I didn’t get to sleep until half past one last night, and at six a.m. my alarm went off. For a moment I lay there, contemplating putting the alarm on snooze for an hour. But because I’ve been rereading Feet In The Clouds, a highly enjoyable account of fell-running in Cumbria and all points north, I knew that I had to get up and go for a run. I didn’t manage much; tired from yesterday’s 10k (my longest run for a month) and strung out from not sleeping enough, it was an achievement to put my shoes on and get out there.
Not much of an achievement, compared to covering 42 peaks in under 24 hours, but we all have to start somewhere.
Continue reading “Late nights, early mornings, willpower and allowances”
I’m a man. That means I do manly stuff, like drink beer, and watch violent films, and DIY. But since I’m not good at drinking beer in the humid environment of Singapore, my wife is just as keen on violent films as I am, and my DIY skills range from slipshod to utterly incompetent, I do worry that I’m not manly enough.
Continue reading “On manliness”
Good Behavior is the sixth novel in the Dortmunder series, and first appeared three years after its predecessor, Why Me? Westlake is no longer around to ask whether that was because he was struggling to find inspiration, or was just too busy with everything else he was writing. Still, I’m mindful of the fact that reading these novels back to back, rather than with the interval between them that a reader in the 1980s would have had, provides a different experience to what a contemporary reader would have had.
Continue reading “Good Behavior”
It was only about nine p.m., as I sat at a table covered in chilli crab, that I realized I was ill. Up until then, I’d just felt confused, tired and disgruntled, but as I sat there with my daughter dribbling down my shirt, fluid began to seep from my nose as if in sympathy.
Continue reading “Cold out east”
Tonight, as well as well the nightly concert in the square beneath our flat, there was a procession around the Temple Of Buddha’s Tooth. That meant lots of jangling bells, three lions and a dragon, the last of these accessorized with neon lights, all making a huge din that almost drowned out the noise from the stage. There was a crowd of onlookers, all appearing a bit confused about whether to look to the stage, or to maintain eye contact with dancing lions. If only the line dancers had turned up and started dancing to Billy Ray Cyrus, rather than the man on stage murdering "(Sha-La-La-La-La) Means I Love You" then my satisfaction would have been complete.
Continue reading “Soundclash!”
After work this evening, I skipped through the sunlit streets of Singapore to the pub, where I necked two pints of Guinness while thrashing out arrangements for a cyclocross race. I wrote everything down, but even when stone-cold sober my handwriting is terrible, so I’m worried that in the cold light of day I’ll find my notes say things like "MASSIVE BINGE" or "mandatory underpants".
Continue reading “A quick drink”
Somewhat exhausted after a day of poring over spreadsheets, I went to the supermarket on the way home and picked up ten boxes of tissues. I don’t think I’d understood how many minor messes a baby can produce, but between drool, posset, vomit, sneezing, spilt milk and various other secretions, there are a lot of things we need tissues to wipe up.
Buying tissues is strange in Singapore. Either you buy a tiny packet from an elderly person outside an MTR station for two dollars, or you go to the supermarket as I did, and buy a five pack of tissue boxes, held together with a swathe of thick transparent plastic. We needed a large quantity of tissues and I couldn’t see any tissue vendors on the way home, so it had to be the supermarket, rather than donating a bit of change to somebody worse off than myself. That wasn’t the strange part though.
Continue reading “Bless you”