I'm lounging in my library wearing a casual grey shirt (no t-shirts for me), and my new navy cardigan with leather elbow pads, reading my way through Ian Fleming's colonial and casually-racist oeuvre of Bond novels. None of this was conceived with ideas of writing about it; I'm not doing this to be cool. Case in point: I'm not writing on a Mac, I'm not drinking coffee, or smoking anything of any sort, type, brand or class. And from that description I have convinced myself (if not you, whoever the hell you are) that my cardigan is not an affectation. Objectors be damned, the geography teacher-look seems to suit me. So that's all the news in me; how are you doing? Yeah, that's great, fantastic; right I'm off to polish my shoes.
My friend is upping and leaving to Tanzania, taking his wife and son (my godson), stuffed inside a shipping container with only a car and a washing machine for company and sustenance, setting up home and shop in Dar es Salaam, and only returning for my wedding, and in the event of catastrophic collision of ambition and achievement. I would like them to come back, but I don't particularly want them to fail miserably; I have cognitive dissonance. I wish them well, but if you want to know what happens on their big adventure, you'll just have to petition him to write his own damn blog. Until then: honeymoon in Tanzania and Zanzibar?
In the meantime I'll be right here reading the rest of Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love. The first five chapters which I have so far read (except for the first, which has a bit too much description of a man's sweaty back) are intense. Back story tells of a young man growing up in Ireland who felt the need to kill. As a boy he slaughtered cats and cows, eventually upgrading to tramps and young women in his mid-teens. He travels around on his bicycle every full moon hunting for victims. Eventually he takes up boxing, then joins the army.
The army isn't vicious enough for him, so when he is posted in British West Berlin, he escapes to East Berlin and offers his services to the Soviet killing machine as an enthusiastic and ambitious spectre of death. He is one scary guy, rising up the ranks. They give him complex assassination missions, and his reward for their success is to be allowed free reign to kill prisoners in whichever way takes his fancy. I think Bond has finally met his match. Bond too is a cold blooded killing machine; but is forever distracted by nubile breasts and the like. Our Russian Irish killer is asexual and apolitical and lives to kill. I really don't think Bond has a chance – he hasn't even had a mention yet. Goodbye Bond, you beautiful, barbarous, gentleman racist and misogynist. You served Queen and country well.
It's a good book, and time spent writing is time unspent reading. Which is more important? Goodbye.