Diaries

Although I was quite tired yesterday and went to bed early, I still stayed up till 11:00 p.m. reading the first chapter of A Book of One’s Own: People and Their Diaries (1984), by Thomas Mallon. The book was recommended by someone on BookTube and I found a copy via www.abebooks.de, my go-to online resource for out-of-print or used books. I’m interested in it, because I think it may give me pointers for my blog writing. Blogs are, after all, a kind of diary. The book categorizes diarists as chroniclers, travelers, pilgrims, creators, apologists, confessors, and prisoners and those are also the chapter titles. Last night I read the introduction and the first chapter. It’s very interesting.

The chapter “Chroniclers” is about people who write diaries to tell the day-to-day story of their lives. Mallon mentions Samuel Pepys, Samuel Sewall, James Woodforde, Elizabeth Wynne (married Fremantle), Edmond and Jules Goncourt (brothers who kept a diary together), George Templeton Strong, Virginia Woolf, and Evelyn Waugh. He tells us what their diaries are like and gives some quotes. I’d never heard of half of these people, but I would like to one day read Pepys’ and Woolf’s diaries. I’ve never read anyone’s diary (though I do read a lot of blogs and those are probably similar to diaries), but I imagine it’s like reading people’s published letters. Letters, I find, are good to dip in and out off, not to read a big collection in one go. Reading diaries, I imagine, would be similar. I’m looking forward to reading the other chapters and finding more diarists to check out.

This morning I woke up to a countryside wreathed in fog. Autumn has arrived. Lots of bedewed spiderwebs festooned in the bushes at the wood’s edge. Lots of mushrooms in the moss under the trees. It was a lovely morning walk with Curious Dog. On our return, in the valley, the sun was already dispersing the fog and I had to take off my fleece jacket. It was comfy and warm in the shady woods, but too hot in the sun.

Logging in to work, I again had problems with the blasted VPN. It kept disconnecting and reconnecting until, after a couple of hours, it stabilized. At least now I know that it isn’t a problem with my new Internet plan in Baden-Württemberg, but some other problem, because I never had this problem here in Bavaria before and my Internet plan is still the same as it’s been for the past few years. Thinking back, I believe the issues started with an update of the VPN software a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, I searched the company’s IT portal and found some tricks that may fix or improve the issue. Some are quite complicated, and all require a restart, so I didn’t try them out this morning after the VPN had stabilized. I’ll either try them on the weekend, or next week if the problem persists.

Had my synch call with my manager, but there wasn’t much to discuss, as I’m up-to-date with all my tasks despite the problems with the VPN. They are going on vacation next week and after that it’s almost my turn. So, we chatted a bit about our respective vacation plans.

After a late lunch, I went out grocery shopping. One crate of mineral water, one box of food and two carrying bags. Should see us through the week. Potatoes, sweet potatoes (the first ones we’ve had for ages, they are not always available and often they’re too expensive), Brussel sprouts, zucchini, cucumber, a small celeriac, kohlrabi, carrots, a small pumpkin, onions, garlic, leek, romaine salad, tomatoes, mushrooms, frozen spinach. Apples, pears, plums (just a handful), bananas. Tea, pasta, lentils, bread. And some odds and ends, some biscuits and a bag of sour vegan gummy things. A box of chocolate as a gift for the neighbour who always kindly picks up our mail so that it doesn’t overflow our mailbox. No dairy or meat because we’re mostly vegan. No plant milks and juices, because we are stocked up, ditto with tofu and tempeh (you can’t get tempeh here anyway). No dog food, because we brought that along from my place (and the supermarket doesn’t carry it). Curious Dog also gets his share of vegetables. He likes cucumber (raw) and zucchini, kohlrabi and carrots cooked with his normal kibble (not vegan). He also loves broccoli and cauliflower (oddly, both raw and cooked) and always gets some when we have those. He also gets bits of apples, which he loves, but not pears or bananas ̶ he acts like he wants those and then spits them out. He also loves watermelons and mango (of which he only gets small bits, because I think they are too sweet). Also papaya, but we almost never have them, because they are way too expensive except occasionally when they are on sale.

I say this guy in the supermarket, a family father with his kids, wearing his mask wrongly. It annoyed the heck out of me. How hard is it to pull the blasted mask over your nose for the time you spend in the supermarket? If you’re not going to cover your nose why verdammt noch mal are you even wearing one? Argh.

In the afternoon it got rather warm, too hot to work in the garden and still warm when Curious Dog and I took our second turn through the woods. No more fog, but a lot of mosquitoes or midges. Got at least two stings and found a tick taking a walk on CD’s back. So far none that have attached themselves, but it’s early yet. I’ll have to keep checking for them, but it will soon be the end of tick season.

Keep safe, world.

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