Career Change


I’m disappointed.  I entered my latest novel (The Boundary Fence, unpublished) in a literary competition – a minor one, not the Booker – and didn’t make the longlist.  Not even the longlist!  So I’m beginning to think I’m not cut out to be a novelist.  Therefore I’ve enrolled in an online 12-week scriptwriting course at La Trobe University, starting in July.

That doesn’t displace my ambition to become an influencer.  I’ve been waiting for the big spenders to beat a path to my door, eager to access my phalanx of followers, but they’re a bit slow off the mark.  So I’m given them a nudge by plugging products that I’ve actually bought and think worth recommending.  So stand by to be influenced to buy… drum-roll… Australian bamboo underpants and Ukrainian/Polish jigsaw puzzles.

This is not actually me.

The underpants are made by an Australian company called Boody.  They’re expensive (by mail-order about US$15 a pair including postage-and-packing, but they’re very comfortable and allegedly eco-friendly.  That price includes a few dollars’ premium for a rather roomier cut – for the man who has everything.

The jigsaw puzzles are made by Energia Plus (email but printed in Poland by TREFL S.A.  I can recommend these companies because Mrs SG and I have just finished one of their puzzles (pictured here) and the quality is a lot better than an expensive one we bought a few years ago in the Tate Modern shop.  Each piece is a unique shape and when you slide it into place there’s an inaudible click that reassures you of its rightness.

There’s a story behind that puzzle.  About ten years ago I was working in Ukraine, accompanied by Mrs SG.  We decided to take a week off and tour Crimea.  That was before Putin made a grab for it.  In the city of Feodosia we came across the Aivazovsky National Art Gallery and went it.  Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (1817-1900) was a gifted artist of Armenian ancestry who specialised in seascapes.  One such painting, a huge one with a wall to itself, caught our eye and we stared at it in awe for a long time.  Its title translates as ‘Among the Waves’. Aivazovsky painted it when he was 81.

When we went to recover our coats we found that the cloakroom attendant was selling jigsaw puzzles – and pride of place was taken by a reproduction of the one we’d so admired!  So we bought it. 


One thought on “Career Change

  1. I guess I should be impressed by the selfie.

    Since you and I were working in Ukraine at the same time, it is just possible that Krystyna and I were in Crimea at the same time as you. Sevastopol was very interesting. Yalta was especially nice. Remarkable micro-climate supports a local class of palm tree!


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