Spending the day in London yesterday made me realise how much I miss the world, how much I wish things were back to normal, and how much things aren’t back to normal and never will get back to normal. M and I went down on the train to have lunch with L and L, very dear friends of ours from the US whom we haven’t seen for five years. I first met L at work in 1997, so I guess the Silver Anniversary of our bromance must be some time around now. If I’d kept a journal at the time, I’d even know the exact date. Being the man I am, I cried when I gave L a big hug as soon as I saw him.
Private conversations are best kept private, but suffice to say that L and L were astounded that the laws covering mask wearing in England were lax in the extreme, especially in schools. And this is the thing – M and I were in a small minority of people wearing masks on public transport. I did a rough calculation of mask-wearers on the escalator at Liverpool Street – only about 1 in 20 people ere wearing masks; that’s a ridiculous 5%. Is it any wonder that covid-19 still rampages through the population?
The weather was glorious, and after M and I left L and L, we walked round Kensington Gardens for a while. It was good to hear so many different accents and languages, but there were fewer of them than in the past. Some of this may of course be due to the pandemic, but I really feel much of it is down to Brexit and the unwelcoming face Britain now presents to the world. Walking round that park, I felt angry and betrayed by a country that ascribes so much value to the monarchy (the park is in essence only there for their amusement) and whose government feels it is appropriate to exclude much of the world, and mainly its immediate neighbours, from the country, and which unilaterally decided to deprive us of our freedom of movement t live and work in Europe. All the lovely scenery and greenery couldn’t distract me from the basic injustices that are being inflicted on the majority of this country’s citizens.
The words have been difficult to find this morning. These are rough notes, unedited thoughts. Sometimes it’s better just to live and not to write it all down. The sun has burned away a lot of the cloud. I felt leavened yesterday. My life has been blessed by meeting so many extraordinary people, a few of which have become extraordinary friends. Just like other memories best not held captive in photographs, they are best held in my head rather than entirely on paper.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 72