I may not have succeeded but I have tried – several times – to start War and Peace. To be honest, so far, I’ve just familiarised myself with the cast list. In this regard it’s just like Jilly Cooper’s Riders though Jilly’s list of characters are a bit more enticing. I know I will never read War and Peace.
Of course, it’s not my fault. I can’t concentrate and I can’t commit. For this, I blame the invention of the television remote control. Before the remote, one could watch a whole programme, including the advertisements, or one could heave oneself up from the quicksand of the sofa, shaking off the detritus of Pringles and Peroni and change the channel on the actual television set. Therefore one usually committed grimly to an entire programme. No longer. Not happy with the font of the opening credits? Change channels. Want to check the scores? Change channel. Hate that advert? And so on. We (and by that I mean me) are out of the habit of having to see something through to the end. This is why I can’t read War and Peace.
One of my tasks was to apply for Olympic tickets. My only godson suggested this to me. He’s 15, and an absolute delight. I’ve known his family for six years and I’ve been his godmother for about 18 months. He asked me to be his godmother because his original one had let him down. I said yes, of course. It’s one of the most special things that has ever happened to me. Oh, and I applied, and failed to get any tickets at all, for anything for 2012.
I’ve also researched French lessons as one of my tasks is to learn French. I spoke to my local community college. I thought I’d be bad intermediate. The person I spoke to suggested I should take their online test to determine my level. I did; it took less than ten minutes and was sub O-level standard; some basic grammar, some easy translation, some simple vocab. I got 28%. That’s not even the worst mark I’ve ever had either.
I’ve signed up for wing-walking as this is one of my tasks, though I haven’t researched it at all; I think googling this would be about as reassuring as having a headache and googling your symptoms.
PS. When I posted my task: have a Brazilian (wax not man), I put a picture of a contortionist up to illustrate it. You would not believe how regularly people come to my blog because they’ve googled ‘nude contortionist’. And also ’embarrassing positions of the body’.