January 7, 2009
by Suzan Abrams
Dublin is freezing but if I were honest, I still do better in icy temperatures instead of humidity. I still prefer the cold fresh air over the punishing heat that greeted me recently in December in Singapore and Malaysia. That first morning in Singapore...I was wearing something very light and yet, started sweating profusely after just five minutes. I could feel the beads of sweat trickling all down my back and it even rained down my cheeks from my forehead! People thought I was crying! It was very bad but thankfully after a few days, the afternoon rains cooled everything down.
Then in Kuala Lumpur, I would suddenly become nauseous while window shoppping or hurrying to a destination downtown, rushing across the streets. This is one of the worst symptoms of jet lag - that may last up to 2 weeks. I've only experienced it twice actually, considering the many times I've taken planes and in this respect, I've been very lucky. I also hadn't been back for a year so that could have counted for something. Africa isn't included as it's so much cooler in restrospect.
Soon, I'll be travelling again - I would have carried on from Singapore but my partner was missing me too much and so I returned to spend the New Year with him. I think this time it will be the other way around...I'm falling more deeply in love with him by the day.
One of the other things I missed about my flat strangely enough, was my kitchen. I missed the hot smells of a cooked breakfast wafting through the air and also smoked salmon from the oven. Today, despite the severe frost and freezing fog, the sunshine is still filtering happily through my windows.
When I'm away, I also miss the peace and serenity of Ireland which has shrouded me like a halo for months.
I'll be going off for a few weeks and unless I change my mind, most probably to the African continent. It would be lovely to return to a warm welcome from friends. I've also got very good friends in Australia - my best friend is in Melbourne. But there's always such a surreal call to Africa. The land beckons! I think this time I'd like to go by the sea and do a major piece of writing! I'll also be visiting London on my way back.
With every country I frequent, my adventure with literature continues. Sometimes, it's better to see the books you've read about firsthand and make a real judgement on your own. Book blogs by friends - and there's always a real conflict of interest here - who've written average literature are often made up of loud gushing or an exaggerated deliverance. The term is to support or encourage but however noble the attempt, it's still a lie, neverthless. In any case, I no longer read any of these blogs. I also don't have the time. At the moment, I've chosen about 6 at the most, to read dutifully from my link including my beloved writer friend, Saaleha in Johannesburg, 1 from India, 1 from California, another in Saudi Arabia and two in England. It's been this way for awhile now.
The appearance of a book as I've discovered can also be deceptive on the web. Something that looks plain can be tenderly beautiful and something that is praised as attractive can appear dowdy.
I think my language has progressed to a level where it now brings a smile to my face. Sometimes, I do relish reading my own work and savouring the words as I would listen to a piece or music or admire a painting. Many a time, Des has walked into the living room and found me deep in thought, enjoying my pieces of writings. But I'm disciplined and have worked industriously over my craft this last year. Which is why the onset of 2009 leaves me feeling satisfied but equally restless for a yet sleeker acumen of the English Language.