15 June 2012

triathlon in progress

There are signs around my building claiming 'triathlon in progress'. In spite of their assertion, there is no such event taking place. It has since passed, though the signs remain.

I check regardless. I look around me, expecting to see numbered competitors all around, swimming, running and cycling with singular purpose. Instead it's just an oft-empty walkway winding up a steep hill.

A silence surrounds the irrelevant signs. I see them and think someone should be clapping their hands, blowing whistles and getting people lined up on a starting line, or ushering casual walkers, like myself, out of the way.

If there's a breeze, the signs flap in it, and as I climb the the hill and walk into town I think about the quiet, and words that lose their meaning with the passage of time.


12 June 2012

early mornings and an expectant gaze

The cat knows when I'm waking up before I do. I think my breathing changes, because he pads right up to my nose, without touching it, and waits there until my eyes open. And so my return to consciousness is greeted and punctuated by his expectant gaze. If I just close my eyes to drift off again, he'll prod the pillow in front of my face with his paw and utter a small meow, weighted with impatience. 

If my strategy works, and it's a big if, he'll bugger off, usually climbing to the top of my closet to cover whatever jumper that isn't yet entirely encased in cat hair with his fur. Most mornings, though, it works. It works because he knows I'm waking up anyway. So up I get, hobbling on my morning legs to check his food. If there's more than a bite left in the bowl, I swear at him and go back to my room, trying not to wake my flatmate. 

Not many mornings have been warm enough to crack the window open. When it is warm enough and the window is opened, the sounds of the lobsterman, the seagulls and the harbour drift through my room. The cacophony acts as audio caffeine. I'll slump into the chair at my desk and fiddle with my glasses, wondering whether they're dirty or if my eyes just can't quite focus yet. 

It's usually around then, after my eyes focus, that I check the clock and realise it's before 6. And so I swear at the cat again and go back to sleep. 

11 June 2012

more of the same...

Another piece I started and never finished/posted. This was about three weeks ago. Stewart and Colbert are no longer on hiatus, but you could bookmark it and save it for when they are.

Colbert and Stewart are on two-week vacation and even the podcasts I listen to are on reruns at the moment. I flick through Netflix and I've watched everything I feel like watching. My shelves of DVDs are full of movies I know all the lines to. A pile of books sit on the table next to my bed that I haven't read, but books require commitment and I fear commitment at the moment. I've started two of them: the Faulkner and one of the history books. 

There are three history books in total: two mediaeval histories and one that covers the first world war. The Faulkner is The Hamlet, one of his epic tomes that covers an epic southern lineage during a time of upheaval and change, with a healthy dose of illicit distilling thrown in for good measure. One sentence in the first chapter stretches out an entire month.

There's also a cookbook. It's a favourite of mine, but that's no excuse for it to be sat next to my bed. Cookbooks belong in the kitchen; reading them in bed seems more gluttonous than eating in bed. I'll move it immediately. 

Further along the shelf next to my bed sits a Complete Works of Shakespeare. I think it's a Penguin, but the pages face me instead of the spine, so I'm just going to have to guess. It's not on the reading pile, per se, but it's on the 'always reach for pile'. The 'Essays of E B White' sits there too, always ready to dispense considered wisdom and calm thought in an emergency situation.

Being surrounded by books feels far better than being surrounded by movies. I think I might open the Faulkner.

Just a wee note - the cookbook is still on the pile next to my bed. And I didn't open the Faulkner, at the time, but I plan to this evening.

10 June 2012

grey sunday

Just a wee blog to waste some time before getting stretched and going for a run. 

The sky's low at the moment, but higher than it's been for much of the week. Between March and June, we've had maybe two weeks of acceptable weather. I've been thinking a lot of the South of France, and making wine in the bright sun. 

The new book is coming along. It's hard to describe at the moment, as it's all still a bit of a secret, but it's great to be writing again and doing all the things that come along with it, like scribbling notes out of context because something has popped into your head while waiting to get served in the pub. The more you pound the words out, the more lightbulbs pop when you're not, and you've got to be ready. I'm keeping a notebook and pen next to my bed again. 

When not working on the book, I've been writing about India. It's been four years and it was a short trip, but for some reason it's never far from my mind or the end of my pen.

When not working on the book or writing about India, I've been applying for jobs. If anyone knows of anything for an insufferable wine dork with great research skills and a mild baseball obsession, let me know. Will travel.

It's not been a weekend for Boston sports. Hoping the Red Sox can pull out a win, avoid the sweep and get back to .500 today. Very sad to see the Celtics knocked out by the Heat in Game 7. What a team. Seemed always just one or two less injuries and you have three rings instead of one for those guys. 

There's a lot unfinished on my plate right now. Things that need some waiting on before talking or writing about them. I'm thinking of doing crosswords in the meantime.