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I've been going through the day in a haze of tired listlessness, my mind very, very blank, not that I was doing much of anything; desperately in need of at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, unlike tonight which was three hours with lights on and everything, wake up, brush teeth, too exhausted even to remove the contacts, turn off computer, another three hours, alarm, groan, should I go running? gah, can't, too tired, too stormy, roll over, back to sleep for another two hours or so. Not exactly refreshing.

This time of the year, with Christmas looming and the resulting stress (or is it the cold?) my mind seems to... shut down its higher functions, thoughts are sluggish, or non-existent. Even my grasp of English seems to decrease; thesaurus and/or dictionary for every other word, and continuous worrying whether this or that phrase sounds odd. (On the other hand, just now on the phone with my sister I was desperately searching, but not finding an adequate translation for mind wiped blank.)

It doesn't help that between the general fatigue and the worsening November weather (cold last week, stormy for the last few days) I haven't had many morning runs recently and am beginning to feel fat, unfit and generally cranky.

On the brighter side of things, however, generally speaking this year I'm feeling a lot stronger, more ready to deal with stress, responsibility & whiny annoying customers; not so easily intimidated. Or at least I do now, things most likely will be different come December...

Finished The Surgeon's Mate, and plot? please? ::whine:: Or more precisely, a structured plot... Sometimes it feels like he's downright squandering this wealth of narration, characterisation and high quality writing.

There are bits & pieces I liked, but as a whole it never really came together for me. The one red thread running through it are various observations about the relation between the sexes, the all-male world of a ship, love and friendship, and how the latter is perhaps impossible men and women - an odd, not to say ominous prelude, considering the book ends with Stephen and Diana's wedding.

I enjoyed the bit where they're sailing through the Sound, passing Helsingør - I still vividly remember walking around the castle more than a year ago, a foggy day, starting with drizzle that would turn into a downpour later on, looking across a grey sea towards the Swedish coast...

Stephen's chillingly understated parting words, upon being taken away to be interrogated: 'Do not be concerned,' he said, feeling for his ampulla, 'unless something unexpected should occur, I shall be back at sunset.' The ampulla (whose existence Jack, to whom this is addressed, is unaware of) being a small glass vial in his mouth, filled with poison, a means of escape in case of torture. This, a hundred pages after we've seen Jack's extreme anxiety (a sleepless night mostly spent in the maintop) during Stephen's mission on Grimsholm and Stephen himself surprised at his attachment to life...


solitary summer

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January 2016


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