My God of sleep, my personal Morpheus,  is on the autism spectrum. He knows what sleep is – he’s seen lots doing it but he doesn’t understand. So up he pops at inappropriate moments – on the bus just before my stop, at friends’ dinner table, but not in bed at 4 am. After a brief struggle to cling on to CET, I surrender to KVT (Kendall Variable Time) and get up.

Stimulated by Messenger, Alexandre Dumas makes his appearance with La Dame aux Camélias.

Only recently familiar, I now know that it was about a lady working as a courtesan, who wore a red camelia when she was menstruating and a white when not. It sounds ingenious and I wonder whether it might solve my problem with restaurant visits at the local pensioners’centre. The food is good and cheap but people might talk to me, when I want to put the world on hold. So perhaps if I wore a red camelia, I could be alone, except that red camelias are a symbol for passion that you give to your beloved. It could be misinterpreted, perhaps if I wrote an explanatory leaflet about myself or maybe it’s just easier to cook in my kitchen’s bookish calm.

From camelias to chameleons, which is (I think) the same in French. Wrestling with whether “Les dames aux chameleons” works in French, planning the day pushes Dumas rather abruptly off stage.

But before I get very far Molly Coddle hoves into view, I know not why but she triggers my etymological alarm response. It means pamper, which is a synonym for coddle. Otherwise, the word is innocent enough with its aura of blankets, hot chocolate and brows caressed by beloveds. But it had a chequered history in its early nineteenth century youth with unpleasant homophobic overtones associating it with effeminate gay men, moll having drifted from a working lady at the other end of the social scale from La Dames aux Camelias to a homophobic term for gay men. Fortunately, the word rapidly lost its youthful louche.

But then began the wild dance of the internet, saviour of the thinking being when the ceiling of the world lowers and starts to crush. A source about the history of moll leads me to Dr Jacob Serenius, who produced a Swedish-English dictionary (among others) in 1762. Born in Färentuna, he was a priest at the Swedish church in London for a number of years and took an active part in eighteenth century intellectual life. I’m not sure I would have approved of his take on religion but interrogation about that can wait.

Hunting for the dictionary on Libris, I seem to have arrived at a bad time as the website is rushing around in the throes of renewal but things are hushly calm at Carolina Rediviva; I learnt that Serenius is far from unknown in the Swedish lexicographical world with a half recent Gothenburg University PhD.

Returning to Sweden, he became a bishop active in Strängnäs where he died.  There is a picture of him at All Saints (Alla Helgons) church in Nyköping, which I have to visit (after I’ve checked that it´s actually on the wall and not languishing in some ecclesiastical basement together with sentimental nineteenth century alabaster statues of the saviour with his feet chopped off).

With no urgent translation work, it feels like a good day for a library visit to Carolina Rediviva. I have an article about the Faroes that I’ve wanted to read for some time and I’d like to learn about how to access digital articles as so many publications are now only available that way.

But I have an hour of Bengali to fit in, an hour of French, an hour of current affairs, an hour of German, a body longing for a walk and a shingles vaccination, and a flat that needs attention if it is not to scream from every dusty corner that an old man lives here. Lucky that KVT has a flexibility worthy of Harry Potter and doesn’t plod along with the austere inevitability of CET.

It’s now 6.45 CET, more or less the same in KVT with 2 hours and fifteen minutes to get through my Japanese tea ceremony-like shift from night mode to day mode before 09.00. So resisting the temptation to relax on my lotus leaf in my dressing gown and drift around on the Internet ocean, I am going to leap up and put all these pesky items pressing in on me in their place.

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