I was touched when friend wrote to me this morning mentioning that he hadn't seen a 'tiny letter' from me in some time, suggesting he was worried that I might not be well.
The truth is that I am well, close to the end of my third two-month sojourn in Paris. I'm spending the weekend with my sister and her husband in rural Kent, England, after choosing to make the journey from Paris on the long-distance bus that includes the ferry crossing from Calais to Dover.
The email made me reflect that we all have 'signs of life' that we project - intentionally or otherwise - to friends, family, neighbours, and others. The signs are usually associated with habitual behaviour that is visible. When we break or vary our habits, it can seem that there is something awry.
Two years ago this month I started writing a letter - also referred to as a blog - almost every day. After a while it became less regular, and it's now over a month since I last posted during my visit to Luxembourg.
I didn't want to be bound to produce a piece of writing every day, as I was happily finished with the main part of my working life with all its deadlines and pressures. I wanted to become a free spirit and foster a certain creative randomness and circuitousness in what I do.
This is evident in many aspects of my life such as my choice the other day to travel using the old Dover ferry rather than the modern and more convenient Eurostar train.
While I haven't had a job as such for three years, this year I have started to undertake some paid 'hobby' employment. One of my part-time roles is to do English language subtitles for the Mubi arthouse movie streaming service, and the other involves compiling logs of oral history recordings for an academic at Sydney University.
I have also been doing more reading than usual, and continuing to keep up with my health and fitness regime, currently with a new dimension, which is my experimentation with the no sugar-low carb-high fat diet.
As I mentioned previously, my motivation is not to lose weight but rather to healthily enjoy the high fat part of the French diet, accepting that baguettes and cakes and pastries are definitely off the menu. I have faithfully kept this discipline and been rewarded with plenty of foie gras, duck confit, fatty sausages, and much more.
Will I stick with it into the future? I don't know. I contacted Thai Airways the other day and ordered raw vegetarian meals for my flights to Sydney, as that is the option that is most compatible with the diet.