Hello, there, Dear Reader. It’s getting close to late morning here in New Hometown, Florida on this Sunday, October 25, 2020. Currently, the temperature is 72˚F (22˚C) under partly sunny skies; with the wind barely blowing from the north-northeast at 1 MPH (2 KM/H) and humidity at 95%, the feels-like temperature is also 72˚F (22˚C). Today we can expect partly sunny skies with a high of 86˚F (30˚C). No rain is expected before nightfall.
I thought about quickly changing into my street clothes and going for a long walk to get some fresh air and clear my head for a while, but I have not had breakfast yet – not even a cup (or two) of coffee. I’ve been up since…6:17 AM Eastern (almost two hours as I write this), and even though I tried going back to sleep, or at least to lie down, the light levels in my room gradually increased even though the blinds and down and the curtains are drawn shut. (If it had been dark out, I might have been able to take a nap; once daylight, no matter how dim, streams in through the window, I’m up. The family dog, who has been keeping me company at night and literally sleeps at my feet since I got my couch/futon, was more inconvenienced than I was, though.)
I don’t know at what time I went to bed last night; it was probably around midnight or so. I tried watching Zulu (1964) on the “nice” TV out in the Florida room, but I think I started the movie a little after 10:30 PM and I could not get into it even though it’s an old favorite from the time when Mom and I first arrived to the States in 1972 after living abroad for six years. The old Miami area indie TV station, WCIX-TV (Channel Six) used to air it either in its Eight PM Movie lineup or on weekends, especially as part of its afternoon programming.
Zulu – for reasons I don’t quite understand – struck a chord with nine-year-old me even though the first time I saw it I didn’t know quite what was going on. I had not yet relearned English after living and going to school in a South American nation, so all of the nuances – historical and dramatic – of director Cy Endfield’s excellent dramatization of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. But there was something about John Barry’s score that captivated me, and even as a young boy of nine I loved military history, including that of other countries besides the U.S.
But I digress. I watched the beginning with some enthusiasm, but as Zulu progressed from the prelude to the Battle of Rorke’s Drift (which can be best described as Britain’s colonial Battle of the Alamo, except it has a more positive outcome for the redcoats than that of the legendary battle in San Antonio, Texas) to the climax of the battle, I lost interest and turned it off.
I wasn’t quite sleepy yet, so I went to my room and watched, with a bit more interest, the episode Blockade from the British documentary The First World War (2003). I watched that all the way to the end, even though I’m hazy about the last 10 minutes because by then I was sleepy.
As for my plans for today? In the short term, I will go to the kitchenette and have breakfast. It probably will consist of a bowl of cold cereal and some toast, enhanced, perhaps, by some coffee. After that, I’ll probably go for a walk before it gets too sunny and – consequently – too hot.
Beyond that? I should start doing at least some preparation for the NaNoWriMo 2020 challenge, which starts on November 1. I signed up for it last November, full of piss and vinegar, but I allowed myself to get sidetracked and haven’t really done much beyond some research into how U.S. war correspondents covered World War II and bought a reissue of Ernie Pyle’s 1944 collection of columns, Brave Men. I have a vague idea about the story I want to tell, but other than that…..
So…if one of the books that I ordered – DK Books’ World War II Map by Map –gets here at a decent hour – by which I mean before nightfall – I will at least have a visual reference to help me visualize the geography of my possible novel (which I am tentatively calling The Tonic of Their Victory). I find that looking at maps and illustrations helps me get a grip on where and when events took place, and how geography and terrain played a role in the Normandy campaign.
Hey, it’s a start, right?