Thursday, March 05, 2015

Pace increases

Day 5 of Bike Riding.

At last an uneventful day with the chain staying firmly on the cogs.  The wind, however, was another story.  And it was against me all the way there, even drawing water from my eyes.  There is nothing like discomfort to make you believe that you are really doing something major.  It allowed me to ignore the pathetically small distance that I actually travel each day to get to my swim.  Small enough to be manageable but long enough for me to feel that I have accomplished something when it is done.
            The aquacise or whatever they call it when a group of aging people stand in the pool and vaguely follow the gyrations of a raucous teacher shouting against pounding music.  A pair of earplugs and head under water modifies the noise level and anyway, I am usually thinking profound thoughts as I mindlessly make my way up and down.  Well, not necessarily profound but deep, deep as the pool.  And as this is a modern double shallow end pool and child friendly, you can tell exactly how probing those thoughts are!
            I am reminded of my time in university when I used to go for a swim in the pool next to Singleton Hospital every day.  The swim was a form of exercise and of relaxation too.  I thought, I am always thinking, but the level of thought was not quite so focussed, it became more wide-ranging and less serious, almost like a waking dream.  Sometimes I take a single part of a thought and worry it like a bone and let it go where it will.  The great thing about swimming is that if you don’t keep at least part of your mind on what you are doing, you drown.  So there is a dual control thing going on which is so different from normal living that it can little less than a form of escape.  Or at least that is what I tell myself.  Anyway, by the time all the half thoughts, the vague ideas, the necessary exercise and little distractions of other human bodies have played themselves to some sort of climax, it is time to end the swim.  And it can all start again tomorrow!

Support Toni’s Blog

Lunch now has become a duty.  We only eat to add another restaurant to the growing number contained in Toni’s Blog this time going to a place that we haven’t been to for some time.
            The décor had been partially changed but the ambience of the place was just about the same, or rather it was a bit lopsided as if they hadn’t really made a final decision about how the almost revamped place should look.
            The food was fine with my main dish of wok fried chicken and vegetables being really rather good.  But look at the blog to see what we ate.
            I like the idea of each eating out experience being captured and blogified.  Over a year or so we should have a substantial number of entries and have a bewilderingly luscious selection of what Castelldefels can offer.
            I wonder if what Toni writes will develop more of a bite and be more destructive, or constructively critical as time goes on.  This is still very early days for the site and so there are all sorts of ways in which it can go.

The next book

Considering the actual ‘next’ book has not actually been produced yet, to be planning one for 2016 is either an example of exceptional forward planning, or a shining example of hope trumping reality.
            However, I have a working title, ‘Structured Sense’ and I have added the first poem to its pages and I am already thinking about ideas for the few sequences that I think I would like to include.  One of my favourite quotations concerns ‘vaulting ambition’ – though I have always considered that it only applied to murdering Scottish pretenders than to my good self.
            ‘Flesh Can Be Bright’ continues to progress and, as far as I am concerned, my poems for that book are done.  I am now waiting on the work of others – but I also have a plan B to cope with any and all failures of contributions.  Though I am quietly confident that everything will work out in the end.
            I am now editing and redrafting and I reckon that will take me well up to May and then final decisions will have to be taken about the final appearance of the book.  You would think that self-publishing makes things a damn sight easier – and that self-delusion is what I am working on.  And I like the ambiguity of that statement!

OU hysteria

Even when, or perhaps especially when, we are a separated group of studiers, hysteria has a way of uniting us in one howling band of paranoia.  This is partly because the next few weeks are ones of concentrated work production with two pieces of tutor work having to be sent in.
            We have just had an on-line tutorial.  I do not know what some of my fellow students use as microphones, but some of them do not seem to have the same quality of reproduction of a tin with a piece of stretched string.  One of them sounded as though he was in a cardboard box surrounded by cotton wool.  And people don’t read the instructions and the information that they are given and, I am sounding like a teacher.  So I will stop.
            At least my tutor seems not only sympathetic to my general choice of topic for my mini thesis, but also sympathetic to my bending the rules a little to further my ideas.  This is positive.  I will reserve my relief until I get back my academic pro-forma and see exactly what comments my tutor makes for the next stage.
            I am lucky in being able (in theory) to see both of my paintings in London.  One, the Hockney, I will have check that it will be on display when I am able to get to the Tate.  I bloody well hope it is as I have built my ideas around seeing it again as a central part of my thesis.  The other painting is in a private collection and the owner has, very kindly, invited me to view the paintings when I am in London.  This could all work out very well, and I still have in mind the development of the ideas to link up with the exhibition in Leeds.  That would be a major achievement.  But that is for the future.  The immediate future is the writing of an outline of what I think I might be able to do.

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