Does offline blogging count?
Well I couldn’t post to my blog on holiday because there was no phone and no mobile signal but I couldn’t help myself jotting down the following thoughts….
The holiday was great but a couple of things troubled me. The first was our proximity to one of the major US air bases in the UK. Here we were in this rural idyll in the midst of a pine forest, clear skies and sunlight sparkling on the surrounding lakes…. all to the drone of vast bombers taking off and landing. There was even a Vietnam style helicopter went over this afternoon. Although it hasn’t been constant enough to spoil the holiday it did make me think…. all those boys playing with big toys so close by.
The second thing was the “add water and stir” nature of the nature. The holiday centre is very well run especially if you have kids and it is all done very tastefully. Yet when you cycle along one of the paved paths through the woods you know that the meandering line you are following started out as a line on a draftsman’s drawing board. Every apparently natural element of the centre has been meticulously planned. It’s a bit like Iiving in a modern town development with all their roundabouts. On one level they make sense but on another they eat away at your soul.
I was recently watching a documentary about archaeologists digging up Roman remains in Italy. I found myself thinking, yet again, how I wish I had found my calling in life. The archaeologists were working in a part of the world, the mediterranean, which I love doing something which obviously excites them yet appeared to be without stress or anxiety. There are so many lives to lead and yet I always seem to be dissatisfied, wishing I was someone else, somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else.
During our holiday I was dropping my kids off at a playgroup for the morning, meant to be a welcome break for Mum and Dad, and found myself not wanting to let them go. I was reminded of two particularly painful experiences from my youth when my Mum dropped me off at school and Cub Scouts.
On both occasions I was very afraid and didn’t want to be left by her. I’m not sure whether she got annoyed or embarrassed by my protests but I felt totally rejected and even more scared. I still remember getting very emotional as a child whenever I thought about my Mum. I would be so worried when she gave a birthday party for me to which other kids were invited that they wouldn’t like our, her, party, that she would have tried so hard and “failed” For some reason, even as young as eight, I would feel very melancholy, as if we were all trying hard but it somehow wasn’t enough.
Both my girls were quite happy to be left and I found myself trying not to transfer my apprehension to them. It is really hard not to pass on your fears for the previous generation to the next.