Thursday, December 11, 2008

Life etc.

Yes, I'm still here despite the silence. Time is flashing past at a frightening rate, even faster than usual. I will be on my way to Canada in ten days, for two weeks of family and food and properly cold weather.

Speaking of which, it continues to snow lightly (as I twittered a few days back), but the ambient temperature down here in the valley is still too high for the snow to settle. I am trying an experiment this year: I am only heating the living room (because I sit here for hours on end) and the bathroom (because I'm a wimp), letting the other rooms do as they wish. (This is Germany, there is no danger of anything in the apartment freezing). Getting undressed for bed is pretty grim, coming as it does after a few hours in the warm living room, but I find that I wake up toasty warm and very comfortable despite the temperature. This was prompted by reading a claim that central heating and suchlike actually make us more susceptible to colds and the flu by de-training our natural bodily resistance. We'll see.

That last tweet should not worry anyone, nothing happened, everybody is safe. But there were a few long and quite harrowing late-night conversations until X arrived at that safe point. I'll tell you this for free, dear friends: whatever therapists earn, it is nowhere near enough. [Updated: Dervala writes movingly about loneliness and unhappiness: "I’ve come to believe that Starbucks may be the largest private mental health organization in the country, a place where anyone with two bucks for a drip coffee can get smiled at and can sit safely next to other human beings for a while." Go read.]

Just finished reading a kind of autobiography, "Istanbul" by Orhan Pamuk, he of last year's the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature. It's a strange book, no more a true autobiog than say "Tristram Shandy" was. It is actually about Istanbul and anger and melancholy, in nearly equal measures, with young Orhan popping up now and then to point to things. Very well written, at least in the English translation, recommended for readers who aren't after cheerfulness or action.

For those who do want some cheerfulness: put on your headphones, close your office door, and watch this video. Very funny, pix are harmless but the words are definitely not safe for work. Enjoy.

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Blogger Zhoen said...

Oh, that was wonderful.

Glad you are still there. And it's not wimpy to want to avoid icy porcelain. Been there, done that, not a good thing. A cold bed to start with is actually strangely appealing.

December 11, 2008 at 8:39:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Savtadotty said...

I loved "Istanbul" so much, it made me want to go there. But then I realized just wanted to go there with Orhan Pamuk as my personal guide.

For a complete change of pace, try "The History of Love," by Nicole Kraus.

December 11, 2008 at 9:46:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Bruce Oksol said...

I was getting worried...a little bit.

No, maybe I was worried a lot, but afraid to write, ask. is outstanding. Thank you for sharing.

Enjoy your trip home.

If you go to Istanbul, you can find a guide with no problem. And the best way to enjoy Istanbul is with a guide. Very inexpensive.

December 12, 2008 at 4:50:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Lioness said...

"central heating and suchlike actually make us more susceptible to colds and the flu by de-training our natural bodily resistance" - well, let those gits all move to Portugal and enjoy being sturdy, I know nothing says robust like not being able to feel your fingers inside your own flat, and my skin agrees as well, it's all wonderful. IDIOTS.

No "Istanbul" for me then!

December 12, 2008 at 10:05:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Dale said...

Good to see you, amigo.

December 12, 2008 at 4:10:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Oh, to leave us non-Tweeters hanging like that.

Sorry, I would much rather have it warm. Thank you for doing the suffering thing for the rest of us wimps.

December 12, 2008 at 5:20:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

Thank you for the warm and encouraging comments, my dears.

December 13, 2008 at 10:47:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Solobill said...

Wonder what "in Canada" means...

December 16, 2008 at 4:10:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger the psycho therapist said...

Hello, good evening. Rolled over from "One Word".

This brought a smile:
I'll tell you this for free, dear friends: whatever therapists earn, it is nowhere near enough.

Amen. Thank you for noticing and appreciating.

December 17, 2008 at 2:56:00 a.m. GMT+1  

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