A generally glum day in which the only bright spark was that certain persons have left the area – even if only temporarily. Toni and I both continue to cough and resent the dull to sharp ache we have in our respective throats. Didn’t stop me swimming, I only hope that the salt water electrolysis system that they have in the pool was able to cope ruthlessly with whatever germs or viruses I have coursing around my system. And the chicken we had for lunch was overcooked. So, all in all, not a good day – but, the Briton in me rises to the surface and says, ‘Well, at least it didn’t rain.’
As you may well be able to imagine, I am having various panicked thoughts about the end of module work that I have sent off so many days early. I am having to steel myself not to revisit my work and tinker. I cannot pretend that any changes I now make can be graced with a word like ‘drafts’, such nervous taking away of a comma and putting it back again is the literary equivalent of thinking about changing a tie and not doing it. Or something even less real. I will leave be what I have written and trust in the OU gods to do their stuff.
And to this end I have started on another poem. I have done my freewrite and, with trust pencil in hand I have written a couple of pages of more directed free association – if that isn’t a contradiction in words. Well, it’s what I do to get started and that bit has now been done. I will leave what I have written until tomorrow when I will ruthlessly cut virtually everything and (at least in theory) find something worth preserving which will be my guide to an altogether more productive slew of writing filled pages. That, at least is the theory. Doesn’t always work, but I can see one or two ideas that might be worth taking further already so I am prepared to leave things in lively expectation of better phrases tomorrow.
I also have to think more closely about my involvement with the poetry group in Barcelona. I am having serious doubts about its actual and financial value – but that is also something which will need to be thought about tomorrow when, with any luck, the nagging cough will have subsided into irritation and therefore can be safely ignored.
I have ordered another book for the Art History Course that starts in October that looks to be something of an idiot’s guide to the movements of the last century. I know that I have seen cheap versions of the book remaindered in Book Shops in Barcelona, but I really need it in English and so have sent off for it. I think that I will have to do a trawl of my bookcases and get all the pop-shit stuff together and immerse myself in popularist generalizations before I get to the more rarefied stuff which is the basis for my course. I have bought quite a few books on the ‘I need them for school’ basis which will form a painless way of getting up to speed on a whole range of schools, styles and artists before I delve into the nitty-gritty of the competing ideologies dressed up in the sometimes-impenetrable vocabulary of artists and critics. I seem to recall a ‘Bluff Your Way in Art’ book which was an essential reference work when I was last teaching the History of Art!
My books are still not in order, though the chaos is less pronounced than it used to be. I at least know where what I call ‘concentrations’ of books on various subjects are to be found and, anyway I have always enjoyed browsing my way through my library. I look forward to discovering ‘lost’ volumes as I attempt to bring even further order to my library before the start of the new course.
Tomorrow I finish a draft of my new poem and find out if Irene needs me to take her to a garage to get a replacement for her faulty car. And the debate continues about my presence in the Poetry Group this Wednesday. Should I go or not. Decisions.