Six and a half years ago, I arrived in Switzerland to do a work placement with the exhibitions team at CERN as part of my MSc in Science Communication. It followed hard on the heels of producing a play in London – the last night was Saturday; on Sunday I flew from London City Airport to Geneva, me white as a sheet with terror, to start a job for which I had almost no qualification, in a new country where I spoke almost none of the language(s), on Monday morning at 9am.
My memory is shocking – experiences do not live on in my brain to be faithfully recalled like a film (or even radio) documentary of my life. No, they melt away, or melt together, or merge with dreams and imagined conversations. But mostly, they melt away, leaving me with a world-view shaped by my experiences but unrooted and unreferenced to the events that gave it this shape.
It would make sense, then, for me to keep a diary. I have tried a few times, and it has never quite stuck. But when I was at CERN, I kept this diary and I’ve been reading it tonight and I’m ever so glad for it. I wrote in it often at first and, naturally for me, the entries tail off towards the end of my time there, although there are a couple of bonus entries from when I was back in the UK.
Some excerpts from August 2005 are below – apologies if they are excruciatingly dull (did I use that phrase in my last post as well?). I’m mining them for any nuggets I can transfer into the Discreet Dictionary – the first original entries for quite some time. Read the rest of this entry »