I had a fairly disturbing experience today. I went to the lab to get some printer paper, and saw Val. She'd been in there all morning running experiments. Or so I thought. When I opened the door, I saw her standing in a lab coat by the fume cupboard. I could see the bottles of chemicals on the bench, and the rocks she was going to work on. It was obvious she hadn't started yet, though she'd been in there for almost three hours. She was switching the fume cupboard power on and off.
I stood and watched her for minutes; she flicked the switch hundreds of times. I suspect she'd been standing there almost the whole morning. I coughed loudly from the doorway. Val turned and smiled, said hello. I asked her if she was okay, and she said she was fine, but had a lot of work to do. Then she started setting up.
I'd thought Val was adapting well to The Sick Land. I hope her obsessive compulsive disorder, or whatever it was I saw today, isn't going to develop into something more serious. I've lost too many colleagues here already.