Mi es hambre, I say (Me is hunger). She says: no, it is tengo hambre. I try again: Yo ya hambre (I already hunger). No, she says. It is just tengo hambre. But, I say, in English there are many ways to say that I am hungry, so there must similarly be in Spanish. No, she says. So I tried, Hambre es un calidad que es phenomenale en mi. When would anyone ever say that? I said I’d write it in my diary (without checking the spelling or anything, so it might make even less sense than I thought it did.)
I have been learning Spanish for four days now. My partner is Latin American and speaks fluent Spanish and all her family speak Spanish, so I should probably have started learning years ago, but I have always had a good excuse not to, e.g. the dishes need to be cleaned, I am reading a book, I am writing a book. But I am going to try and do all of these things and additionally learn Spanish from now on.
On the subject of lefty cyclists with Latin American partners, I will now segue seamlessly on to Jeremy Corbyn. I was going to analyse the by-election results here, but I can’t face it. Let’s just say it was bad, and I don’t see how Corbyn can overcome it. I agree with him on his general principles, but he is poor at getting his message across and bad on specifics, and he isn’t helped by being consistently hammered by the right-wing media. Still, that working class voters would vote for more Tory austerity, despite the fact that it clearly hasn’t worked for them, rather than for someone who says they want to make the country fairer—it leaves me profoundly baffled. I feel the world is saturated with misplaced anger, is starved of empathy, and is lacking in logic.
Other than despairing re the above and speaking bad Spanish, mainly this week I have gone out. It was food at Mono on Monday, the gym then the Crafty Pig on Tuesday, a sauna and then the Crafty Pig again on Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday I took the unprecedented step of cooking, but did go to the Sparkle Horse afterwards on Friday, and then to Singl’ End for brunch on Saturday, then another trip to the Gym and the Sauna on Sunday.
This has given me minimal time for culture this week, other than continuing to read The Magus, which continues to be excellent, and the Autograph Man. I had come to a slow point in The Autograph Man, when, just as I was about to put the book away and stare out of the window until bed time, I came to a hilarious long joke about a debate between the Pope and the head Rabbi. Fortunately, someone else has taken the effort to type it out, so you too can enjoy this by clicking here. Needless to say, this restored my goodwill in proceeding with the project.
I also watched a documentary called Precinct 75 on Netflix. This was about a sociopathic NYPD cop named Michael Dowd, who went to the clink for twelve years for acting as a personal bodyguard to a cocaine wholesaler. I thought it was going to be a movie, but I watched it anyway. It was mainly interview footage with Michael and his accomplices, which was interesting, but only moderately so if you have no professional interest in sociopathy. I don’t think I would have bothered with it if I knew what it was going to be.
No cycling or DIY this weekend. The shelf is still on the wall, and it still wobbles when touched. I signed up for a car sharing scheme, but I did not use a car yet. Steph and I shared a bottle of M&S Grapefruit gin over the weekend, which was nice though not particularly noticeably grapefruity. I listened to Wild Things by Ladyhawke several times and enjoyed it greatly. I watched Scotland win a game of Rugby for the second time in recent weeks. I failed to write my diary on Sunday and had to do it on my lunch break on Monday.