So much pub food

July 21, 2008

but not much walking, so physical health levels down while mental health levels raised by not having to do anything strenuous. I think we covered all the holiday staples: we visited a seaside town, a local attraction, a wildlife, and a historical building. We also had many kinds of cakes to the point where my partner got sick of them and started refusing dessert. He and I also came across a slight problem with second-hand bookshops and I have now shored up my to-be-read avalanche-waiting-to-happen with even more fine quality reading materials. The best part was seeing the joy in the old shop-owner’s face when we made our purchases and feeling like we’d bought his lunch that day. The worst part was when I decided I was eighty but conveniently without arthritis and should take up quilting. Soon I shall be queen of all that is twee. We narrowly avoided going to the cat pottery as that may have tipped me over the edge.

Does anyone know the link between Hornby/Steam trains and gollywogs? No this isn’t an off-colour joke and I don’t actually know the answer. All I can say is that when we went for a ride on the tiny steam train all the stations stocked many sizes and styles of gollies. No one seemed bothered either. My mum even suggested I get a little one to clip on my handbag. It was at this point I realised that there are no black or ethnic minority people in the British countryside. That’s a lie, I saw a black man in a UV jacket the day after the steam train incident, but noticing these things made me feel weird and out of place and I’m white and British. I feel uncomfortable in areas where there are only white people because it feels like there is some kind of unspoken exclusion being practiced and it makes me suspicious of the local population. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always lived in cities that it feels a lot more normal to me to have a mix of people around.

I think if I voiced that opinion to the Daily Fail (or half the papers around) I would be labelled the hapless victim of the evils of multiculturalism. But that can’t be right because most non-white people I see day to day are British, just as British as I am and part of the same culture as me. I saw a news report yesterday that there is a possibilty of creating a regulation that would prevent potential parents adopting children of a different race to themselves because the child might lose their culture, but if the child was born here chances are it would have been raised in British culture anyway. They will have plenty of time to research their biological heritage when they are older, besides which they are hardly likely to get any better cultural impressions from being stuck in a care home. This double standard is simply a way of ensuring that white children get a better chance of being adopted while leaving ethnic minority children without family support that could help them get a better education or ease the transition to adulthood.

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Diversions

May 28, 2008

In the way back when hobbies, entertainments and parties were called diversions. I’m not sure what people were diverting themselves from, but it feels like they had these specially arranged distractions every so often that provided fun and gossip. We’ve probably got more distractions than actual productive tasks now. I want to say something about comparitive levels of altruism but my history isn’t good enough to back it up. I think distractions are only meant to be short term though, and too many people treat them as the be all and end all to their detriment.

On an unrelated topic: I need to sleep. If you have read the other posts you will know that I do not to well when sleep deprived. Things like train disruptions (thank you Virgin for your needlessly wank service, and London Midland for the no warning when moving my train time for 2 days) enrage me to unreasonable levels. Forming sentences is taxing (this post sponsored by sin coffee). Unfortunately I can’t really complain about the reason for my lack of sleep (a damn good shag) but the timing could have been better. Particularly as my partner knows I need at least as much if not more sleep than him and he gets to lie in an extra 2 hours after I get up for work (a reasonable half eight to my half six). And I overslept by 20 minutes today, meaning no gentle wake up with soothing peppermint tea.

As I rant I realise what a precious and spoilt creature I am to complain of my minor inconveniences when I could be a starving third world orphan suffering the molestations of the UN. I found it daft when the news reader last night said some nations don’t want to admit if their people have been involved in this to protect the countries’ reputations – because being a nation that condones and hushes up rape is so much better. Maybe they should have that as a screening question in interviews: “If you think the stress and pressure of working out there among the suffering is going to make you feel a bit rapey you should probably consider something else.”

Sidenote: 45 pages into Save me the Waltz and loving the swirling narrative style.