After my long maternity leave, I have been back to work for almost two months.
It is refreshing to resume the job one likes and, to be honest, to have a break from the never-ending and brain-devouring work of a housewife. However, there are always "buts".
We are stuck in life like spoons in a cup of puree: if a spoon is taken out, its place stays for a little, then the puree fills it without a trace. You feel it every time when you "return" to a place where you have been absent for a long time: life has intruded into what has been your place.
The most difficult bit is the condition of my lab. It actually belongs to the Medical University, resp. to the Bulgarian government, but I call it mine because I have contributed to it, the criterion used by Exupery's Little Prince to call the little planet his own. Unfortunately, few of my colleagues value the lab as much. Or at least they don't understand what a working lab looks like. They think the important thing about a lab is being clean and tidy. So things making it untidy should be cleared away, even if they are e.g. balances needed to weigh substances and prepare solutions.
The analytical balance had been moved to a corner without proper care. Now it is out of order and I am desperately trying to find someone - anyone - to fix it. There used to be two skilled men at our Faculty able to do this job. Now, one of them has died, the other has retired and nobody can tell me his phone number. It sometimes seems to me that all people in this country who could do something have emigrated, retired or died.
The technical balance had just disappeared. After some - how to say? - balance-hunt I found it in a corner in the restroom, and nobody could tell me how it got there. Actually, I don't really want to investigate it. This means to look back into the past, and I prefer to look to the future.
Last week, a colleague needed to weigh some substance. She asked me, "After all these affairs, have you a working balance of any kind?" I pointed to the long-suffering technical balance recovered from the toilet and she used it successfully. I was so proud of my lab. I hope it will be again what it used to be, and even better.
I wish to write about many things, but there is so much work to be done that I have all but stopped blogging. Please have patience with me.