One cannot go away for eight weeks but one returns to a world full of changes! Where to begin? First, my friend I., who was happily (if, I thought, certainly temporarily) involved with a new girlfriend when I left, is now girlfriend-less and pretty unhappy about it. Tonight he was off to ease his sorrow by meeting some friends in a pub to drink a few pints and then go for a run. ("Shouldn't it go the other way round?" I asked). Apparently this is something his friends do as a regular leisure activity. He and I are scheduled to meet up sometime tomorrow early evening. I doubt I can help him, but I can buy him a drink and give him a pat - no running involved.
Second, my lovely friend M. G. has a boyfriend. When I left the scene she was despairing of ever finding anyone, but three weeks ago she met a man through a mutual friend, and now they're beginning to go out. He's a painter! He's thoughtful! Hurrah!
Third, they've put new washers and dryers in the laundry huts. They work much better, and they don't look as if someone installed them in 1950 and forgot about things after that.
Is there no end to it all? Apparently not, since two days after I arrived I was stung by a wasp, something that hasn't happened in about ten years, and today I moved yet again, from where I was staying into a new room. If my unpacking had not revealed to me that I left the Black Bag of USBs in Parentshome, I would have a picture of this room in this post, but until I sort out the USB situation you'll have to trust that the room is small but comfortable, rendered cozy by the fact that I brought a richly coloured duvet cover from WhereIlive, and that a delightfully cool breeze is coming through my window. As this implies, my desk looks out the window, and that I like very much indeed.
On the negative side, only two things. First, the room is in a residential block the other side of campus from where all my friends live. I was hoping to live closer to them, but since "closer" would mean ten yards instead of 50, and since I may move in a month, I can live with it.
Second, and rather more depressingly, I received comments from my second book reader. While these comments were neither as particular nor as deep as my first reader's - both good things - they do reveal a couple of elemental problems in the book that I truly don't know how to fix. It's not that I won't fix them; it's that I don't see how to implement them, or don't see how to implement them without writing an entirely different kind of book, one I neither am equipped to write nor want to write. I have e-mailed my editor and told her this, essentially pleading for help, and we'll see what happens. If someone gives me some guidance, I could still have it all wrapped up in time for the book to be produced within the time frame I'd originally imagined, but still...it's wearying to be back at square two.
And now I will do some fiction writing before I take approximately one-and-a-half steps and go to bed. Hurrah for being back!