Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Down By The River

Oh dear! This is getting too embarrassing for words. Yet another month has flown by and, as always, I have done absolutely nothing worth mentioning. So, in the absence of anything remotely interesting to write about, here’s a photo of a bridge:

I took that photo myself on my Samsung A3. Yes, I thought you’d be impressed. And here’s one my wife took the same day on her Huawei P8 before proceeding to share it with all her WhatsApp contacts:

As you can see, I was miles away when that photo was taken – my wife would say I am always miles away –, immersed as I was in Mostly Harmless, the fifth and final instalment of Douglas Adams’s magnificent Hitchhiker’s ‘trilogy’. Whilst struggling to follow the plot – nothing new there –, I wished nonetheless that I were capable of producing such gems as, “The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.”

Talking of books, I was thrilled to receive a WhatsApp from one of my students earlier this week to say that she had started reading Angela’s Ashes, and that she would gladly strangle any Irishman who dared to cross her path that day. Frank McCourt is another of my favourite writers, and I always recommend him to my students. Amazingly, however, and doubtless for the first and last time, somebody actually took me seriously and followed me up on my recommendation.

Sadly, Douglas and Frank are no longer with us. Fortunately, however, their works, and their words, remain. Whenever I feel down, if there is one thought that keeps me going, it is Frank’s observation that, “You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.”

To be honest, I think my mind is more like a garden shed than a palace, but it's still a reassuring thought. To my mind at least.

Thanks for reading; and never stop dreaming.


dayrealing noun [Uncount.] thinking about something useful and real while engaged in a useless unreal task
I quite enjoy wasting my time on stupid reports and pointless meetings, so I’m not really into dayrealing.

Colin was an incorrigible dayrealer; he spent far more time dayrealing than daydreaming. He would sit through many a useless meeting, thinking, "I could be marking those essays … I could be making a Spanish omelette … I could be doing the shopping … I could be reading Kurt Vonnegut … I could be watching Hill Street Blues …"

dayrealing, Chapter 25, "Dream Catch Me"

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