The World Is Too Much With Us

The continual changing scenery can be slightly overwhelming at times. Mostly,

as I say to everyone, it’s like I’ve been gone for 10 minutes. Not

even ten days to the Med with holiday snaps to prove. Ten minutes or a really

long and pleasant coma.

As expected, daily life and daily people have changed very little and I slipped

back into a routine of work and play like I’d never left it. I have however

met two eight-month old humanoids who hadn’t even been conceived before

I left and found good friends in new homes without a moving box in sight. My

dad is no longer in his job and has retired via a fairly nasty legal case, two

close family friends have been through cancer therapy and recovered, my brother

has got engaged and bought an apartment. These are all events that I would like

to think I would have been more of a support through had I been here.

Instead, I have been living in a wonderfully simple bubble. One life. Time

moving at exactly the speed it’s meant to. Or rather, people moving at

exactly the speed of Time. Back in the ‘Real World’ (as locals like

to call it), we cram in far too much and rarely appreciate the clouds. It’s

obvious, of course, but all this juggling is exhausting.

I don’t even mean high-pressured jet setting or living the high life.

Kensington-Victoria-Dulwich-Brixton-London Bridge-South Bank confused me enough.

We climb into a transport time capsule and emerge in a whole new place, scenery,

and social dynamic. Add to that the mobile phone that instantly transports you

to some entirely other place, and I feel torn apart. At the pub I meet distant

friends who I haven’t seen for eight years coupled with those I have thought

of regularly during the last year. This weekend I have met up with people from

seven very different but fundamental times in my life. Most Londoners do this

happily within a day, every day. So, the multiplicity of our lives, that is

something, though known, that has surprised me. I can do it… but I don’t

particularly enjoy it.

Other things I have noticed, in the 10% of the time that everything isn’t

really normal.

  • The world has a lot of glare. I wear sunglasses on cloudy days (and other

    ex-winterers report the same).

  • I have lost my social filter. Talking to strangers or friends is fine but

    people-I-don’t-know-but-should-show-an-interest-in (i.e. friends of

    friends) is a disaster.

  • So much consumer choice is just silly and doesn’t give you any more


  • Cash and pin numbers are both wonderful and ridiculous.
  • I can only do about three things in a day before losing interest in everything.
  • Stars are still beautiful, even in the northern hemisphere, even in cities.
  • When it gets too much, turning off the mobile phone and not answering the

    door is liberating.

  • I can’t tell a story without it taking at least half an hour via

    twenty three amusing (to me) diversions and at the end there is generally

    no punch line. Or point.

  • I don’t think I’m any different from before I left but I’m

    going to milk this bubble for as long as I can.

  • Shoes are torture. Even the most crunchy granola brands. Birkenstocks and

    Ecco have both led to pain. Tell me, is it my foot breaking the shoe in or

    the shoe, the foot?

  • Faces are fascinating. Especially twins or any familial resemblance for

    that matter.

  • I feel colder on wet, miserable days in Britain than I ever felt in Antarctica.

    It’s true: there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

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3 Responses to The World Is Too Much With Us

  1. snorks says:

    I thought we had lost you! Is blogging one of the things that gets too much? I think so, and I imagine that you’ve had many people to reconnect with. You certainly have connected with your blog. It might have to do with the filter that you have been priviledged to develop, in your little bubble. 🙂

  2. Michelle Vaughan says:

    Welcome to living like an artist. Or at least many artists I have known (excluding me, I am more social than most). A lot of artists –

    + keep their phones turned off (or never answer them)

    + hide in their studios (aka bubbles)

    + can’t interact with friends of friends (it’s a pain, they’d rather be working in their studios than wasting time meeting more people)

    + appreciate both clouds and stars (oh yes! yes!)

    and the one item on your list which I relate to most is story telling. I’ve done that all my life… but lately have trained myself to not forget the punch line. It’s hard to keep track. Especially when there are so many thoughts to think. Some people can piece thoughts together so that each thought relates to the next and as a whole makes some kind of sense or logic. Mine are, at times, just fragments. Slice and dice.

    Running around in the rat race is very silly – and being away from the world for 10 minutes at least gives you the true understanding of how ridiculous modern schedules have become. Most of the time, I can’t even squeeze in a tea break.

    Must be like following a soap opera. You can watch one or two episodes, get the general idea of who’s with who and the basic story… then not watch it for 3 entire years, catch 5 minutes of an episode and you are totally up to speed again. Like the 3 year gap didn’t matter a bit.

    Speaking of which, I’m about to pick up the most pointless garbage of all time, Star magazine. I must admit, it does make me feel really good about my life when all those lunatic celebrities are so, so dumb. They may live the rich and famous lifestyle but damn the ground couldn’t be further away from them. Unless, of course, you’re Brad Pitt who travels the world with Angelina to FIGHT for the children. It’s a Brad and Angelina crusade. Imagine all the happy children in Africa because Brad cares.

    Good luck and lots of love sorting through daily life back in the UK.

    xx, Michelle

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