Is it selfish to wish for things to be effortless? Who knows, but everyone is guilty of it. Of wishing for a bit of ease when times are hard. We’re only human after all. However, of late I’m discovering more and more that effortless requires effort. Sounds paradoxical, right? Yeah, it pretty much is. My point is that there is no such thing as effortless. All the issues I’ve been looking to ease up, to be a bit more effortless, they’ve required work. But it’s been work worth putting in. Hence my point: you want effortless? Put the hard work in now and ride the effort-free wave for a while. That’s life, you work to make it easier. Cause lets face it, money does make you happier. Especially when you don’t have any.

Though, for once, I’m not talking about money (yes, I’m still skint, let’s not get our hopes up here). I’m actually talking about my relationship. A position I am completely unprepared for and uneducated in. AKA, far from effortless. For a long time, I’ve believed relationships should be effortless. HA! So young, so innocent. I’m full of crap. Relationships are hard. But you know what they also are? Fucking great! (‘scuse my French). They are a prime example of putting the effort in. In this case, it was voicing my woes. I was terrified, but you know what they say, kids, communication is key. And it really is. You have to talk, talk about everything, talk about nothing, just keep talking. If you are having problems, having issues, having worries, talk! Because I guarantee you’ll feel better. I’m not promising a solution. In fact, I never found one, but I found a way to take a load off. One long conversation, some tears, but I felt so much better for it. For not feeling overwhelmed, like a big ass overflowing bottle of worries. I spoke, and I felt so much better.  I didn’t find a solution. Sometimes they don’t really exist. But most of the time, it’s just discussing your issues and your worries and you realising you are not having them all by yourself. Knowing that you are both having the same issues and worries actually makes you feel better. Know why? Cause you realise you’re both putting the effort in. Even when that effort is worry. You care about your relationship (as you should) and that’s enough. It’s enough to realise you give a damn and you want to keep giving a damn.

From there, ride that effortless happy relationship wave to the next tide. And you know what, you’ll remember the last one and the effort won’t seem so much as before. Shit happens, nothing is effortless, but it does get easier. You just gotta put the work in.

(And I gotta stop rambling and get back to putting some effort on my damn dissertation outline. Mamph out!)


I have my first Calvino. I do not think I can put it down.

More oddly yet, it is not Invisible Cities (despite my having looked longingly at that book for a couple years now). Instead I bypassed this. It was a book that denoted this first reaction identically when I discovered it. I picked it up, enamoured with the Robert Frost-esque title, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, then read the summary. I didn’t relinquish it until long after leaving the bookstore.

Now I have picked it up again. And once again, I cannot put it down.

“Long novels written today are perhaps a contradiction: the dimension of time has been shattered, we cannot love or think except in fragments of time each of which goes off along its own trajectory and immediately disappears. We can rediscover the continuity of time only in novels of that period when time no longer seemed stopped and did not yet seem to have exploded.”

-Italo Calvino

Even if I am overthinking the meaning in just the first chapter of this book, it has taken some invisible weight off my shoulders. Maybe I am not the issues. Maybe my inability to concentrate on my great loves in life are not through a fault of my own. Maybe as literature has progressed, so has how I interact with it. Maybe it is just finding the right book.


I do not have tea, but I am contemplating books. Book covers to be more precise. Books stores, their designs, their layouts, and the plethora of covers they house. Though plethora feels like the wrong word. I love words. I love them more for the meanings they infer, rather than define. The essence you get alongside the meaning of the actual word. I’m very particular with words for this reason (or as particular as a motor-mouth such as I can be). It’s the reason I don’t like words such as ‘boyfriend’. Not because I dislike the meaning. In fact, I happen to like it very much. I dislike it because it is too easily thrown about, and therefore the meaning is not as treasured or important.

But books. This (I begrudgingly state) plethora of books. I can’t quite explain my reaction. How I stand somewhere around the middle of the fiction section, staring at all the different books with their different covers, all morphing into a blur of similar colours and features. So different, yet so similar. I don’t know how it makes me feel. Disquieted. Like something is not quite right, but not different enough to be wrong. Like entering a locked room and swearing something has changed.

I’m sure it’s just the words getting to my head. Time to take my new books (and increasing poverty) and head for the till.


I’m thinking about Koha. I’m contemplating the idea of being completely out of my depth in my undertakings. I’m thinking about perseverance. I’m thinking I’m thankful that IR Fest provided hot water and teabags alongside their pre-brewed tea. But mostly, I’m thinking I’m out of my depth. What’s weirder? I’m excited by it. I have 101 ideas and nearly as many projects. All with no sense of giving up in a hurry. I want to do it all. Research all my ideas. Apply for all my dream jobs.  Print all my studies. It’s impossible, but as I sip my rapidly waning cup of tea (and mourn the pitiful size of the coffee cups provided) I contemplate all my ideas. Contemplate what may get dropped when interest laxes or time simply becomes too tight.  Contemplate what I’ll likely cling to with bleeding and weary fingers. So I contemplate Koha. How I will download it onto my laptop. How I will teach another to do so.  How I will teach this person halfway around the world to build a library.

How? How? How?

I only have one answer so far.  But its the most important one.  Perseverance. Perseverance, determination, and tea. The rest will come…likely with my next cup of tea. But until then, I contemplate Uganda.