Monday, 27 October 2008

The Office Next Door

I spend my days with a group of people
who are courteous, appreciative,
very funny and hard working.

Many of them are at the start of their careers
but have already made significant contributions
to research in their specialist field.

I admire them for their energy
and their commitment to worthwhile causes
all over the world.

And if they have brilliant minds
I don't think it matters
that they are chronically untidy.

Especially if it makes my office
look like a Zen zone.

Friday, 24 October 2008


A blackbird watches me on my way to work,
beak as bright as the Pyracantha berries it is eating.

A tall young man in full Goth regalia
clanks in front of me.
I wonder if he polishes all those chains.

Two magpies are taking a bath in the pool of water
on the flat roof outside my office.
Such busy splashing makes me smile.

The Solanum plant on my windowsill is growing!
There are new flowers!

The President of the Student society
bursts into my office,
her blonde hair glowing under her red cable beret.
She is adorable.

A colleague who will be in Morocco next week
promises to bring me something small from the local souk.
He beams with energy and enthusiasm about his work.

I meet a student from my old Department
and hear his plans for the weekend...
he will be singing in Westminster Abbey.

On my way home the aroma of Chinese takeaway
drifts from the student halls.

Here are two students wearing cycle helmets,
completely encased in bubble wrap.
It would appear that they are doing
downhill racing on office swivel chairs.

This is the first Friday evening
that I have not felt ill with exhaustion.