On the radio this morning Kim Hill interviewed Graeme Simsion, the NZ-born Australian author of the successful novel The Rosie Project. The main protagonist in the book has Asperger's, although Simsion doesn't explicitly mention it. It sounds like a good read - I must look out for it. Simsion ran an IT business, earning good money, before (in his fifties) turning his hand to writing. I was intrigued by two things he had to say. First that to become an expert at something (to the point of making a living from it) requires 10,000 hours of practice, whether that's writing or painting or golf or whatever, and since most of us can't afford to give up our day jobs we need to find those 10,000 hours on top of our full-time employment. So if I could manage thirty hours a week, that's seven years! I'll be forty by then, and probably overweight, living alone in a complete pigsty. His other comment related to people with Asperger's: they can (1) choose to remain social outsiders, or (2) learn what to say at parties and, as he put it, what wine to serve with which cheese, and gradually "grow out of it". That's all a serious oversimplification. It's possible to do something in between (have social contact without being the life and soul of the party) and for some people on the spectrum, fitting in is extremely difficult if not impossible no matter how hard they work at it. As for the "grow out of it" bit, that's a great way to perpetuate the myth that autism is "something kids have".
Yesterday our work team went out for lunch. I had a rather yummy lamb shank. I've given some thought to how easy or hard it would be to give various things up for a year. Alcohol: pretty easy; I enjoy a glass of wine or beer but I could easily go without. Online poker: harder, but I've managed fine so far and never get the urge to play. Meat: now there's a toughie (typing that has got me thinking of steak). Meat-free days are extremely rare for me (I'm still thinking of steak). Mmm. To be honest I don't eat huge amounts of meat but that's more a financial decision than anything else.
On Wednesday we had the day off to celebrate Bob Marley Day. I spent some time on my puzzles - I'm submitting some to an Australian publishing company - and had fun and games with my printer. I decided to cut my losses and buy a new (cheap) one. I also bought some extra ink that cost more than the printer.