Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Cleanliness and delight

The BBs both read through their ablutions and are not shower people. The unused shower is in the en suite and therefore denied to guests. To ensure their cleanliness a shower is being installed over the bath. As the photo shows (awkwardly shot prone on the bathroom floor) further readjustment will be needed since the bath is equipped for readers not showerers.

MORE ABLUTIONARY EXPENSE Imperially I am 6 ft 1½ in. tall; metrically that’s a nigglingly precise 1.8669 m. The en suite hand-basin is 800 mm high, standard for such fitments and well below that part of my body indelicately referred to as my groin or crutch – take your pick. Rinsing my face I must bend down like a croquet hoop. This irritation will shortly be addressed so here’s the “Before” pic.

TOUCHED BY JOY For months the final chapter of the novel (carrying two contrary options) has been clear in my head. But getting there from the penultimate chapter was a blank. I spent three days thinking. An idea and, more important, a technique based on event compression arrived and I rushed upstairs to turn them into words which were a delight to write. Time to rush downstairs to the exercise bike and to plug myself into the Ulysses audio. As luck would have it I’d reached the Castle of the Winds section (officially Aeolus) where Bloom visits the newpaper offices and the text is presented as series of cod news reports topped by headlines – which the actor-reader shouts aloud. Nostalgically hilarious. Double delight so I am twice blest. Bless you all

Novel progress 25/4/10. Ch. 22: 3890 words. Chs. 1 - 21: 94,115 words. Comments: Final third of final chapter remains. Or will it do a Topsy?


Plutarch said...

On writing the last words of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon reflected: "I will not dissemble my emotions of joy on the recovery of my freedom, and, perhaps the establishment of my fame. But my pride was soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind, by the idea that I had taken everlasting leave of an old and agreable companion, and that whatsoever might be the future date of my History, the life of the Historian must be short and precarious.

marja-leena said...

Art of good bathroom design, and the art of writing - a good combination! The former surely contributes to the latter. So, your book is nearing completion, hurray!

Rouchswalwe said...

Marja-Leena said it! I appreciate the connection. When your book is finished, perhaps a waterproof edition can be made available for shower readers.
P.S. as a tall woman, I know exactly what you mean about the low sink thing. Aargh!

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: I haven't taken Gibbonesque leave of it yet, nor will I until some serious editing is done. But the last bits are slotting in one after the other and my feelings, like Gibbon in only this respect, are mixed.

M-L: The bathroom will be the work of others. I hope my handiwork with the novel will be a step up on a bathroom refurbished by me.

RW (zS): There is no fun at all bending over a too low basin, Tall Woman. As to showers, they were invented for Americans who believe it is both sinful and unhygienic to marinade in one's own juices.

Hattie said...

You have given me an idea! Listen to Ulysses instead of trying to read it!

herhimnbryn said...

Have to say in cold weather in Australia, I miss a deep bath. However, the shower (usual mode of ablution for most here),is excellent in hot weather. I also miss reading in the bath (a tad diffucult under a shower!).

Julia said...

Hurrah for joy and jumbilation! I just skipped ahead to read Aeolus. Had to roar my own headlines to make it work but it did. And Joyce is so spot on in his walk through the newspaper I can smell the ink.

Barrett Bonden said...

Hattie: It ain't cheap, though. The 22 Naxos CDs cost £85 here in the UK, though such things are usually cheaper in the US.

HHB: The predominance of showers was a pain when we toured new Zealand. We deliberately routed ourselves via one of the Wellington suburbs where we knew from past experience there was a bath.

Julia: Hurrah for you too. It adds to the pleasure knowing there's someone out there reading it too. All that messing about with word-play, anecdote and teasing takes me right back to the Telegraph & Argus reporters' room when the deadlines had been met. You're right about the headlines, they're even funnier when uttered aloud.

herhimnbryn said...

Will they really eat me alive?! Even if am very polite in french?