Friday, January 16, 2004

Yesterday afternoon I finally got confirmation that I can take special leave for my travels to Israel and India. I went into action right away, telling Marie, telling the rest of my team, calling Donny in Jerusalem to say I'll take the flat.

Marie said she could put in a good word for me on my return to get me a job with the European Union Presidency team. That would be more my own game, she said, something I could own. I could see myself getting sucked back in by the promise that it would all be different. On the other hand, I also had a twenty-minute phone conversation with Marc Soloway, about his rabbinic plans and the pros and cons of Judaism on the West Coast and in America as a whole. You pick up on that sense of mission, the reality of the world in which he's moving, and I think that's really important.

It's gratifying to know I've already taken steps to make me more free. I told everyone I was leaving, revelled in the centre of attention and went home for a long weekend. I felt on the tube that already my choices were wider and my world more open.

I'm looking forward to this weekend, going up to Abi's cottage in Wales with a smattering of the book club. I meant to wake up earlier today to finish off the Forster but instead I exploited the luxury of not having to go to work. I suppose I should go and shower and get dressed and pack.

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