Day 295 | 30 km from Condingup: and I hit the seal again

95 km | Heading west total: 14,151 km

You would think that with no TV to watch that I’d have plenty of time to read.

After all, what else can you do during those long nights on your lonesome?

The reality is that by the time I’ve finished scoffing dinner and slid into my little cocoon, I can barely keep my eyes open long enough to jot a page in my diary.

Yes, as well as writing this blog, I also keep a more personal paper record, (so 20th century), with the more mundane aspects of my travels: statistics of the day, people I chatted to, the daily impressions etc. I update the blog when I have access to power, often days later.

I don’t need to read myself to sleep.

The radio is a more appropriate medium for strenuous travel: the reception is generally OK after dark and of course Radio National is perennially interesting. I seldom get past Ramona Kovel with The Bookshow, (8 05 – 9 00 pm). I wake up often enough with the earplug still wedged in place with Asia/Pacific commencing (weekdays 5 05 – 5 30 am).

There’s a few books in that load I’ve been carrying like David Foster Wallace’s short story collections to keep me occupied on my days off, if I get round to it. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men is a real standout and endlessly fascinating, if a little patchy.

In Kal I picked up the cheapy Penguin edition of Consolations of Philosophy which I got through in my day’s off at the farmhouse. I remembered the geeky TV series and the book is just as lightweight and populist.

Each chapter is devoted to a particular philosopher with a little moral at the end.

Socrates on unpopularity: forget what people think about you, listen to the dictates of reason. Humm … is that it?

Epicurus on lack of money: happiness is fickle but it’s not primarily financial.

Seneca on frustration: reconcile yourself to the necessary imperfectibility of existence. ‘‘What need is there to weep over parts of a life? The whole of it calls for tears.” That’s a bit more like it.

Nietzsche on difficulties, well, that’s quite appropriate. Don’t give up your dreams: “Not everything that makes us feel better is good for us. Not everything which hurts may be bad.”

That’s some consolation to a bloke like me.