The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres



9 months, 3 days and untold numbers of espressos later and I've finished Extreme Su Doku: Bk. 2, by Wayne Gould

I can't remember how long book 1 took me, but I now have book 3 at the ready.

These Sudoku books have become a part of my life over the past couple of years. There's a wonderful meditative quality when my mind is so occupied, that for the duration I'm no longer thinking about anything else - fears, concerns and anxieties are nudged out the way. It's almost become another form of self medication, only with less harmful side effects.

However, because it's usually to hand, especially around coffee time, these books also become notepads.

So along with jottings of which numbers might go where, endless scribbles of shopping lists, things to do, phone numbers, blog ideas and philosophical concepts also end up in the margins.

Before I can throw an old Sudoku book away, it has to be meticulously gone through and any important information needs to be transferred to a different scrap of paper, to be put in a pile, lost, briefly refound and placed in another important pile, lost again, then rediscovered 2 years later when it is no longer relevant.

I'm trying not to think about the fact Wayne Gould doesn't seem to have written a 4th book in the series...


Jimmy Bastard said...

One of these days I'm gonnae take some time off and get you out on the golf course, or at the very least some salmon fishing on the Nith.

Bring your camera along, it'll be an interesting day indeed.

savannah said...

since y'all throw away the completed book, why not tear the notated pages out and clip them together instead? i've found that's the easiest way to keep anecdotal evidence. ;~D xoxoxo

PI said...

Do it! (RE Jimmy's comment.)
I decided not to put undue stress on my shrinking grey matter so cross- words yes - soduko no. BUT I can now use my new recording machine - with a lot of help from my grand-daughter.

mapstew said...

Soduko just hurts the insides of my skull!
You must have great patience,


LegalMist said...

Have you tried (Or is it too easy, even on the "hard" setting?)

Kanani said...

I have a friend in my yoga class, who was jonesing to get back to his NYTimes Crossword Puzzle. Apparently, he'd neglected one for 3 days. Was very restless. As we left, I saw him with the paper tucked under his arm.

Eryl Shields said...

The mere mention of soduko makes me seize up a little. I once had a look at one in a newspaper and couldn't understand what it was asking of me. Still, I hope Mr Gould pulls his finger out for you.

debra said...

Soduko is totally unappealing to me, too. I love word puzzles, but sudoko makes no sense to me. Interesting, huh.

debra said...

argh---I spelled it wrong----should be sudoko :-/

Kim Ayres said...

Jimmy - a great way to say "you need to get out more! :) Not golf though - I shudder whenever I see a man in tarten trews.

Savannah - sounds like an ideal tip for the Reader's Digest!

Pat - does this mean you'll start recording stories for the Storytellers Blog again?

Mapstew - not patience - I just enjoy the abstract quality of numbers rather than having to think about meanings of words - it's that which contributes to the meditative quality

LegalMist - there are many online Sudoku sites, but doing them online has no appeal. Part of what I really enjoy about them is sitting at the table, or in a chair with a pen.

Kanani - I think these things can definitely become an addictive form of self medication

Eryl - I've tried emailing his official website, but have heard nothing back yet

Debra - actually you spelled it wrong the 2nd time too - it's actually Sudoku. But don't worry - everyone followed Pat's misspelling rather than recheck the actual post :)

hope said...


Nope, that thing would turn me into a raving loony, not calm me down. But I'm glad it works for you. Seems more men than women do those types of puzzles...has something to do with analytical thinking and how men process information.

I forgot to tell you...there's a special photo on my last blog post with a link back to your more professional photography. ;)

Conan Drumm said...

Ah yes, the symbolic joys of

1 6 3 5 2 7 9 4 8

Bella said...

I love sudoku puzzles myself!

Restaurant Gal said...

I used to keep notes like that for years and years in notebook-style calendars. I could never throw them away. Somewhere, buried in boxes I have never unpacked since my move to Florida, are years of records of play dates for my then-young kids, article deadlines, meetings with editors and writers, travel plans, and all else about a life I lived a long time ago.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - ah, but it's not math - your prejudice of numbers is getting in the way. It could just as easily be done with letters, signs of the zodiac, or different coloured pebbles. It's about looking for ways to avoid repeats in lines and boxes.

And thanks for the link - I'll be over to check soon - I'm afraid blog activity has been a bit sparse this week for me.

Conan - I think I need a cold shower now...

Bella - judging by the other comments in here we seem to be a rare breed :)

Restaurant Gal - it's a strange thing, isn't it - if thes boxes were accidentally burned or thrown out, we wouldn't miss them, and might even feel a bit freer, yet it's impossible to chuck them onthe bonfire ourselves.

Gary Mchale said...

I oten wondered what anyone found interesting about sudoku.
My father in law used to sit with his sudoku book constantly.
It was only after his death that we saw the scribbles in the book.
His thoughts, feelings and emotions were imprinted. Needless to say from all the possessions left this is my wifes most treasured piece.

nai nai said...

oO, you must try

i spend my spare hours there, its great!

thenerdqueen said...

I put all of my high school trig. notes in one such book. Ah, sudoku.

Kim Ayres said...

Gary - sometimes they can be a more accurate insight than our carefully written diaries :) I'm glad you found something so meaningful

Nai Nai - I spend most of my day at the computer, so one of the things I love most about Sudoku is the not starting at a screen :)

NerdQueen - so long as no one then throws the book away thinking it's finished with... :)

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