Tuesday, 29 September 2015


Dear Rachel,

Yes, there are so many types of writing and it's funny how they bring different degrees of pleasure. I write a heck of a lot for my work - reports, emails, agendas, minutes, lists and stuff but none of it really is a form of expression. A sozzled Belgian this evening asked if I would take on the role of secretary at the Sailing Club. I said I would if we could change the name to 'executive guy' rather than secretary and that I wanted a uniform. Our first meeting is in two and a half weeks. There had better be a beer or two in it. I've said it before, that your writing seems to listen rather than talk and I think you are very clever for being able to do that.

I like the looping song thing although I have started to play a game with a friend who comes over from time to time whereby we try to choose music which we think the other person would not enjoy listening to. So, frigsample, I might play some Alien Ant Farm while they search out James Blunt. It's childish but gives us something to laugh about and there is usually lots of moaning. Your story about the ex who only phoned drunk is a sad one. Sad for him that he couldn't bring himself to phone while clear and maybe sad for you, at the time, that you were hoping for more from him that he could give. As is almost always the case - it turned out for good, bless you.

That cake you  made looks fabulous. I do envy people who have skills which can be used for helping others and cake building has to be one of the noblest. Tomorrow I will walk from one side of our campus to the other simply to find an office housing cookies. Cookies which appeared in a photo I was sent on facebook tonight  by a colleague. Said colleague (and yourself) keep this planet spinning. Your laziness is different from my laziness. I long for yours.

Can you tell me more about friendship and goodwill? Why are they important? What do they look like in you? In Ben?

I made it to Oman and had a glorious time.  I dragged my blow up boat 11km around a couple of bays. I also tried swimming. I probably swam about 1km all up but I was distracted by my own laughing as I kept being washed ashore to join the squads of supper plate sized rays with tails as long as 40cm rulers. It was amusing to me that I was so bad at something I thought I'd be okay at. Still, sunburn was avoided and that evening I ate lamb around a BBQ with people I hadn't seen for a long time. A Moroccan guy greeted me with kisses on the cheek, through his beard. It was a hoot and the ice creams I brought for the children were deliciously good.

I've been so busy at work this past week as you know but very happy. As well meeting and typing and grumping around the place, I have seen bridges mended and heavy sacks lightened. This weekend there is  a short kayaking trip being run, so I'll join.  There will be beer and steaks to follow.
To be honest I have had a lot on my mind recently but I am struggling to articulate it here, now. I feel guarded and as if starting to write about some of my thoughts would open a dam, a door. In the course of a five hour lunch, coffee and milkshake event with a friend last weekend, we talked about spending time alone. I said that I do all that I can to keep busy, connected and active. There is no appeal to this guy to meditate or sit or be still. I never do it. I move, I think, I connect. My friend said they could comfortably spend three days alone with snacks and a sunhat. How?

Rachel, thanks for listening. Your life sounds such fun and I appreciate the way you share a slice of it here.


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