Thought for the day


Greetings from Taiwan. I’ve been working hard recently, on a personal project which involves lots of computer coding. In my life as a wandering minstrel/mathematician/aspiring author, sometimes work must be done. So, during the last couple of weeks, I have been cloistered in a hotel room in Kaohsiung, bashing away at a keyboard, working on making some software. It’s a quixotic project, one which might end up being a colossal waste of time and money, but if committing oneself to Sisyphean labours, rolling rocks up hills only to see them roll back down again, isn’t the very essence of the existential lifestyle, then damn it, I don’t know what is. I aspire to the condition of absurdity as popularised by that famous Algerian goalkeeper bloke. I am happy to report that think I might be on my way to being utterly absurd. And so it goes.

Anyway, here I am back in Taipei for a few days, staying in a hostel. The hermit’s luxury cave is gone and I am on the road again. Next week I will fly to Japan for new adventures, including snowboarding (which I have never done) and skiing (which I last did in 1999). I shall also endeavour to see the hot-spring-bathing snow monkeys.

Speaking of snow, Taiwan has had it’s coldest weather in a long, long time over the past few days. From the High Speed Train today I could see the snow-covered tops of the mountains. It lifted my spirits. Yesterday in Kaohsiung felt like winter in Scotland. Shivering, I secretly enjoyed it.

My wisdom for you today comes from the wall of the common room in the Green World Hostel. Obviously, literally, you should never put jam in a toaster, but I think the message goes much deeper than the purely literal. In the great toaster which is life, remember to keep the sweet sticky fruity stuff away from the hot electric bits. Otherwise when it pops you could get a nasty surprise. Something like that. Deep, right?


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