Iím going to Ďfess up to being a time thief. I hit on a magical idea and itís so naughty that Iím really pleased with myself over it. Well, itís naughty if, like me, you think you should spend your life wearing a hair shirt and working yourself to a frazzle. Itís naughty if you think that sitting watching telly without ďdoing somethingĒ is wrong.
Itís simple really. I decided, on a two pronged attack, to travel to and from Uni by train. This works for two reasons, the first legal and the second illegal. Legally, I can get to Uni for about half of the price of travelling by car. This is because I now travel there every day and hence a season ticket is good value for money.
The second reason is the illegal one. Itís this. I used to drive to University and clearly when you are driving itís impossible to do anything else. Now I travel by train and the time that Iím on the train would be lost time if I was driving so I decided that Iíd lose it anyway. Instead of reading worthy academic material during the lost time, I read novels. Delicious tales of derring do, kitchen sink dramas, blood and gore, quirky strange tales, gut-splittingly funny jolly things and er, well, anything that takes my fancy.
You see I stole the time so I am going to use it for some ME time. Mostly I buy my books second hand either on Amazon or in charity shops Ė itís the only way a destitute person who reads by the yard can afford to do it. One day last week I was on my way home and knew that there was a great gaping chasm in my world Ė Iíd finished my book on the way in and had a big fat nothing to read on the way home. I rushed into WH Smiths, a rare and beautiful treat in itself for someone who considers an hour browsing bookshelves looking for a hidden gem, to find something, ANYTHING, to take on the train home. What the hell, throw caution to the wind and buy a NEW book Ė I can do it with relatively little guilt because a little bit of filthy lucre is on its way into my pocket and therefore I may be relatively solvent soon. The £8.99 could be considered a massive treat for me, after years of frugality.
I bought this book by Jonas Jonnason on a complete whim. Iíd never heard of the man before and Iíve subsequently discovered this is his debut novel. I must confess to a major love of Scandinavian literature and when you add to that the key question, Iím amazed that Iíd not found this book before. Who though, in their right mind, could resist a book with the title ďthe hundred year old man who climbed out of the window and disappearedĒ? Well, not me, obviously because here, a little crumpled but otherwise in good shape, is said book. It languished in the bottom of my Uni bag for a few days because when I got onto the platform, I discovered an old friend waiting for the train and instead of starting the new book, I spent the journey catching up on news from my friend.
I started it yesterday and believe me, I have considered running away from my real life and finding a dark corner where I can take the guilty pleasure of finishing the book without going to lectures, cooking dinner or walking dogs. Iím about half way in and have loved every word. It was written in Swedish and translated to English so both writer and translator deserve credit for the quality of the writing.
So there you have it. The signed and dated confession of a time thiefÖwill I get thrown into the clink because of it? Hopefully not before I find out what happens to my new friend Allan because each day his story gets more fantastic and I am more hooked.