Mac the Knife’s observation that the most difficult element in politics was, “Events, dear boy, events!” came back to me with a bump when I visited the printer that was to be entrusted with the sacred task of publishing The Book.
The place was barred, empty, with ‘To Let’ signs on the window and the phone number of the letting agent prominently displayed!
Not one to be dismayed by such an occurrence, though I obviously was, I reverted to my mother-fostered shopping persona and stood a while in uffish thought and then made a bee-line for a place that would help with production or at worst a suggestion of where to go.
In the event, they have suggested that they could publish the book and I am now anxiously awaiting their price. The hardback version that I hoped to produce seems to have died the death, and perhaps (making the best of a bad job) that was one refinement too far in reality. So, the book will be a paperback, but at least with a full-colour cover!
The translations of Autumn Trees have been completed and I am now waiting for my other collaborators to do their stuff. When those elements are placed in the book final pagination will allow me to complete the indexes and we are good to go.
It has been a long journey but, as we get nearer (interesting use of the royal plural there!) to publication the more excited I get.
Enough on the book! I do not want to tempt fate by saying too much in a semi-triumphlist way this close to completion!
The weather has been almost unbearably hot over the last few weeks and we are now in a cooler overcast mode. It has tried to rain on a couple of occasions, but apart from a few drops squeezed out of humid air innundation has remained threat rather than reality.
One practical consequence of the hot weather is that the roof of the local swimming pool has been fully retracted with the, to me, illogical result that swimmers do not have to wear the supremely irritating (and in my case surpurfluous) swimming cap. Why they are compulory when the roof is closed and not when it’s not, is one of those little mysteries that I do not want to find an explanation for. Quirks should be enocuraged!
I continue to use my bike to go swimming and for other limited perigrinations. But I never go very far. I have now become expert in finding my way around Castelldefels by limiting the number of ‘hills’ (road bridges) that I have to slog up. The main road linking the beach part of Castelldefels to the town passes along the side of the Olympic Canal and there is a dedicated cycle lane which is completely separated from the road. Unfortunately it follows its own undulating and eccentric path and has rather more lack of horizontality that I like and so have I found a longer, but more level, way to get to where I want to go.
When I am on my bike I become fiercly bikocentric and regard all pedestrians and car and motorbike drivers as self-evidently The Enemy. I am particularly intolerant of walkers who invade my stipulated bicycle space and have become a querrulous cycle bell tinger. I have also become, less poetically, a post-pedestrian mutterer, as I grumble sotto voce after passing each miscreant who has had the termerity to venture onto My Ground!
Reading about the Renaissance as preparation for the final course in my OU degree seems to have died the death at the moment, but work on the possible collaboration with Guevara’s great-grand-nephew about a modern photographic response to Guevara’s 1916/17 series of swimming pool paintings has taken its place.
I did do some slight research on public bathing in the early twentieth century, but that will need to be developed further if I am to produce something written with even a glaze of academe about it!
My problem is that the books I need are not, unsurprisingly, exactly to hand in Catalonia and the ‘research’ hardly justifies a trip to London and the British Library. I have compensated by sending out a few enquiries via email, though I am not sure how far those are going to get me. Especially in the holiday period in which we are now sweltering. Still, ever optimistic, I am clearly working under the ‘Anything is better than nothing’ philosophy cherished by the male line of the Family Rees!