I am the grit in the gears, the missing bolt, I am the poker of sticks into spokes.
I like to know how things work, but sometimes when I take them apart and rebuild them, I have a few pieces left over.
I am a man, so I tend to leave reading the instructions until after it goes wrong.
And like all men I have a comprehensive mental map of the world and never need to ask directions.
I never get lost, only sometimes I'm late, or end up in the wrong place entirely.
It's what we do.
A few images from my recent wanderings around The Woodlands, Texas. This part of the township is probably amongst the highest priced real-estate in the area, situated close to the lake, and within a short distance from the mall, the business area, and a couple of miles from the interstate, for the commute to Houston or access to the airport.
Like many places in the U.S, this whole township was founded, by my terms, approximately yesterday, it rings to the sound of saws and hammers, crews of hispanic workers were eating their lunch in whatever shade they could find as I wandered by with my camera. For some reason, I didn't take many photographs, though I was fascinated by the mish-mash of styles. One moment you're wandering past a New-England sea-captain's house, full, I'm sure of sea-chests, carved narwhal tusks, and paintings of whale ships hunting Moby Dick.
Next you're passing a hacienda, in which flamenco dancers whirl to the sound of a gypsy guitar.
And then, in the blink of an eye, you're in the antebellum south, plantation houses with white pillars and shadowed porches. You can almost hear the mournful sound of slaves singing as they haul their heavy sacks of cotton.
Across the water, rectilinear houses straight out of sixties futurist architecture, old english cottages, absolutely no coherence whatsoever on terms of overall architectural vision. My impression is that I've stumbled accidentally into a secret Hollywood movie lot.
Apart from the construction workers, nobody's on the street. Every house looks perfectly professionally decorated and furnished. Where are the people? Where are the children playing? Where are the elderly folk, stopping to chat with a friend? The householder pruning a rose?
Nowhere here looks like a home.
If I had the money at which these mansions are priced, would I want one?
I like land around me. A small house is fine by me, but when my neighbour sneezes, I don't want to have to wipe my windows. I'm modest in my needs.
(More about Bastrop very soon. Posting this week has been interrupted by fatigue. Returning from my stay with Red Dirt Girl, ( her latest post about our travels here), I was plunged back into the chaos which is my normal work life, so much had piled up awaiting my return, and my sleep patterns were slow to readjust, so I've tended to get home, eat, shower, and fall into deep sleep, awakening just before midnight, then a fretful night of drowsing and waking, watching the curtains become paler as dawn breaks outside, I'm tired... Tomorrow, I plan to leave work early and start driving south toward Wales. The weather forecast is for unrelenting rain, not perfect as the family meets to scatter half of my mothers ashes on the cliffs where she walked in her youth.
The drive's about five hours. We'll see how the tiredness goes. If I'm in a mental state of decrepitude by the time I get to Hereford or thereabouts, I'll seek a cheap business-type hotel, and continue early.
The route I'll use is via the Brecon Beacons, but I suspect all I'll see of that beautiful countryside is rain and grey cloud.
I doubt I'll get time to post more until maybe monday....