I regret to inform you that this month's report is rather brief. I did not play any golf this month. The report, therefore, is that I was undefeated in September, and I am well-rested for upcoming matches this fall.
I wrote about the inimitable progress I have been making in my writing and reading while at Italy. But I did not write about the considerable restraint I have been exercising here. For the food is really quite delectable, and the wine is as well, and I find this is an ideal place for my writing holiday, largely because of my incredible powers of self-control.
You see me at sunset last night taking a walk beside the Arno after a day in which I wrote a 1200 word article, ran at near record speed through the hills around Florence, read more of Frank's superb Dostoevsky, and had a light meal at an enoteca just round the corner from my apartment. What discipline! What restraint!
I have a strict policy concerning gelato, subject to slight modifications at my caprice, of course, but generally restricting myself to one cone per day. And the same goes for digestif. But one thing I cannot resist is my incessant interest in the grasses I find in the sidewalks and byways as I make my afternoon runs.
This evening I find myself at Florence, making progress in my studies and in my writing. I started reading Frank's one-volume Dostoevsky in May, and I thought that I would finish it within a month, but I was so busy with work in the subsequent months that I have been able, still, to enjoy reading this book while at Italy.
And with sentences such as "Raskolnikov thus finds himself confronted with someone who is not only personally hateful but who also reveals the moral dubiousness of exactly the same Utilitarian logic to which he had become so ruinously committed," you can imagine how I like to take the book in small doses. And you can see here how I have been taking the book, and how I strive now in September to reach page 932.
You can see that I've made some excellent (and enjoyable) progress this month, but hundreds of pages remain. And the inspiring view you see below is something I check every day, a short walk up the hill behind my apartment, before returning to my writing and Dostoevsky.
I've been exploring some of the historical sights around Siracusa and also paying close attention to the types of grasses that grow here. At the Teatro Greco, I found common bermudagrass in most open areas, with some seashore paspalum in the drainage from the nymphaeum.
And I find it quite pleasant to stay at an apartment with a kitchen, for I can turn my attention to the culinary sphere at the drop of a pen, literally. For dinner last evening I cooked some penne, and added some sun-dried Sicilian cherry tomato (purchased from the morning market), and some fresh basil, and some pesto.
If my friend Kirk Fast were here, I'm sure he would enjoy the Sicilian wine. At Thailand it seems that a few cases of wine come out to be the same cost as a motorcycle (it is often useful to speak of costs in terms of motorcycle equivalents). At Sicily the wine is much more affordable, it is vicinal, and I find that I have the burden to taste a variety of the wines of Sicily this month on Kirk's behalf.
The sun is bright beside the Ionian Sea, and I cannot always be bothered to look up and trouble my eyes with the sun's glare. With such shorts, though, you may not look up either. They are soothing.
I can always duck into the puppet museum for some relief from the sun. There are some amazing puppets here and I look forward to watching the puppet theater some evening. Report on that to follow.
And now I must get back to my writing. I've written 31 articles now in my series for Golf Course Seminar magazine (see some of the magazine covers at right), and I have a long list of other things to write, so I cannot be too distracted by the sunshine, gelato, puppets, or Sicilian wine. But these things do make a nice accompaniment to the clicking of my keyboard.