Thursday, 12 August 2010

Books and Boredom

Hello there. Me again. Finished my book yesterday - Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell. And what a book it is/was. It's an account of the trials and tribulations faced by the author as he tries to eek out a meagre living whilst looking for work in Paris, and then later living as a tramp in London in the late 1920s. Reading it, you'd be forgiven for thinking the book is a factual account of Orwell's personal experiences (indeed, I though it was), but upon researching the book on the net and looking at Orwell's biography, it appears that the tale is a work of fiction. Fiction based in fact, but fiction nonetheless. Which was a bit surprising considering the amount of detail Orwell goes in to when describing his various situations throughout the story. Fact or not though, the book is a fantastic read and you'd never guess it was Orwell's first proper novel if no-one told you. I was a little sad when I finished it - kind of like how I felt when I completed Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I played that fucker from start to finish in about 2 weeks whilst I was in the first year of my A Levels, and when I finally restored the land of Hyrule to it's former glory, I was gutted. Gutted because in the back of my mind a little voice was saying "now what?!"

So, while the various inhabitants of Kokiri Village and Hyrule Castle were engaging in an eternal dance of victory, muggins here was sat there wondering how the fuck he was going to continue to fill his evenings. And good as it was, I'm not the kind of person who completes a game, only to start again and repeat it. What's the point in that? You've already seen everything so why do it again? OK, so I didn't catch a massive fish in the hut on the shores of Lake Hylia...but who gives a fuck? Reminds me of Metal Gear Solid on the PSX. Yeah - it was a fucking incredible game...but do I really want to replay the entire thing just because Snake is now wearing a tuxedo? I think not.

But going back to Down and Out in Paris and London, I feel that it was such an amazing book and painted such vivid images in my head that I don't think I can read anything else for a few days. Just need to get over it's brilliance before I start on The Road to Wigan Pier. I've also got Animal Farm (as mentioned t'other day) and The Clergyman's Daughter to read, but I've never heard of the latter so may read that last. It seems that I've become slightly obsessed with George Orwell in recent months, but I suppose an obsession with a dead author and his work is more desirable and less destructive than an obsession with drugs, booze, prostitution, crime or vandalism...right?!

I also managed to get hold of some second hand HP Lovecraft short story collections when I was in Bath (love that place) a few weeks back, and I've already smashed through some of them. Slight deviation from Orwell, being horror and all, but they're very good. Noticed severe over use of the term 'waning' when describing the moon...but who am I to argue with the creator of Cthulu (pictured above, yesterday)?!

On a different note, I've started road running again. Went on a few lengthy runs at the start of last week whilst I was up in Manchester, but running through a city like that is fraught with perils - namely busy roads and bus stops crammed with people who simply refuse to get out of your way even though they can see you coming a mile away with your luminous yellow top on. Running in Somerset is somewhat more enjoyable (if running can be described thus) due to the quiet lanes, stunning scenery and over-powering stench of cow shit that wafts like a wraith across hill and dale. Well, maybe not the last point, but you get the idea. Been for three Somerset runs this week and will be embarking on my fourth today. I'll be doing it at dinner time just so I can get off this godawful base for an hour or so. Small pleasures.

Been thinking about my future over the past few weeks. Well, my employment future. I'm quite unhappy with my current job and can't decide whether to put my notice in or not. I really miss city life and wouldn't mind leaving the navy and going to live somewhere like Bristol and just working in an office or a shop or something. Sounds a bit dull, I know, but I really miss having some kind of stability in my life. As it is, I never know where I'm going to be from one month to the next - even now I have no idea how long I'm based in my current location so I simply can't make any plans or think about my future on a personal level. It's quite unsettling not to know where you're going to be in a year's time...which may be great if you're 19 and have no worries in the world...but when you're almost 30 and it's a little worrying. I've got no home, is what I'm getting at, and it's an awful feeling knowing that there's nowhere you can retreat to when things get a little stressful. Hmmm. Leaving the relative security of the services right now just because I don't like my current position may seem a little hasty, but that's just how I feel. My next draft may be fucking awesome and actually live up to everything I thought being in the navy would mean...but so far, I'm decidedly unimpressed with the lifestyle and the levels of abject boredom I'm privy to. Wouldn't mind working on an oil rig or something to be honest, but where does one start when trying to transfer into a career like that?! Something to think about, for sure.

Until next time, bitches!

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