Monday, October 19, 2009


Ben was supposed to have last and this weeks off. His work canceled last week's holiday so we looked forward to this week. In an uncharacteristically sober way. Ben because he''s been insanely busy these last nine months he couldn't fathom a holiday coming up until late last night. I, because I was finally starting feel like I was catching up with my life and I didn't want to give up my time; I wanted to keep getting back 0n my perceived track, and complained to anyone who cared to take 30 second to read my emails about the upcoming week. Plus, we had planned to work in the garden, not our favorite activity.

Be careful what I wish for. Sure enough, at 9.30 this morning, Boss rang, twice, and Ben's been back at work all day today, doing his normal hours. I have to be super careful not to be so cross when he gets back, albeit not at him but at his work.

They've been warned by outside consultants since 2000 that they need to hire someone who can act as his backup, paying consultancy fees 6-20 times an average annual salary each time, but somehow they couldn't find the budget to hire someone; not even for a half time position.

But I feel guilty because he's more disappointed than I am, though he's not the kind that would say so, not even to me, until years later. I feel frustrated with our (yes, our) Japanese sense of duty and dedication and loyalty to work. If I were him, and I wasn't away from home, I would be going to work as well. So in spite of the stupidity that is bottom line managerism that's been going on at the Polytech, at least since the February 1999 Review, I am resolved to nice to Dear Husband and perhaps cook him a Japanese dinner tonight. (And at least until then, I can go back to "Middlesex", which I've been reading almost all day every day.)

Friday, while waiting for Ben to finish work, thinking about this week, I discovered the library held newer issues of "Ornament" magazine, as well as one called "Craft" by the British Arts Council. I liked the articles in "Craft" very much, so glad to make this new discovery. Anyhow, I made notes of these websites and places of interest from the few issues in these magazines. Perhaps you might enjoy them, too.
  • Susan Neal - weaving
  • Clare Gage - tableware
  • Richard Arkwright's mill in Cromford and Matlock Bath, both in Derbyshire's Derwent Valley, UK.
  • - "The Ornamented Life" - I can't load this website, and have found other websites/blogs citing this url, so I'm not sure what's happening. This appears to be a possible future home of her new web site, but don't quote me on it.
  • Valeria Fazekas, wool hats
And once again, about Bernard Leach and Yanagi Soetsu. And a book review of "Kingdom of Beauty: Mingei and the Polics of Folk Art in Imperial Japan". I was surprised the review and/or the author didn't go back far enough to explore Japan's pillaging and kidnapping of Korean artists and decimating their craft, (we were doing a pretty thorough job in the 7C CE, from memory) but I haven't read the book so I can't say more.

Right. 2PM. Better work on the Marlborough Group blog now.


  1. That's absolutely shocking - Ben is entitled to his leave from work, whatever he plans to do or not do with the time. Is there a trade union of any use where he works?

  2. That's been his life in IT, though. The first ever New Year's Day after we were married, a day you NEVER EVER bother anyone except your family, they somehow tracked him down to my parents' house!! So it's just business as usual for him, but it takes me a few hours to let off my steam, even after 20 years...

  3. In my last job, our IT guy just headed for the hills for a month every summer and we lived with it! We nagged the IT dept to get a backup, but it is amazing what you can improvise when the main man is out of town - as long as you accept that he really is out of town and you're going to have to deal with it.


    But to be honest, Cally, Ben has disappeared twice to Japan for bereavement, five week at a time, and they survive. The new boss was apparently apologetic. Which won't help Ben change his attitude, but...


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