I am sure some of you may wonder what life is like out here – well it has its ups and downs – things that make one smile and others that bring a slight frown! I was in the library for most of yesterday struggling with a very dense book entitled Narratology: An Introduction to the theory of Narrative. I tell you it isn’t easy – and requires some element of concentration!
Behind me a mathematician was working on some equally complicated sums!! (ones with letters in as well as numbers) She was helped to concentrate with large cup of ice. Don’t ask me where she got it from – but picture the scene in this quiet haven of learning. I read a sentence for the third time – she picks up the cup and takes three to five pieces of ice into her mouth. And then she crunches and crunches and crunches. The noise is not pleasant! Then we have some silence – and then the ritual is repeated. Suddenly I understand the gun laws – not sensible to have one loaded any where near you when you are provoked in such fashion. The crunching goes on and I wonder what state her teeth are in. Her neighbour coughs – no effect! Another sighs – she is oblivious – and the ice looks as if it is helping with those sums.
I am not going to try it – my teeth would probably fall out or I really would get shot! Patience is a virtue. Do you possess it?
Now lets move on with the virtue theme. My sabbatical has been almost completely dry. Wine and beer free. Surprised? Me too! You can’t buy the stuff except in a liquor store and many of the restaurants have not got a licence. You have to be over twenty one to drink here – alas – no one has asked me for my identification – it must be the grey hairs!
At the top of my road is this very famous institution – what else but Jimmy’s – which has taken me nearly three weeks to discover!! I didn’t make the link between tap and beer – and guess what it is next to my beloved Starbucks. The building adjacent to Jimmy’s is the Lutheran School of Theology. It is quite a place – full of students reflecting on life.
I make my way there – keen only to expand my cultural horizons you understand. I sit at the bar and order (would you believe it) a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale! All the way from my little homeland! Bob- introduces himself and tells me about his job, his wife, his neighbours, Iraq (of course) and almost everything else. A rare sight is to be seen there – James Woodward incapable of getting a word in edge ways! I am talked out! Imagine……
I shall return to ask Bob (or anyone else who will listen) if they have any ideas about ice and libraries. Perhaps someone here has read ( and understood) the above book on Narratology? I will keep you posted…..