Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Writing

Day 229

For as long as I can remember I have stepped onto thresholds rather than over them. Always the threshold in the middle of my foot, my right foot at that. And because of this ongoing problem with that foot (something to do with the connection of the ligaments to the fifth metatarsal, apparently), I am trying to consciously avoid stepping on thresholds. Now, the paving slabs outside one of the back doors to the house are loose, and make a bit of a noise if you step on them. I therefore try to step onto the the bricks between the slabs (and apparently M does the same, which tickled me when she told me about it at the weekend). Just now, when I went back into the house for a glass of water, Florence (the older cat) was in the library and jumped away from me as I walked in. I apologised to her for my aggressive last step into the house, and explained to her that I was doing this to minimise the noise AND to step over the threshold rather than onto it. I’m not sure she understood, but she did miaow at me in that indecipherable and invariably condescending way in which cats acknowledge human conversation. That’s what made me question this age-old habit of mine – extending my thinking into why, perhaps it’s because I do change with difficulty, moving from one sphere into the next. Difficulty letting go (references yesterday’s 5E treatment again).

One thing I’ve realised about this whole learning Greek endeavour is that I’ve taken it a step too far. Despite many comments to the contrary in my past (mainly in the cricket sphere), I am actually very competitive, and the language learning app I use (I don’t want to promo it, but I’m sure you can imagine which one it is) puts people in league tables and awards points and badges and all this stuff, so I’ve become distracted by, and addicted to, measuring myself against those yard sticks rather than just focusing on learning the language and its words. And last night I realised this was a bad thing, that I’m spending too much time trying to outdo others rather than being a student. I have always said to everyone who’ll listen that comparing yourself to others is not a good thing, because the only competitor worth measuring yourself against is yourself. So I’m cutting my time on the app to just half an hour a day, not looking at the ridiculous league tables, and am going to go right back to the beginning, do things very slowly, and actually start writing into my book (the front will be for vocab, like in my good old school days, and the back, with the book turned the other way up, will be for verb declensions and the like). That’s the learning plan.

And now that I’ve written down those thoughts, it’s back to work.

Later, much later. So, after therapy, I look at my phone. My reunion with Stephen Bumfrey and the BBC Radio Norfolk studios tomorrow has had to be postponed due to circumstances beyond our control. That’s sad. Let’s hope we manage to rearrange soon.

But, in a spare moment caused by my discombobulation, I managed to remember how to link to individual sections of a different web page, so now I can direct you, individually, to the signed books you can buy from me. How clever of me.

Dead Men

The Immortality Clock

Bee Bones

Tettig’s Jewels

The Failed Assassin




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