One of the grand things about being here is being able to adjust my schedule at a moment's notice--so that, for instance, when a new friend materializes on the catwalk "hallway" above my flat and says, "Hey, I have an hour, do you want to go to town?" I can say "Sure!" and grab the camera and go.
When the day has dawned foggier than any I can remember, the excursion is almost certain to be an excellent one, photographically speaking. Even knowing this ahead of time, I was startled by how vanished everything really was. From the public bridge, Trinity and Clare were invisible; from one edge of the King's lawn near the river, the chapel started to disappear; from the walkway where I stop and watch the cows in warmer weather, nothing was visible at all but the plane trees' bare tracing.
My day went mostly to what other disciplines would call a literature review: I have pulled in everything that has been written about what I will write about, and I am reading my way through. Half the day was for popular media, very short articles full of factual errors but also too many useful interviews and quotes for me simply to skip them (though who can be sure they're citing their interview subjects correctly?); the other half was for a range of articles at a range of qualities, some mind-chillingly banal, some sharp and theoretically intriguing. Data and ideas pile up and up, and at each turn I think I can see more ways that writing this piece will help me think through my bigger projects.
Some days, I work hard and with focus, and when they're over, I'm ready to stop. Tonight, had it not been Wednesday (and thus a formal dinner night), I could (and would) have sat at my desk for hours more. Either way, I'd have reached this point and have been ready to sleep--ready to let things process, ready to get ready for tomorrow and the more that it is there when I open my eyes to the world again (let it keep being there, d.v.).
And oh, was it cold today: the air too heavy to hold its water, the trees beading and shiny all day, no rain but everything wet, everything everywhere misted, buildings and people disappearing. In the morning, the library tower was invisible from my road. In the afternoon, I shivered in one of the library's reading rooms. Not once this year have I been so grateful for my college's way of overheating our flats: my room was a hot dry oven when I swept back in with my Big Insights and my desire for tea.