i still don’t have internet at home and have valiantly made no attempts to acquire it. My landlady has twice burst into my room as i was trying to sleep, with just a preparatory knock about half a second before entry. i find this alarming. There is a lock on the door but i would prefer not to use it. She is totally crazy, as a woman will be after a lifetime of training circus animals.

Today, i was mobbed by her large dogs as i tried to get out of the yard. One took a little nip out of my leg and the others raced about me snarling and barking ferociously; this after more than a week of living there, and having even fed the ungrateful swine from my hands, on my landlady’s orders (so they would supposedly regard me as a friend).

i stayed motionless and stared vacantly over their baying heads till my landlady bustled over, whereupon one of the four-legged brutes even tried to lick my hand as if to say “no hard feelings, eh? Get you next time, though, you vile two-legged thing.”

Although i have found the vacant stare highly useful for avoiding violence, both human and canine, i dislike being torn to pieces by a pack of circus-trained hounds, and so i am already planning to get a flat of my own when i can. My plan to share with the Viking ended when he became increasingly disgruntled with Munich and the Municheers, and i felt he was so rooted in Würzburg, with his favourite pub and friends, that it would be a disservice to uproot him, when i had no secure job. However, to have my own flat i will need, i think, to be earning about 3000 € a month – possible, if i work lots of 20 to 25 €/unit schools, but by no means easy. We shall see.

i’ve been increasingly depressed the last week, waiting for work like Willard in the opening scene of Apocalypse Now.

My basement has almost no light and is cold when outside all is warm and joyous. i feel my will to live ebbing as i subsist without real work (first class is on Tuesday).  i feel that language is so central to my being that without an active and demanding use of words, i rapidly sink into a dark hebetude. Teaching is one use of language, whether speaking or listening; writing is another. In at least three other lives, language was vital to my understanding of my self and my world, and god (or the gods), that i seem to actually physically and emotionally subsist on the energy of language.

This may explain why i so respond to the voice, why my reaction to a voice has always proved a reliable guide to character. In my bunker here in Münich i often remember Juniper’s voice, which i thought the loveliest i had ever heard. She was surprised when i told her this; it surprised me that she was so surprised, that no one had ever told her. She thinks herself very ordinary, unremarkable. In a sense she is – no hidden darkness like Morgana, no wild & exciting anecdotes of which i know – but she is nonetheless extraordinary, in her simplicity, in being so completely herself. She is devoid of artifice – hence her Jason Bourne clothing; her charm lies in her not trying to charm, in, i think, not even knowing how to charm, so what one sees is what one gets.

This is why, perhaps, animals are so endlessly fascinating. i can observe dogs or cats (or kangeroos, now i have two to hand) every day without boredom; there is something infinitely interesting about their lives. And yet, even with my closest and strangest friends, there come times when, after prolonged contact, we run out of things to say. It is because animals, like Juniper, are just themselves – their simplicity is itself fascinating.

Though i prefer it when they don’t try to eat me.