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Greeting to you, 

And again I start aimlessly, but with a general view to outline some situations; there I begin, but whence do I continue on? 

The work, I maintain, is something on top of which I am, I believe. Yet it occurs to me that I have discovered a downside to my academic activities as well. That is, I have limits. It seems that I fail to fully engage myself in each and every exercise with which I am faced. In fact, it is true, I rarely complete the exercises. Nevertheless, my system, of writing down the main ideas (notation, formulas and derivations), and a few examples, seems to suffice. I then can come to the end part of the particular unit material on which I have worked, and, in effect, I complete the notetaking part of all units relevant to the given TMA, and then I have no choice but to pursue work with the TMA, and that involves the actual practice of mathematics!! I have nearly completed the notetaking part of the final unit related to this endeavour, and will have done so by the end of tomorrow. So all is well. Yet, on the issue to do with my limitations, I find this very irritating. It is true that you tend, as your studies progress, to further employ the tools of your prior investigations - that is, for example, I once struggled with many differential calculus topics, and many algebra topics. But, the occasional identity law, such as for sines and cosines, notwithstanding (and these are easy to look up when necessary), this is no longer a great hindrance. I have some knowledge about mathematics, having studied for as long as I have, and I imagine that you only increase that knowledge as you progress. That latter observation seems at times the strangest of anomalies and, although some say they have ceased their learning career, I believe I am only at the beginning of mine, at any given moment. 

I have letters after my name! I may now refer to myself as Daniel Frederick Best, Cert HE (Open). That is, I have completed no less than one year at higher education, and have the certificate to prove this. And very soon, within the next few months, I hope I will be able to boast a Diploma of higher education, too! I await confirmation of this recent achievement, for which I am in communication with the university to have my middle name printed on the physical credential. 

Today, a Saturday, I woke after a long Saturday lie-in, and had a shower, and looked at the internet. A facebook acquaintance's father had died, so it was all about him today. In fact I avoided the website, so as to pay my respects. Poor Neil. But soon I resolved to walk to the shops, to purchase some stationery, and drink a coffee with a friend, Charlie. He arrived, and we had coffee, and then I saw Tamsin. Since Charlie had to run some errands, it was meet to talk to Tamsin alone, and I interviewed her. "Tamsin," I said. "Have you ever been in love?" 

"Love is an illusion," she replied. 

"Have you ever loved anyone?" I said. I asked this as a psychological test, because I know she doesn't really love me. Tamsin doesn't love me. "I think you pity me," I propositioned. "You pity me, don't you?" 

She said she doesn't. 

"Sometimes, you talk as if you pity me," I said. It is true. Oftentimes, whenever I talk to her, I tell the good things, and I tell her the bad things, and she adopts this tone of voice like the bad things might be the end of my world. 

She said she doesn't pity me, but went on with a diatribe about how she imagines it must be a hard slog, all this work I'm doing. But I still can't get through to her. She's impenetrable. I have found some women all but too easy to understand, but Tamsin, I do not understand. 

"At least you love your mother," I said. 

"She drives me crackers," she said. 

"Good thing you like crackers," I joked. And then she had to go. 


I want to change my life. I really want to sort my life out. 

Sometime ago, I lost a lot of weight. I was, at my heaviest, over twenty four stone. And at my lightest I went down to seventeen stone. Since the first March lockdown, I have gone back up to perhaps nineteen and a half. I want to regain control of my weight, and that means re-joining the gym, which I will do in the new year. 

And I think my life would be a great deal better were it possible for me to stop smoking. I spend at least fifty pounds a week on roll-up tobacco, and I often fantasise the life I would have without the little bitches. I have quit before, you see, back in my college days, and I stopped for at least six months. Then, on a whim, I decided that quitting had proved to be the easiest thing to do, and I started again, and found I was unable to stop. Then they increased the price of tobacco, and stopped us being able to smoke indoors at bars and coffee shops. It's an idea I'm toying with, but at heart, I know I'd be so proud if the little bitches left my life, I say. There is one glaring drawback, and it pains me to admit but, seemingly due to the nature of my illness, when I go without tobacco for several hours, I literally begin to trip out! That is, I get high!! In fact, you would think this is a good thing, and perhaps the anomalous situation could be controlled with a nicotine chewing gum, or patch. It's one of those things you couldn't understand unless you had walked a mile in my moccasins, but it's absolutely true. I begin to hallucinate without tobacco; that is, tobacco brings me down from this high state. Nevertheless, I think it would be a fine thing, the life I would have without being a tobacco smoker. 

And the final issue, that could change my life, would be if I could sort the flat out. The kitchen is in constant need of cleaning, and I rarely do the bathroom chores. I do, however, make sure I'm on top of everything else, like the washing, and feeding the cats, and, now I have an electric toothbrush, cleaning my teeth more regularly. But what I'm thinking of doing now is borrowing a hammer and bolster from my father, and starting work on the things I want to do within the apartment. I want to make a start with taking out the mantlepiece. And my dad himself has suggested that, when he has a little free time, we can begin working at putting down wooden flooring here. I have told him I would like to pay him - but maybe he will see it as a project. 

I had a dream that I was back in construction. It was such a lovely dream, and I worked with familiar workmates on a room in a house, that needed rendering work and carpentry, and I was able to solve many evident problems. And yet, what made this dream so lovely was the fact that I seemed to resolve some issues I had back in the day, when I was in construction. And I woke, and wished I was a builder. 

Building is a job that is a far distant memory now. I was talking to Eugene, and I said, "I'm doing all this hard mathematics, and I know I used to be in the game, but nowadays, I could never do what you do." I think this was typical of the kind of flattery I like to impress upon people, which is perhaps false, and dishonest, but nevertheless I do it. And the funny thing is, people can be so narcissistic! Eugene said he would have liked to have done engineering. I said, "You have plenty of time." He said, "I know, I know." So why wouldn't he do engineering? Is it because, when all is said and done, he can't? Study is not easy, but everyone thinks they can do it. It belittles your efforts. I'm in mathematics and physics because that's what I've done. If it was so easy, why don't you do it? Anyway, in short, people are narcissists. 

And on that lovely note, I leave you! 

I'd better not. 

I'm going to play some guitar now. Then, after an hour or so, I shall play some game or other on Nintendo Switch, and then I shall go to bed, and it will be another day, although it will be the same day, and I will live it again and again, and I think that is rather lovely. 

Regards, 

Daniel

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