It's so simple to be wise.  Just think of something stupid to say, and then don't say it.     Sam Levenson (1911-1980)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


In a few more days we will overstuff our suitcases and head for home.  The kids have been asking, begging, really -- When are we coming home?  They miss their friends, and the ease of access to those friends.  They miss our animals.  So do I.

I am torn.  I want to get back to normalcy, to routine -- not that summer vacation is the time for that, but never mind.  I miss my friends, our neighbors.  Reading all the latest "ideological conversations" (in the words of one neighbor) via community  listserv does not quite satisfy.

There are things here I will miss.
The cool weather, and the rain.  
Public parks, open farmland, trees.  
The convenience of buses, trains, and the Underground.   
People who wait patiently while others disembark from buses, trains and the Underground.  
The Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery.  
Every type of bird in the garden.  Squirrels.
Electric sockets with built-in switches.  
What I will not miss:  Histrionic headlines preceding dumb-downed, hyperbolic newspaper pieces that preempt rational analysis and deter all optimism.  

There are real reasons for worry here.  Swine flu is spreading, a few have died.  Thousands are ill but most will recover after a few days and without hospitalization.  Newspaper headlines only inflame the panic. So when a young man gone missing in Katoomba, Australia was found alive and healthy after nearly two weeks in the wilderness, I took that as encouraging, hopeful, a reason for national celebration.   

Yet a Kew station news poster screamed, "DAD CHASTISES SON FOR HIKING ALONE!"  I mean, really. What a lost opportunity.  I see this type of thing posted on mortar boards, morning and evening, and think, Hey, Londoners, why do you do it to yourselves?  The constant cloud cover isn't enough? 

Not much balance there.



ProfK said...

It's that old problem of "the grass is greener on the other side." I've always felt that should read "the grass is green on both sides" or "the grass isn't so green on either side." There are plusses and minuses to any place where you find yourself, but "home" has the advantage of being the place where you can make some of the rules and bring in or keep out what you want.

Yet, not so strangely, we gladly get home and in a short while the question is "Where are we going on the next vacation?"

A Living Nadneyda said...

I think we're programmed to seek the new and the interesting. In a way, the urge driving some people to create, is a version of that driving others to shop for clothes or reupholster the sofa.

I want to reexamine this topic from a different angle in the near future.

rickismom said...

warning: tomarrow I am tagging you (SORRY!) (in a post-dated post)

Elisheva said...

I LOVE your line that starts "What I will not miss"! Oh, how true it is. London is not a town of optimistic energy...