Today, walking through the rain in my tramp coat, i was encountered by an old tutor, now some kind of bigwig in the admin section, in charge of postgrad funding. i hadn’t seen him in 9 years but both of us are distinctive, and neither have aged too spectacularly. He was surprised to hear of my years of failure, 3 years on the dole then 5 years of minimum wage office jobs.

“But you were our top-ranking student!” he exclaimed, “or, well, one of them…”

“There weren’t any others,” i almost said, “don’t kid yourself.” Instead i explained that in the world of office work, having my kind of results is like wearing a CONVICTED PAEDOPHILE t-shirt. The only work i could find in England is temping, minimum wage and maximum pain. As Richard Madeley once said of himself, i’m too highly qualified to do anything but the worst jobs.

My old tutor told me that i’d have a much better chance of getting PhD funding if i applied now. In the past the Depot just submitted their recommendations to the G, who then decided based on their own wicked and corrupt tastes. Now, the Depot has a fixed allocation of studentships, to assign at their own discretion; in other words, if i applied again i’d get funding.

Briefly tempting. It would be good to live here again, to be free to read and write all day, to have a huge library at my disposal, MILF, good architecture, pies. But i feel i belong in Germany, that i should follow the Kraut adventure to its inevitably, grisly end. And though i still intend to write a book about Satan, i no longer wish to write a structured, conventional argument. It would be wrong for the subject, wrong for me.

i am curious to know if i will ever have the time, energy, or even ideas for the Satan book – common sense says no but it is a lingering presence in my mind, a possibility, a demand. In a sense, Satan does exist – but in so complicatedly strange (and yet fitting) a way that it would require a bigger brain than mine, to attempt the matter.

On a not really related but not really unrelated note, dialogue between me and another prof, who i saw yesterday for tea:

Prof: You should read Lawrence, Elberry, he really nails Lord Russell as a ghastly empty-headed liberal. Scruton would approve.

Elberry: i don’t really like Lawrence that much, though i enjoy his pagan zeal.

Prof: Ah well there you are in error, Elberry, for there is only one god.

Elberry: Really? Which one?