Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Awake at six this morning to go to IKA for X-ray (eight o’clock) and blood/urine tests (eight-thirty) When Douglas enquired as to why so many people who arrived after us were going in for their blood test before us he was informed that twelve people had an appointment for eight-thirty. It’s like an assembly line. Not my choice to go through all this, just finally giving in to everyone else’s request. Much to our surprise were on our way home by nine so stopped off at the Biological Lab in Kalyves for the remaining two tests that IKA doesn’t do. What happens is that you pay for them and IKA refunds the costs (121 euro). Seems a funny way of going about things but they must know what they’re doing. So blood was taken from my left arm and then blood was taken from my right arm. I felt like Tony Hancock – “Where’s me tea and biscuit then?”

Tried again to get into Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum but to no avail and don’t believe I will try again. The man is just too too clever by half and to what purpose? I don’t mind having to look up the occasional word. I had after all to do it with Mr McEwen and got rather bored with it but I most strongly object to finding arcane references and a dozen words or more on every page none of which mean anything to me. Douglas said it is really a very simple story so I told him to explain. Half way through his explanation I said enough was enough, it really isn’t that simple. Three men get killed in the end? Should have happened two hundred pages earlier. Brecht’s theory of alienation applies to the stage (and is a load of codswallop anyway) but certainly should never apply to literature. Naturally the critics, according to the blurb, all thought it was marvellous. I bet half of them only said it because, if they didn’t, they might have been accused of not understanding it, which was more’n likely the case. Nuff said.

Anyway I have enough reading matter to keep me going a goodly while. Still only a third of the way through The Book Thief – I’m hanging in there, and enjoying Ustinov’s autobiography. Now I have been supplied with three more Reginald Hills so look forward to happy reading with those.

Now I’m off for a kip. Must be the loss of blood!

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