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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Now things: new approaches



My new wallet is very smooth and shiny.  It is like one of those wallets that bloated plutocrats bring out of their inside pockets when they have delved down through the layers (the outermost fur-trimmed) to get to their wealth to bestow a farthing on some deserving crippled orphan.  Apart from the wealth bit and the fact that my outer garment is a product of C&A (though none the worse for that and made out of windproof, breathable something or other material) the parallel is exact!  Apart from giving farthings to orphans as well.

     This wallet is larger than its predecessor and has more space for the important, daily bits and pieces that limits the unsightly scrabbling about for some card or other when suddenly asked for.  It even has some sort of pocket to allow the coins to be more readily accessible than the coin pocket in my jeans which, when I attempt to extract some coins for payment of coffee or bread makes me look like some sort of failed flasher as I fumble inexpertly around my groinal area.  Though thinking about it flashers are probably expert and professional in their manipulation of . . .  and I really don’t think that sentence had any real chance of a successful and tasteful conclusion.

     So smooth, unscratched and slippery the new wallet just about fits in my jeans pockets and is doing its job well so far.  I am trying to celebrate its arrival because the rest of the money from the unexpected/planned release of hidden cash is doing no more than residing uneasily in my bank account waiting for my sticky fingers to ‘do’ something with it.  It is not enough money to necessitate financial advice, but it is too much to blow on a new gadget.  What a conundrum for a spendthrift like myself - forced not to be a wastrel by the fact of the money being the wrong sort of amount.  But I am working on it!

     There is the mearest chance that my new CDs will arrive before the weekend, but I am not holding my breath about that.  Like Miss Flite in Bleak House, I am in daily expectation of something good turning up (cf. Micawber) and I will expect more than I ever get – which is a damned good philosophy which in turn will lead to constant disappointment which, after all is life is it not?  I seem to have fallen into a Dickensian way of writing there, which is probably nearer to my natural style than anything else and which is not going to give me any advantages in my present writing course!  Charles I here abjure you to stay away from my pen!

     I have already done my Morning Pages and produced one piece of course writing and now there is the inevitable waiting for a response.  Last night I decided (officially) to take a different approach to the course and set aside from real consideration the necessity of waiting for the response of others and just get on with the course in my own sweet way.  I am spending far too much time worrying about the lack of participation of others and not enough time trying to develop my own writing style – if that means that much of the course must be done in isolation so be it!

     There are various rules about sharing and showing your work in progress in the OU on this particular course.  It is recognized that a Creative Writing course is, of necessity collaborative and it is possible to share assignment work with other students but only within your own tutor group.  Anything shown outside this charmed circle cannot be considered for academic assessment.  This is fine as long as your tutor group is responsive, if it is not, not.  Although people respond sluggishly in our group, I am not satisfied by the quantity or quality of the response.  In the last exercise, out of a group of ten, only four people regularly posted anything.  This is not satisfactory.  It is not fun.

     The solution, or at least a partial solution, is found within another group which has been set up outside the jurisdiction of the OU while remaining associated with it.  I am not sure about the exact status of the group but it does seem to have a quasi-official blessing.  So students are able to submit work for feedback and still use the work thus assessed as part of their assignments.  I am waiting for a response from the person (also a student) who has organized this mythical group and then I will get started and find out if this is what I need.  I await with some degree of impatience!

     Diverting to more important aspects of my life: we had lunch in one of our now regular restaurants where we have been issued with a loyalty card which means that we get a free meal after we have got ten credits.  This effectively means that we get 89c off each meal, 10%.  The meals are excellent value with a nibble at the start, two courses and a sweet with wine or a drink of your choice.  I had salad and chicken cooked in beer followed by apple tart.  I must admit that I had a pacharan as a digestive as well, together with a fairly successful attempt at a cup of tea – all for around nine quid!  You can’t beat it!

     Today has been a fairly miserable day as far as the weather has been concerned with white skies and cold temperatures – but no rain so far, and I count that as a success!

     Just back from a ‘tea jaunt’ in the car leaving Toni to walk back (his preferred form of exercise) wrapped up like a Christmas parcel.  He has so many layers of clothing on that he can barely breathe.  He reminds me of accounts of readings given by Charles Dickens (stay away from my pen!) of extracts from his novels where many ladies would faint away at the exciting bits.  I am sure that Dickens was a fine reader, but the response from the ladies was more to do with the corsets that they were wearing restricting their breathing than with the excitement of the death of Nancy at the hands of that bounder Bill Sykes.  Anything more than regular shallow breathing when bound up like an Egyptian mummy was not conducive to consciousness.  I hope that nothing too exciting happens on the Paseo during Toni’s walk home!

     This evening is going to be given over to more writing and if no one sees it on the Forums I don’t care.  I have a whole range of ideas to try out and see whether my writing style can adapt to take account of them.


     On with the inking!
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