I have a new favourite word: Deliciate. It means to delight oneself, to revel. Isn’t it a wonderful word?

It’s the kind of word that when I read it I’m struck by the obviousness of what my life should be about. You see I’m a pretty hardcore nihilist. I not only believe there is no God and little in the way of rhyme or reason to our lives but I take that liberating terrifying thought and wherever possible try to create a life of my own making.

I think The Classic Crime rather miss the point of the joy that is to be had in nihilism (in fairness they have a touch of the Bible basher about them). Who says it must be a negative? Well, me for starters and that’s why I’m writing a book on the subject. I forced myself to wait until I had my PhD because I knew that once I surrendered it might take over.

I came across the word deliciate today just when I needed it. On Monday I make the first leg of my trip to Turkey where I’ll spend a fortnight apart from the fiancé, the kids, the house and all the distractions of real life. I can’t wait but I have been feeling oddly guilty and utterly self-indulgent. Why? I mean, why the bloody hell shouldn’t I?

I’m a rubbish nihilist.

I worry incessantly. I’m all about the theory you see. Philosophically I’m there, no question. But in the day to day I’m forever trying to justify my beliefs. Sure they can be a little unorthodox but the fiancé and my family aren’t phased. Similarly, my friends are either sufficiently disinterested (let’s be honest, we’re all preoccupied with our own stuff aren’t we?) or adequately supportive to not get me spiralling into self disgust on their account. So who’s left? People I don’t care about? Some mysterious other that I don’t believe in?

There’s a saying in academia that the best way to learn something is to teach it. The idea is that when you consider how to convey a message to a virgin audience, you are more critical about ensuring the key elements are all there. My PhD identifies me as an expert on Malaysia but I learnt some of my best lessons when I gave lectures and presentations. The questions asked afterwards helped me appreciate what I’d left out and the process itself enforced order on my rambling thoughts.

So hopefully this book will be my reconciliation between my theory and my practice. I’m hoping that the process of researching and writing it will change me as I talk of application and universality. At any rate I shall deliciate in my project and follow the ideas and whims that occur to me.

That’s all. A short column this week but I’ve lots going on. Take care and I’ll be in touch soon.

The view from my old apartment in KL where I did much musing

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