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2004-04-16 - 9:46 p.m.

Hopelessly unproductive day. My cold seems to have responded to the onslaught of vitamin C by getting even worse. I've been binging on salad and fruit juice for two days, but was far too groggy to do much this morning and ended up relying on a strange cocktail of echinacea and sudafed to give me enough energy not to go back to bed. I sat at the computer picking listlessly at my dissertation and changing semi-colons, then gave up and read C.S.Lewis. After lunch I discovered half a packet of lockets in the bottom of a bag, which cheered me up considerably.

I walked to the UL for my "supervision" in Laura's coffee break and found that it was really hot, and Cambridge was peopled with confused shoppers carrying heavy winter coats and jackets over their arms. Laura had loads of suggestions about the dissertation, as opposed to last time. I can't decide whether this is because she's excited and inspired by the work I've done since last time she saw it, or because she's just realised that if she doesn't tell me exactly what needs doing, it's going to get a third. I have a nasty feeling that I can guess, though. And she wants to see it again on Monday. So I'm not looking forward to this weekend much!

I didn't work after the supervision. The suggestions did inspire me, but I felt too ill, so went to Ed's for a few cups of his magic Hungarian concoction, the translation of which is apparently something along the lines of "tea-like preparation against the symptoms of a cold". The only thing that I can definitely work out that it contains (by the distinctive smell) is oregano. It works wonderfully. We (Ed and I) followed this up by going for a gentle walk while the medicinal effects of the tea lasted, to find some deep purple violet-pansy type flowers that he had spotted: they were that colour of tudor velvet, so dark purple that it's almost black, which for some reason I immediately associated with Mary Queen of Scots. Ed said he hadn't thought of it like that. I wonder what strange childhood memory that one stems from? We wandered along talking of everything and nothing and enjoying the first real hint of summer; then we decided, since it was 6ish, that we might as well stay together for dinner. So we invited Sophie by yelling under her window, and then Lucy because she had wandered up to see me, and ended with all four of us eating pasta (Ed cooked) in my room. During the conversation Eddie Izzard's French show came up, so Ed stayed and watched it. Thus any last ideas of work were, as the French would say, foutue.

Ah well. Early to bed, and an early start tomorrow bolstered by sudafed, is the way forward. By the deadline on Wednesday, this dissertation will be DONE.


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