It ain’t me: Author’s update #1

suavely dressed man at his laptop

The best thing for me about the top-floor apartment I’m staying in is the view of the neighbourhood and, well, just the open sky, which is actually quite a rare sight back home. This also means that the sunset never goes unnoticed, and yeah, I do love that time of day. Everything just seems to get a whole lot clearer as the dust settles, so to speak. I took the photo below from my window near the start of my stay. I was testing to see whether the camera on the dinosaur of a phone I have with me here would help with this blog at all. Turned out to be pretty useless as you can see but at least you get an idea of the openness. I kept the image as sort of a keepsake as these open skies might become a rarity again when I leave Cyprus in a few months’ time.

sunset view

And as the walls around me glow pink-red this evening, I’d like to share my thoughts on how this blog has started out and round up a few other things on my end. Now is as good a time as any because, my betting project aside (I’ll get to that), I don’t expect that very much will crop up in the time I have left here. There’s been plenty to adapt to, of course, but nothing all that blog-worthy.

One thing of note is that I had a stupid accident at home where I broke some glass and cut my finger. The wound was small but deep enough to damage some nerves which painfully restricted the movement of my arm, and the only thing for it was an operation under anaesthetic and an overnight stay at the city hospital in June. Thankfully, the operation was successful and I’m now in pretty good shape. I had to wear a cast from the elbow down for a couple of weeks and all the appointments pre- and post-op took up a hell of a lot of time collectively. Overall though, it wasn’t such a bad experience. The culture gap was a little unnerving on the day of the operation, not least because I was unable to reciprocate the hospital staff’s kind efforts to ease me in. But in spite of the difficulties, I got a closer look at how things get done here and, cultural differences aside, I can now vouch for the professionalism of the public health workers in this country. I’ve always had a special admiration for such people in that line of work. Lucky for me the buses run well here too!

But that really is that. Before I write another word I need to say for the record that, while it’s certainly been worthwhile, I’m not totally happy with how the blogging has worked out. The idea was to hit the ground running and express myself in a more direct or otherwise spontaneous way but as a novice blogger I’ve found myself falling back on a ‘journalistic’ style of writing, I guess in an aim to play things safe. I’d never dream of posting any filler and there always will be a genuine intent in everything I do on this blog. The problem is that it I may have to continue in the same vein while an interesting life remains a work in progress. I hope I’m wrong because this blog has been a great idea. Things may not be happening for me right now but the thoughts still race through my head and some of them just might be worth throwing into cyberspace, however I manage it. I’ll see about shaking things up somehow (for better or worse) but no promises yet unfortunately.

The same goes for the single post per month quota—I’d expected almost double that rate. What are you gonna do, my priority must remain with the mundane for the time being. What I will say is that I’m not one to compromise on certain things and if you stick around long enough then I’m sure you’ll be in for something more lively. I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking I must be a charity case given my story so far but as the Creedence song goes, ‘it ain’t me’.

As for the betting, I’m afraid there isn’t much to report even at this stage. The good news is that I’m still on track to complete all the prep work needed for a launch in January 2017. If I’d stayed in London I’d probably be in a terrible mess by now, whereas I’ve been more productive here than in the previous couple of years combined, many times over. The bad news is that I’ve got some way to go yet—for all I knew at the start of the year I might’ve returned home this summer with the job done. Still, the ship is steady and with a final push and a little luck things should come together soon enough, so I’ll probably have much more to say about it all near the end of my stay in November.

I do have a lot of things to share about the betting world and my whole experience with it which should be of interest to bettors and non-bettors alike, but I really don’t feel like going there while my project hangs in the balance. The stakes remain pretty high, as I’m sure you can imagine. After all, my time here hasn’t been as dandy (or plain dull) as this round-up might make out. Living alone in a fresh environment has proved its worth as I say but this also adds a yet another level of isolation to the mix which has led to some new demons rearing their ugly heads. Perhaps in time I’ll find a way to explore that dark side on this blog in good taste. In the meantime, if there’s one thing I truly believe in it’s that happy endings are not just the stuff of movies.

You might think that making the most of the sun while I’m here and getting out to do the tourist thing would do me a lot of good but I’ve learned over the years that the finer things in life, big and small, can increase the contrast to unbearable levels. Everyone’s different and it probably depends on how much of an ‘all or nothing’ character you have, and I definitely fall into that category at the upper end. If there’s a personal choice about that, I’ve mulled it all over too many times and, quite honestly, I believe the sacrifices are well worth it. I’m always open to different ideas but in the end we must choose but one path at a crossroads. The important thing is to heed your regrets, otherwise they’ll only conspire to further disorientate you.

Writemonkey logoBut to return to the round-up, I’d like to end with an item that fellow bloggers or anyone who does a lot of writing might find useful. Sometimes you come across a free program for your computing needs that you wouldn’t want to do without and I thought I’d spread the word about one such tool I’ve been using for this blog from the start, called WriteMonkey. Here’s an accurate description taken from the homepage:

WriteMonkey is a Windows zenware writing application with an extremely stripped down user interface, leaving you alone with your thoughts and your words. It is light, fast and free. With an array of innovative tools under the hood and full Markdown support, it helps you write better.

Basically, it’s a lighter, uncluttered and more blog-friendly alternative to commercial word processors. You can tweak it as much or as little as you like, it has all the features you could wish for but it also does a great job out of the box for anyone looking for the simplicity of pen and paper. The brief guide here should be all you need to get started. You’re welcome.

Oh and talking of blogging, for anyone who’s read it already, I’ve updated this post.

* * *

Okay, so a snow-white pigeon flew into the apartment right beside me through the open veranda window, just as I thought I’d finished writing this post! It’s as white as a dove. Here, it’s been hanging around for almost half an hour now and I had plenty of time to dig out the same camera and take a few snaps:

pigeon inside my apartment

pigeon close-up

another pigeon close-up

After I gently shooed it outside it persistently paced back and forth alongside the windows, pecking at the glass, determined to get back in!

pigeon looking in through window

I put some seeds and water out but it was after something else. It eventually gave up and went to rest in the shade at the far end of the veranda where it’s been huddled up for quite a while now. Maybe it just wanted to get out of the blistering midday heat (I write for these posts intermittently). No, no, it’s clearly some sort of good omen. Yeah, let’s go with that.


Photo by Ade Olu Eletu / cropped; retouched
(Ade, no offense intended with my usage of your pic in the context of this post!)

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