Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Ponderings on parochialism

Life is still able to surprise me, as I found this morning during my commute to work. On this occasion I didn't have the company of my usual "train buddy", John, who was probably delayed; instead I found myself surrounded by a "gaggle" of middle-aged women; a lively bunch, laughing, chattering, and causing good-natured mayhem.

From their conversation, I gleaned they were on a day trip to London, an exciting excursion into the "Big Smoke". They spoke excitedly of Camden Market, Museums, the Thames, and the "dangers" (retail-wise) of Oxford Street. They were well-prepared too, displaying bag after bag of provisions: wet-wipes, tissues, tourist guide books, food, and surprisingly, washing powder. They offered me a muffin; I declined, "thanks all the same", said I, "but it's too early in the day!". Oh how they laughed, almost.

My destination approached, and as I excused myself from the group, I bid them a good visit. At that moment, approaching the exit, I was overwhelmed by the desire to stay on the train, with a view to tagging along with this jolly group. Feelings long-buried, engulfed me: the forgotten thrill of my youthful, "illicit" days off, when, with my friend, I'd forego the office, and instead, spend the day wasting time sipping beer in a pub (I was living with my parents, and at days end, I'd arrive home, feigning tiredness after a hard day's toil).

Needless to say, I didn't act upon this desire, but I have feelings of regret. A chance missed. And why? Because for most of us, Life insidiously creates around us, a hard veneer of routine, of responsibility, of shoulds, oughts, and musts. We become provincial in every sense, safe, secure, but sadly, limited.

For the first time since my youth, I have no compelling obligation to anyone. Nothing binds me. Not a person, nor place. I'm free to do, as I wish. Then why don't I? Next time, just you see... next time...

5 comments:

Michelle said...

Well it seems like you're having a good ole time, going places, doing stuff, writing about that stuff.. nuking blogs that somehow resurrect themselves from the nether whatsits.. or something.

A day trip sounds like fun. Sitting in a bar does as well.. combining the two is particularly pleasant.

Ronald said...

So I appear to be having a "good ole time"? Interesting idea, and I might buy it except that most of the time I'm in Birmingham. Let me see: Brum v Prague... Brum v Prague... Brum v Prague... [strokes chin] hmmm...it's a no-brainer, you win hands down, just being in Prague trumps any amount of boozing in Birmingham. Though I could be wrong [strokes chin again] Hmmmm.... maybe too much of a good thing makes it ordinary... perhaps, Prague is your Brum! Gosh... look what happens when I make the effort and apply 3 brain cells :-)

Michelle said...

Well sure, Prague is nice and everything.. but I've only been on one trip this year! And to tell you the truth that's a lot for me, I usually go like.. nowhere.

On the other hand, I have visited a pub on considerably more occasions than that, so I guess it evens out.. I mean if one is going to be stuck in one place for most of their time and I actually am here most of the time unlike people who go on like.. 3 trips before August.. then it's better if that's a place that has a lot of pubs.. and believe you me.. there are a lot of pubs here..

*burps*

Ronald said...

You like drink? Really? :-)

Michelle said...

well not much really..

*burps*

um.. relatively :Z