An Escapologist’s Diary. Part 12.

Yesterday, I stayed indoors because of the amazing rain. This incidentally resulted in a day of zero expenditure, if you overlook the 12$ daily rent.

Here are some of the things I did for free:

– Read the final quarter of George Orwell’s Coming up for air. It was a library copy, which I had retrieved on foot).

– Watched the torrential rain from our balcony. I had to stay close to the wall to avoid getting wet but it was remarkable to watch and listen to rain like this. Even though I’ve largely acclimatised to Montreal’s sunshine and French language, the heavy rain is always a reminder that I’m abroad

– Edited four articles for the pending fourth edition before passing them to our sub-editor for approval.

– Posted yesterday’s blog entry and spent a little time reading Matthew‘s blog.

Baked bread (not technically free but at 70¢ for two loaves, it’s hardly worth acknowledging as an expense).

– Took a nap. Possibly the sweetest afternoon activity for any non-worker. I kept the balcony door open and drifted off to the sound of foreign rain.

– Played twenty minutes of free online Pacman, my favourite computer game ever. This version (designed by Neave) is an unlicensed clone of Namco’s original, but I think it’s the best version ever made. I don’t generally advocate spending time playing computer games but I have an occasional penchant for Pacman and Asteroids. I like to make up stories about these strange and simple games. I believe the pilot of the Asteroids spaceship is a criminal sentenced to the penal servitude of rock-breaking in outer space with only an amazingly fragile hull between him and the eternal void. Not bad for 2KB ROM code.

– Ate home-baked cake (again, at a negligible cost) while listening to the weekly podcast of Richard Herring and Andrew Collings: a comedy double act who’ve provided hundreds of hours of free entertainment since they went live in July 2008. It is shabby and hard on the ears but that is kind of the point. I’m looking forward to a month-long visit from my friend Dan in October, with whom I’ll make a smaller contribution of a similar fuzzy quality.

– Drank home-filtered water from a mason jar and pretended alternately to be Epicurus and Robinson Crusoe. Anyone who suggests my day of solitude drove me temporarily insane might be onto something.

– A daily ten-minute French language lesson using MP3 versions of Michel Thomas‘ method tapes.

– Spent quality time with my rainsoaked girlfriend upon her return from work. We made dinner and watched Star Trek DVDs from my compact and well-stocked DJ case.

Yesterday was like one of those ‘wet lunches’ at school when the teachers allow you to stay indoors and play board games instead of getting wet at lunchtime, except that it was an all-day ‘wet lunch’ and it was pretty alright.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

4 Responses to “An Escapologist’s Diary. Part 12.”

  1. SMH says:

    Just how I like to spend a day—even without rain for an excuse.

    Now did you mean do say “penal servitude”, or is there a pun I’m missing?

  2. Rob says:

    Oh boy. No pun intended at all. I’ve now changed it. Well spotted though. Jeeze.

    Not that I’ve got one thing on the mind at all!

  3. […] Wringham in his most recent Escapologists Diary (Escapology and Slow make good bed fellows) discusses a day he recently stayed in due to the rain […]

  4. […] things didn’t quite work out as planned. Torrential Montreal rain scuppered the walking element of the plan so we caught the bus instead. I’m becoming less and […]

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