I have lost the ability, patience, attention or something to read books recently, which means I am bored and isolated much of the time. I have a number of books in a kind of master in-pile, waiting to be read, and I have a number of books ''to acquire'' listed somewhere upstairs, but the prospects of actually acquiring and reading them are becoming more and more unlikely. I even have a few books awaiting dispatch to an old reader, now many months overdue; I hope he will forgive my negligence. I have tried to read in many different ways, at different times, even literature I wouldn't otherwise bother with (such as a John Adams essay on Canon and Feudal law), but the words go in and then go out, and there is no memory, and boredom, much like the the apathy I mentioned before, just sets in. And the trouble is I feel like I am running out of time. I have felt like this for many months already, and May will turn into September in a few seconds, and September into a new year, and that will turn into 2073 in no time at all. As Basil Fawlty adequately put: ''Zhooooom, what was that? That was your life, mate! Oh...do I get another? Sorry, mate, that's your lot.'' It's almost as if I am standing at the top of a cliff watching at a safe enough distance the onset of a ruinous storm, all in slow motion, and it comes nearer and now nearer until inevitably I am swept away. Do I conceive of finding some safe place in which to hide? Of course not; what would be the point?