Let’s get the compulsory but sincerely meant greetings out the way first: at this time of Yearturn, best wishes for surviving and even prospering in 2018CE to any readers who happen to float by,
So what are the plans, wishes, resolutions, revolutions, and all that sort of rot of your crumbling correspondent for the coming year?
None really. I’m a Zen Nihilist, me. Plans is pointless. But I have decided to make and keep one resolutingness for this year and am proud to report that I have succeeded in keeping it. I think the problem most folks have is that they resolve to do something for the whole year, or even for the rest of their lives. This is doomed to failure. Get real.
In previous years (not always a Jan 1 thang) I have started out on a scheme of getting fitter by walking to the local gym every day. I don’t go in, of course; that costs money and I get enough cardiovascular shit from the brisk walk there and back (with detours to shops, cafés, &c). For one reason or another, circumstances have always thwarted this (which is another way of saying they have provided an excuse to stop).
I had got so far with it one year, that I felt fitter enough to walk to the next nearest gym, a posh place, as opposed to the nearby (600metres) municipal swim and fitness centre (I don’t not go in to the swim centre as I can’t swim, as explained in an earlier blog [which?]). By walking this extra half k, including a steepish incline, I was therefore getting more fitter, more quickerly, and saving more money.
But then my father got very ill and I had to make regular trips down to that England they have South of the Border, which disrupted the routine. So I stopped and rapidly returned to my natural condition of slobbish torpor.
So this year I resolved to do it every day for the first three days. Here is today’s picture of me outside the place, to prove it. At least it wasn’t pishing down for the final walk.
As for vague plans and ideas … having suddenly broken the travel seal last year, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m suffering from Wanderlust, but some further peregrinations may be called for. Your blogger, a miserable sod at the best of times, finds few things more depressing in their lonelitude — not Crimbo, Birthdays or Valentine’s — than sitting alone in a hotel room somewhere. So if spending a week alone (probably in an airbnb) in Cádiz or Sevilla may seem odd enough (the reason is a friend on a cruise ship, which seems an even more soul-destroying venue, stopping off there to celebrate her 60th brithday), then being stuck on a train crossing the wastes of central Asia must be complete and utter insanity.
But that is the general idea. Maybe instead of el Andaluz.
It came about in this wise: the painting, which you may recall from previous bloggery, will be purchased by its subject (the lassie, not Assisi), if and only if your humble paintist can make her face ‘more lovely’. If this is done, the picture needs to be transported to Chinaland. Without damage. Googling advice on packaging paintings for posting, threw up a great many dire warnings, an impression that however hard one tried, there was always the possibility that some philistine baggage handler would chuck the thing idly across a room and crunch the corners of the stretcher. Confidence was not inspired.
So naturally your favourite nutjob thought he should take it himself. Centuries ago he saw a documentary item about a couple travelling in the luxurious cabin of a banana boat to the Caribbean, the cabin reserved for the shipping magnates, should they wish to accompany the fruit for some reason. The idea that perhaps some container shipping company might let out cabins in similar fashion appealed and brought the phrase ‘slow boat to China’ to mind.
Further research failed to show a simple means of booking such a passage, though it seemed tantalisingly not impossible; also it revealed the fascinating (or not) fact that a slow boat to China was a New York poker players’ phrase to describe a player who lost steadily but not spectacularly, and thus a source of long-term gain. Frank Loesser, who wrote the song, was a keen Tin Pan Alley card player, and saw the potential of the phrase in a more romantic setting.
But, not for the first or last time, I digress. And get bored. The lights in the hall of the Abode of Stones arre having problems, there’s shopping to be done and the story of Trans Siberical voyaging can be continued next week.