Thursday, 26 January 2012

The procrastinatory impulse

It's funny that I apparently consider time-wasting associated with an impulse. It would perhaps be more sensible to say that such dilatory behaviour is associated with a lack of drive. Nonetheless, it feels rather like that at the minute. I fancied I'd do some work on the trench about now, but I can't gee myself up to it. I could earlier have gone out and seen what Macclesfield's Games Workshop is like of a Thursday night. I have been meaning to go for some weeks now, but I keep putting it off - there's always a reason, and it's usually a poor one. The irony here is that I don't fancy working on the trench right now because I want to be out somewhere, seeing friends, having a chat with them. Had I gone out, I might have made friends. Having stayed in, I now wish I had gone! I can't go out now, mind, as nobody I know is likely to take kindly to me turning up just before midnight for a chin-wag.

Tomorrow I shall be out, just like last week, in Newcastle. That's the Stoke one, not the one anybody has heard of. Last week, when I was out on Saturday in Congleton, the two young ladies I spoke with were a bit nonplussed at my referring to my friends as hailing from Newcastle. My friends were wrapped up against the cold, so even the most amateur Sherlock my see a discrepancy! Anyway, last week I had a disastrous time out, as I related. Let us hope that tomorrow will be an improvement. If it ain't, I might be moved to bowdlerise my language. I fancy I shall have something to say, anyway, as last night (well, this morning, a glance at my computer's clock assures me) I finished Wuthering Heights and thought it exceptionally good. Technical skill was married to a very sophisticated handling of the reader's emotions, and the tale itself was very absorbing. It has gone a long way to destroying my former distaste for "classic literature". I am even minded to re-read Great Expectations . . . some day . . . but I have a good twenty classics to get through before that sinister tome looms portentously from my bedside table. Don't expect me to reconsider Dickens soon!

I am currently engaged on The Great Gatsby for the following reasons: it is on this list of classics, and it is ridiculously short. This tiny paperback before me reaches its demise at page 163, but the blessed thing doesn't even start till page 19. I do worry that this list I have resolved to read is ridiculously downbeat. There seem very few comedies on it. That seems also to be the same with a few lists of films I am poking at. Earlier tonight BBC2 showed an episode of the quiz show Pointless, in which one question "gave a hundred people a hundred seconds" to name as many of Mel Brooks' films as they could. Richard, the clever chap who sits at a desk with a computer, told us that one of these, The Producers, had received an Oscar (or somesuch) for the script. That reminded me that I hadn't really liked that film. It didn't amuse me nearly so much as Blazing Saddles or Spaceballs or Young Frankenstein. Maybe I am just a philistine, incapable of self-improvement - although having just read Wuthering Heights (which deals in part with illiteracy and the perception of illiterates by the literate),* and being engaged in watching classic films and reading classic literature, I doubt that.

I shall be awake a few hours yet, as my sleeping pattern has gone awry again. Do not fear that I shall waste that whole time, even though the trench will be untouched until tomorrow. It dwells in the attic above my parents' room, and my heavy tread on the Victorian floorboards is not conducive to Mum's rest. Dad wouldn't notice a thing, I fancy! I have some bits and pieces to distract me down here, and I might even get a good ol' wargaming (well, terrain which might possibly be used for 'gaming) post up tomorrow. Until then, fare thee well.

* My apologies for all that repetition. My vocabulary here is not up to what it was at the start of this blog! I shan't discuss the tale at this juncture because I have that thoroughly illogical feeling that possesses me on reading a book I have not read: that I should hem and haw around it, no matter that it be a few thousand years old (less than two centuries in this case, of course). I'll need a bit to get over it.

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