For my own mysterious reasons - which are plainly laid out here- I'm taking photos of things that make me happy. One a day for 100 days, in the style of the 100HappyDays project.
"Jen," I said, "I've decided I need to be more mysterious."
Later, I pretended to be on a phone call when Jen came into the flat. "Yeah, they're back together!" I said into the receiver. "I know! But he really, really apologised." I let that hang in the air. It's pretty much the most fascinating thing you could ever hear. "Yeah. Jen's back. Gotta go."
Today was the World Cup semi final. You know what happened. Germany beat Brazil 7-1. As the following graphic shows, that's like scoring 107 points in the Superbowl.
(No, look again. There really is beer in that picture.)
There are very few shows that deserve and demand full attention - The Wire is one. Another is Jeeves and Wooster.
A typical episode involves Bertie Wooster trying to help a chum marry a girl by hatching a scheme which ends up with the girl engaged to Bertie, then turning to his valet's ingenuity to extract him without lasting damage.
It's very silly, very British, and perfectly performed by Stephen Fry and House Laurie, for whom was created the phrase 'born to play the role'.
And the very best thing is that Jen loves how they talk, so her English is now peppered with delightful phrases such as 'toodle-pip' and 'what-ho!'
The best part of today was eating Spanish food prepared by my gourmand friend Josu (he who fathered a baby on Day 15). It was really delish and nice in every way.
"You know what my favourite part of the meal was?" I asked Jen on the way home.
"Ah, it doesn't matter," I said, before sighing and staring into the distance.
"Tell me tell me tell me."
The World Cup final. Germany won. Thanks mostly to me, it's fair to say.
(Meanwhile, Jen learned to stop asking me about the cryptic notes I'd been leaving around the flat. They said things like 'student electrodes' and 'the higher, the fewer'. Jen has developed a nervous twitch in one eye from all the mysteriousness.)
So, the World Cup was over and I could get back to writing my book. Fame, fortune, and millions of happy children!
I opened my laptop to get started but found that Nick had sent me a link - the same link he'd sent me twice before. What was so damned urgent? I clicked it and stared at my screen, puzzled.
What was it? A Harry Potter fanfiction written by someone with a stupid name. And the story had a stupid name, too. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. Lame. Lame as.
Just to humour Nick and say 'yeah I tried it but it didn't grab me' I started reading the first chapter.
The next time I blinked, four hours had passed, and my eyeballs were dry as sandpaper. The story is Harry Potter, but reimagined so that Harry was raised by a scientist. It's hilarious and brilliant and if Nick wants me to write a classic children's book he should stop sending me these excuses to procrastinate.
When I was about 6 years old, my mother sat me down and initiated a 'serious talk'.
"Andrew, remember I told you where babies come from?"
"Yes. You told me that Santa brings them once you've grown a cake in your belly big enough for him to eat. A spurious claim which I soon debunked."
"Right. Well, you're going to have a baby brother or a baby sister."
"Am I to understand," I said, "That I'm supposed to share all the affection and attention I presently get with some undeserving newcomer?"
"And when will this event take place? For how long have you been gestating?"
"Your baby brother or sister will be born in a few months. I was thinking you could choose a toy."
"Oh you're bribing me to accept a division of my birthright. Your strategy is obvious, but commendable."
"Have a think about what toy you want if it's a baby boy and what toy you want if it's a baby girl."
"Sigh," I said. "It's futile to do anything but accept your proffer. And I know what I want. I want a TRANSFORMER."
This memory came to my head while watching the premiere of the new Transformers movie. Bang! Crash! Explode! Autobots transform! Yeah!
Progress after 70 days:
Compliments: "I read your blog. It's funny." "Your blog was funnier last week." "I like coming to your English lessons. It's much more relaxing than real life."
Optimism: Hmm. What? Oh, I was thinking about something strange that happened to me today. What? Oh, I think I probably don't want to talk about it. Sigh. (Stare into the distance.)