Friday, March 20, 2015

Swim, work and eat

Success by stealth

My watch told me that I had swum 1,625 m, a suspiciously round figure given that when I left the pool with my watch still going I did a partial diagonal which was less than a length.  Still, I did check the accuracy of the thing for the first few lengths and it did seem to be counting properly.
            How I got the watch to do my bidding I do not know.  I do know that it notched up a few ‘rest periods’ as I pressed each of the four buttons available to me with increasing desperation.  However, it worked.  I suppose and that is a Good Thing and it shows that I swam more than the metric mile, which is also a Good Thing.
            If I am truthful (and it never hurts once in a while) I did not feel demonstrably better after my efforts and my achievements did not make me any less grumpy after having to swim next to a bloke who was clearly stronger, younger and quicker than I.  God rot him.  And no, the idea of swimming faster myself to match his speed was rejected at the unconscious level in my brain!
            Still, I will write now that I fully intend (somehow) to find out (definitively) how to use this app – and isn’t it a sign of the times in which we live that the word app does not merit an underlining or a full stop automatically inserted nowadays when you type.  App is a fully recognized word.  And in such a short time.  Anyway, I am promising myself that I will make the effort and find out how to use the thing before my next swim.  Which is tomorrow morning.  That was written so that the character doing this typing and the human being doing the swimming tomorrow get together and their combined consciousness does something about it!

Spring is sprung

I have written the first of what I hope will be a small series of poems on Spring Trees.  Not the best title and I trust in my imagination to change it to something altogether more impressive before it finds its way into a book.
            I was caught out by the Spring as I was still well into my Winter Trees cycle, and so the tell-tale tufts of green were both a shock and somewhat irritating – after all I haven’t really finished that cycle yet!  I shall look on my Encounters with Trees as a lifelong effort and therefore I can wait years, adding bits as the seasons change to the four piles of manuscripts waiting for publication!
            The latest effort can be read at together with all my other recent poems.  If you are interested do click on the ‘follower’ button and you will be informed of all new posts.  Some day or other, somebody is going to have the courage to leave a comment, to which I promise to respond!  Good or bad!
            I am sure that I should be able to create a link between this blog and the one with my poems, but that is beyond me at the moment.
            Indeed the only reason that there is now a ‘search this blog’ feature (top right) is because Toni responded to my suggestion that he incorporate one in his blog and therefore has prompted me to do the same!
            I think I should suggest to him all the things I want to do and then copy slavishly.  Though I would point out that the ‘search’ feature was put in with no help from himself.  All my own work.  Though I only did it when I knew it could be done.  If you see what I mean.

Selfless research

Yet another piece of fieldwork to provide material for Toni’s blog (see above) this time in a restaurant that we always forget about.  It is called La finca (I think.  You will have to check Toni’s blog to see if I am right) and we usually find ourselves driving around in every decreasing spirals trying to find it.  In the area in which we live there are two types of road: the first is like the one on which we live which stretches virtually the whole length of Castelldefels parallel to the beach. The other type is a road which is one way or a dead end.  This means that you can sometimes see where you want to go, but if you are driving a car you have to take a conceptual view of a straight line and try and get to your destination by keeping it in the corner of your eye as you try and approach it through a paradoxical road system.
            We eventually parked and walked.  It was simpler.
            Our positive memories of this place are based on a remarkable tapa that the place did for one of the Ruta de Tapa that is an annual event in Castelldefels.  It was when Andrew and Stewart were visiting and the culinary soul of Castelldefels seemed to embrace their presence and everywhere we went was outstanding, not only in terms of taste but also in terms of value.
            This time round the meal was above average, but nothing startling: it gains a 3 Drac (dragon) score out of five.  Harsh but fair.
            Bring on the next – and the time when Toni will be recognized as the fearsome author of a restaurant blog whose word can make or break reputations!

Pointed research

The pro-forma for the end of module assessment has been returned and my tutor seems generally enthusiastic, while giving me a few clear pointers towards where the majority of the marks lie!  I shall go through what she has said and use my trusty highlighter and tell my wayward pen to watch its step!
            I think that my basic problem is self-made.  I have chosen two artists who interest me rather than two artists whose work is exemplary for the course.  I have to be careful that I remember the title of the course that I am doing and throw in theoretical works like confetti!
            I am not doing any further work on that part of the course yet, until the last essay is out of the way.  I hope to get a few chapters ‘done’ (i.e. read and highlighted and the bits typed out) and get the rest of it ‘done’ as well by the end of next week so that I can on with the essay the week after, and get it sent off before I come to the UK for the Day School.
            There is a lot to do, as well as a lot to prepare if the visit to Britain is to gain the results for which I hope.


I have hatched yet another plot to try and get exactly what I want for my book, Flesh Can Be Bright, to be published October 2015.  Not everything is working out in the way that I thought it wouldn’t.  And I now think that I am on Plan F (having originally only planned for disasters up to and including Plan D) but I am still smiling and, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, I am still confident that I will get something along the lines of my original expectations.

            As any cynic will tell you, the best delusion is self-delusion – and, just like Swift’s explanation for the easy acceptance of irony, I can write things like that because, of course, self-delusion is the concern of other foolish people and not, of course, myself.
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