11 Minutes

This is the title of a novel by Paul Coelho.  In this novel he writes about a prostitute who learns about the sacred nature of sex and meets an English man who introduces her to the delights of sado masochism.  It’s always the English who do that.  I haven’t read it and I’m not going to.  I have only ever tried to read one of his books and I didn’t get through it. He’s one of those writers that you get recommended especially after a particularly bruising breakup.  It’s all very spiritual.  Bleakly depressing.  I’m a member of the Haters of Paul Coelho group on Facebook.

Luckily, 11 minutes is also how long it takes to develop a roll of Pan-F+ in Rodinal at 1:50 at 20C.  I find that a lot more comforting.  Mixing the one shot, pouring it in the developing tank, agitating for 30 seconds and then three inversions every 20 seconds.  Standing in my bathroom, tipping the tank and looking at the packets of time counting down on my phone.  It is a bit like meditating, except at the end you get to see a negative.  When I try to meditate without chemicals, I end up thinking about all sorts of crap.  It is not in the least bit relaxing.