Feb. 28th, 2017

smokingboot: (individualism)
Some excellent news arrived and last night we enjoyed the relief of it. This morning I am quietly counting the cost; we will not be moving to Oz in the foreseeable future.

There are important benefits to that. If something goes wrong with Mum I'm half a day away at the very most, Europe remains close, and of course we have wonderful friends here... But I am going to indulge myself a bit this morning. To me, GB has been like some grim Dickensian benefactor who really didn't want to look after me, and expected me to be grateful for resentfully given help. Nothing destroys gratitude faster than the expectation of it. I didn't like the country on first return from Singapore, and I don't like what I see now. But I am engaged with the history of the place,and perhaps that's what should infuse my writing.

As Larians points out, Oz has its own political and racially derived problems. There is no Shangri-La out there. But I don't feel any sense of belonging here at all. When I was small GB seemed like a prison.

I have heard apologists say, 'Oh, but everywhere is like that. People always prefer their own,' but I never noticed it in Spain when we visited. It was a very English thing, and it continued for years. And people don't understand how the underlying unfriendliness becomes a set tone, til you really couldn't care less anymore. England became much nicer to me when I genuinely stopped trying to love it or see it as my home. Now I get nothing but people saying 'We're not that bad are we? After all, you are one of us!' Well, the old streets and stones call me with their stories, and I'll make the best of it for now.
But no, I am not one of them, and never will be.

There are stories to be told of this place, and I keep bumping into them. So maybe that's where my research should take me. But it's not very fresh, is it? So I am not sure.

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