Wednesday, September 16, 2009

change, tracks, reading

Change is often a problem for the elderly. I for one don´t mind it. Hence the pleasure of being on holiday. No Archers, no Eastenders, no BBC News, no Sainsbury´s and above all, no Stasi type British Government surveyance. Big poster advertisments at Gatwick urging travellers to help catch "benefit cheats", ie to shop them if you know any, makes me glad to be saying goobye, albeit for a few days, to the land of hope and glory. A feeling reinforced by the knowledge that about half the adult population are now potentially suspect child abusers, unless they pay to clear their names by checking them against criminal records (ie they are considered guilty until they are proved innocent, which contradicts one of the great, as I thought, irreducible principles of the English Common Law).
Here there is no change where it matter. For example there is a computer which guests can use on the reception desk. But change there is, and for the better: the road between the hotel and the sea has been replaced by paving for pedestrians only and there is a view of the sea unresricted by parked and passing traffic. We breathe the fresh sea air and bless the change as we breakfast in the sun to the sound of breaking waves.
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From the plane, I trace, with my eye, tracks across the wooded hills of Catalonia, like partings through thick hair, and imagine myself walking among the scented pines down there instead of flying thousands of feet above them.
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Holiday reading is refreshing after the diet of Proust and Zola which has dominated the last few months at home: The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larson; Restless by William Boyd; The Anthologer by Nicholson Baker (a birthday present opened before departure); Masters and Commanders by Andrew Roberts; If on a Winter´s Night, a Traveller by Italo Calvino; and another birthday present, still in its wrapper until the big day.

4 comments:

tristan said...

happy bithday whenever ... and i wonder if congenital optimists like you and me don't see every new day as a kind of birthday ?

Barrett Bonden said...

Happy birthday, too. To reassure yourself about the outside world (Gatwick hardly qualifies) take a look at your blog profile and you'll find it has notched up another year for you. Google's little prezzie. The tone of your post softens as it goes along to the point where it seems you've forgiven William Boyd. Or someone did it for you.

Plutarch said...

If I have anything to forgive William Boyd for, I can´t remember what it was. And if I could remember I think I would forgive him for Restless, as entertaining, well written and well constructed a holiday read as I can remember

Plutarch said...

Tristan: Yes everyday is a birthday!