Overdue Holidays, Reading and a Pilgrimage of sorts…

“If I have to see the insides of yet another heat exchanger, I just might quit”.

So said I to Annie – the intern who assists me at MO Corp – mainly in jest, but with more than just a threat of burnout hovering just beneath the surface. It has been thirty-seven straight weeks of working without a break; thirty-seven weeks of mind numbing, brain frying, geek stuff. It hasn’t helped that I have been largely unable to unburden my mind by reading; unable to let myself loose to indulge in the art of imagination as prompted by others more accomplished than myself.

Last week, I decided I needed to change that and I have started – by digging into Brian Chikwava’s Harare North. It tells the story of an unnamed Zimbabwean immigrant who heads to London (Harare North) looking for work to pay off his debts back home – and buy his freedom from the clutches of the police. I found the vernacular style strangely disconcerting, but overall it was a good read. The scene where Sinyoro (uncle to Shingi, our protagonist’s friend) calls our (unnamed) protagonist and proceeds to exchange lengthy greetings brought back memories of my grandmother who had a penchant for long and unwieldy greeting routines.

On the small matter of overdue holidays, I now have a week to play with. And I have decided to head down south – back to the North East of England. Its a region I haven’t been back to since I left late last year, and it promises to be a pilgrimage of sorts. In a sense, I am perceived as the returning hero amongst the friends I have left there, one of the few who have managed to get back into the work place after the debacle that was the demise of our last ‘graft’, and let’s just say that expectations are high. Its all in the life of a bloke I guess. Bring it on!