Saturday, 10 August 2013

In a quandary

Yep, that's me.  I'm in something of a quandary.  It's not anything major, it's like making a decision on whether to have cereal or toast and marmalade for breakfast.  Pretty earth-shattering stuff.  No, my quandary is deciding what I should write about today.

There are a number of possible themes running around in my head.  There is the report in this morning's newspaper of a man who has written a daily diary for the past 38 years.  It seems his output now exceeds that of William Shakespeare and is approaching that of Charles Dickens.  Or maybe I misread that bit as the kettle came to boil at that point.  But it gave me pause for thought (as I filled the teapot); some of those diary entries would be quite interesting.

A few years ago the Old Bat and I were in the Lake District with my brother and sister-in-law, staying not far from Grasmere and Wordsworth's Dove Cottage, which we visited.  Until then, I had never appreciated that his sister, Dorothy, wrote a journal which has been published.  Following the example of my s-in-l, I bought a copy, thinking it might prove enlightening.  It didn't.  She kept repeating short sentences like, "Walked round the lake in the late afternoon" but gave (to my mind) very little impression of what life was really like for her or her opinions on things that happened.  I suppose 200 years ago life was very much more parochial, with news taking forever to travel from one end of the country to the other.  But what I wanted was rather more of the intimate details of their lives; what they ate, the cost of things and so on.

That was part of the reason behind my starting this blog - an attempt to put down something of my thoughts and to give generations to come some idea of what it is (or was, as it will be to them) like to live in these early years of the 21st century.  But perhaps I am being over-ambitious and too full of hubris.

That was one thing I thought I might write about.  Another was the dreadful sense of ennui that seems to have overtaken me these last two or three days.  There are so many things I ought to be doing but that I just can't be bothered with, so many things I usually like doing but seem to be just too much bother.  On the other hand, I was contacted during the week by a distant cousin - my 7 x great grandfather is his 8 x ggf which makes him, oh, something like a 7th cousin once removed.  Anyway, that prodded me to follow another branch of the family tree that I hadn't even know existed.  Not exactly fascinating, but something I find almost irresistible once I get started. Only those who have a similar interest will come anywhere close to understanding that urge!

I also thought I might jot down a few thought on why I like living in this "sceptered isle set in a silver sea".  Those of my readers who know their Shakespeare will know that that is a mangled quotation - and perhaps I will leave the subject right now.  We can always come back to it later.  Meanwhile, I mentioned that I rarely glance at the Royal Pavilion when I pass it on the bus.  Here is a picture I did take - when the sky was almost impossibly blue for England - and which I have recently used as a kind of brand image for Brighton Lions Club.  You will find it on our web site, our Facebook page and our blog.

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