was half-past eleven and that my motivation to hit question 3 (central-field approximation, excited states of the titanium atom) had atrophied considerably. I considered making a cup of tea when Clare hoved into view.

"Going shopping?" I said.

"Yes," she replied.

So there was my distraction of choice and off we went to Waitrose and Tesco in town.

This afternoon I moved question 3 on a bit, and at 4.30 determined to run.

As I left the house after my warm-up exercises a little rain (o summer!) lightly hosed my face. Something to counteract the excessive humidy of this warm, muggy day.

These days I run slowly, concentrating on minimal impact of the feet with the ground so as to spare my injury-vulnerable knees. I conduct a running conversation with my right knee:

'Are you telling me you have a slight twinge?'

'Here, I've changed my foot angle a bit. Has it gone away now?'

My knee responds as a pet would - non-verbally.

I get back to the house and lie on the recliner, exhausted and seriously glowing. I explain to Clare:

"In the ancient past, the only warriors who returned to their tribe hot, sticky, glowing but satisfied were those who had achieved a great triumph: brought down a mighty animal or killed a dangerous predator. Obviously prime mating material. So would you say you felt an enormous sexual attraction?"

She looks at me in disgust.

"Go and have a shower and stop polluting the room."

I have a new Amazon Vine book to review: Amulet by Roberto Bolano. I read his epic 2666 and gave it a good review so I am much looking forward to this much slimmer volume. Guess I'll start it this evening, unless BBC-4's Wallander tears me away.

Tomorrow: I'm hoping to finish this TMA and get it submitted (just the exam then, in October). This will free up some time to continue work on the stories I'm currently writing - hope to submit them to Interzone before Christmas.