For the last few weeks I have been engaged in the most dispiriting form of work - that is, work in its really old-fashioned sense. I was hired for a slightly unusual combination of knowledge and skills in the realm of online learning. Then the client proceeded to ignore and over-ride my advice, which completely removed the imaginative element of the contract. This was followed by an endless round of mind-changes, additions, and nit-picking which reduced the IT skills element of the project to a tedious chore. My engagement continued fueled only a professional sense of pride in completing a task once begun.
In fact the remnants of this misery drag on to this day - but at least I have escaped for a reading break. It's a break because I'm on a one-way ticket and in no hurry to leave the continuous days of hot sunshine in which Andalucia basks at this time of year.
My book bag was heavier than usual at the airport. I'm finishing off volume one of Stephen Walsh's biography of Stravinsky. A study of the short story has occupied the last couple of days between tidying the house and stocking the fridge at Mercadonna. Penguin have just issued new translations of The Trial and The Castle, so those are on the table of Things to Do. I've got studies of Virginia Woolf and James Joyce to get through, and a very beautiful copy of Woolf's-head Publishing the annotated collection of Hogarth Press book jacket illustrations which were featured at the University of Alberta libraries earlier this year. When these are done, I'll be re-stocking at Amazon.