Shorts and books.

I am still cleaning my house and packing, it is coming along okay.

Shorts, OMG. Trying on shorts when you have not exercised regularly for an entire year and have gained 30 lbs is a very sobering experience, let me tell you. I might have to buy a pair of massive shorts while I am in Spain. At least my swimming costumes still fit me. I will have to try really hard to keep dieting over the next week. I have had 3 meals today but they were small and I am not snacking. I am moderately hungry but I am drinking tea to compensate. I really need to drop a pound or two in the next few days if I can possibly manage it.

Reading: I need at least one book with me in old-fashioned paper format for those times when you can’t use electronic devices or can’t read them in bright sunlight or just don’t want them with you. So after a lot of deliberation and searching my bookshelves, I’m going to attempt a massive novel called The Museum of Innocence, by Orhan Pamuk. I think it’s helpful to match what you are reading to the local environment, architecture and climate, at least at times, where the environment is in some way unusual or distinctive. I once read Dracula in blistering summer heat, and I will never forget what an odd sensation it was because the novel is so evocative of graveyards at midnight, damp castles and chill winds. So that’s why I looked at my bookshelves rather carefully. I now wish that I’d taken Ian McEwan’s Amsterdam to Amsterdam, and Solzhenitsyn’s Lenin in Zurich to Zurich. Never mind. Anyway, it turned out that I didn’t have any novels here in paper format that are set in Spain or Morocco, and I found that the closest I could get was Turkey. So that’s why we are going with The Museum of Innocence, it is set in Istanbul, which I’ve visited, and it won’t be totally out of place among the 15th century architecture of the old town quarter of Las Palmas, which I hope to see. It’s a huge, chunky book so wish me luck.

Now I need to go and sort out at least two pairs of my sturdiest trainers because there are a lot of opportunities for walking and even hiking. Must remember to take suitable socks as well.

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