The machine itself was of an unfamiliar design and I more than once found myself irritated by the fact that the measurements were all in metric, leaving me quite at sea when it came to grinding the beans: though I think in kilometres and degrees celsius by default, when it comes to making coffee it's still table-spoons for me.
It seems I will probably not be hosting the African Diaspora this week after all. My cousins mother-in-law (and entourage) has instead arranged for a couple of rooms in the home of a retired couple - whether of there acquaintance or simply found via the internet, I am not sure. However, the ladies are elderly, and the place is in Thornhill, apparently quite a long walk from the nearest bus-stop. God knows, if I were in their place, I would prefer the cramped quarters on offer downtown over the windy desolation of suburbia any day.
But I am not them, so who knows? And besides - especially given that I haven't met the woman for some 18 years (though she knows well who I am - "That's Carl's oldest son, isn't it?" she asked my cousin when my offer had been transmitted. She and my dad get along quite well), it may be they feel the imposition would be simply a little too much.
Naturally I am in truth relieved; my place is only a one-bedroom apartment (with sun-room/office). But I am also disappointed. It would have been an interesting week, whatever the inconveniences that would have accompanied it.
Nevertheless, my nightly orgies can continue without let-up after all. Unless they change their minds and telephone me to say they are coming after all.
I'm afraid I have been neglecting the keyboard these past few days. I have bogged-down on "The Adventures of Ashera" and will not likely be getting back to it today; though she hasn't confirmed, I am tentatively committed to helping Siya move into her new place today. And tomorrow, I have an appointment about which I can say nothing - now or ever! - but that much of my day is spoken for (yes! suffer Gentle Readers! Suffer!).
My continuing quest for pre-sleep comfort-reading led me to pull off my shelf a 30 year-old issue of the excellent (I had remarkable taste as a kid, I tells ya!) old fanzine, Algol. It contained an article by Poul Anderson. Never one of my favourite SF writers, he was nevertheless a craftsman of the higher orders and I have enjoyed his work and even own a collection of his stroies.
His piece was a meandering one. Having been asked to provide some sort of memoir, he instead discussed mostly his methods and habits when it came to writing (3,000 words a day, the son-of-a-bitch!). What most struck me was when he quoted a descriptive passage from one of his own stories as an example of a "rule" he strove to follow when doing such things.
Namely, that a description should not only be visual, but should encompass all of the senses, alluding to what things feel and smell like, etc, as well as to what things look like.
Good advice, which I shall endeavour to remember. I suspect that my own descriptive passages have not been thin only - as I had thought - because my powers of visual observation are, in life, rather limited (I don't just forget names, I forget faces, too).
In fact, maybe some practice is in order.
It was a cool and quiet morning. The morning light through the dirty, stained windows of his office was bright but thin, hinting strongly at the anaemic winter sun that was soon to come. The yard beyond the glass was unkempt, an large patch of green in the midst of the city that allowed the man to imagine he was beyond the urban borders, if he squinted a little. The leaves drooped, looking tired, nearing the end of a lot and hot summer. There was little movement. Only the nearest leaves indicated the air was moving at all.
Shit. That sucks, doesn't it? Well, one must practice.