far too much writing, far too many photos

Sloth. Indolence. This journal’s current minimal activity is, I think, the most minimal of its nearly two years of existence. Feels kind of weird. Be real easy to slip into lack-of-productivity guilt if I allowed myself to slouch off in that direction. Not a place I’ve slouched off to very often, I notice, ’cause lower productivity comes from needing a break. I’ve written a lot for this bugger during the last couple of years (some of it actually worth reading). It’s easier to maintain focus, crank out a page or two of text most days when I’m squatting in a rented piso in the middle of a wonderful city. Tons of fodder for production. Loads of people to watch, lots of street happenings to spy on, then run home and write about. And no homeowner-type work to wipe out the passing hours. No lawn to mow, no screen doors to repair, no shorted-out light switches to replace.

Here in my little hilltop fiefdom, on the other hand, there’s as much homeowner labor as I feel like taking on. Sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes it’s a big pain in my shapely little butt. Depends on my state of mind, or on how tired I’m feeling.

Since arriving back here 2½ weeks ago, I’ve found myself feeling tired. Surprisingly tired, surprisingly often, my body maybe still working on some version of Spanish time. I remain in Madrid stay-up-real-late mode, while at the same time already having absorbed the local wake-up-early thing. Not a great combo if one is looking to catch up on shut-eye.

Folks around here have a strong tendency to get the day going promptly. Far more promptly than I’m looking for. Saturday morning in Montpelier, people are out shopping before 9 a.m, some stores being open at 8 a.m. Jumpin’ Jesus — that can’t be healthy. And then of course everything shuts down early to compensate, Saturday Montpelier shutting its doors between 1 and 2 p.m., weekday Montpelier pretty much boarding itself up and going dark by 6 p.m. A few places stay open till 8 p.m., maybe 9, trawling for tourist $$$$. A handful of eateries remain open a bit later in a token show of civilization, for which I am deeply, pathetically grateful.

A major upside: it is unbelievably beautiful in these parts. After a couple of gray, cool, rainy days, this morning’s skies opened up, sunshine streamed down between fair weather clouds. Montpelier was pretty, folks were about enjoying perfect north-country summer weather, looking relaxed and happy. (Lots more clouds have moved in since then, cutting down on the sunlight. It’s still beautiful, just with less radiance.)

I had myself into town around 9:15. Grocery store, hardware store, gas up the car. A quick stop at an ATM, another at the library. Followed by a fine drive home via back roads, car radio tuned to Car Talk. Tooling along at a leisurely pace, along country roads as lush and green as one could possibly ask for, the hysterical laughter of two 50-something knuckleheads providing the soundtrack. Not a bad way to pass a mid-July Saturday morning.

(Aaaaiiieeee!! Mid-July! Already! How the *%^#!!!!! did that happen?)

But I blabber. There have been stories I could report, but they’ll have to wait. Saturday afternoon calls.


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