I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Another world

London, where I once lived, isn't Hereford, where I presently live. London isn't even Britain. It's a crowded corral where an elite endures extreme circumstances. An elite that includes the poor and the rich.

Two nights ago I stood on the south bank of the Thames taking in this sight. These flickering decorations are the headquarters of banks - detestable institutions rendered slightly less inhumane by their remoteness.

VR and I had just heard a free Schumann recital by musicians based on an elegant campus influenced by Sir Christopher Wren. His other works include St Pauls Cathedral.

Previously a taxi driver had driven us through an area disfigured by long-standing construction work. What are they making? we asked. "Probably a cycle track," he said. The joke was he knew quite well.

We were staying with friends in the south-east of the city (part of the elite, I suppose). To reach the city centre we'd propitiated robots by waving plastic symbols of wealth at them; our railed carriage took us from one concentration of light to the next. In London light is profligately disbursed.

Two small plastic containers of strangely citrousy beer and a teaspoonful of malbec from Argentina would have paid for a week's labour from a Lithuanian working in Hereford. But not for long now.

Non-residents - both fearful and envious - are constantly aware of their role as transients in this city. From London Donald Trump becomes a black hole: menacing but distant and apparently empty.


MikeM said...

Vernacular confusion persists. Which doctor do you call when black hole problems arise? Here it's the "proctologist".

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: At first I thought you'd identified one of the worst jobs in the world. Then I bethought myself. The potential patient has been known to lie about everything under the sun, so he's quite capable of pretending he's risen above the reason for which most of us have been equipped with such an orifice. Has learned to do without the associated process and thus the conduit itself. Would have no need for such a medical man. And thus could, quite legitimately, be described as a bag of.... The circularity is inescapable.

Lucy said...

London has always given me that weird disconnected feeling, a sense of struggling with scale. I was useless at living there, now I enjoy it when I go, though there always seem to be longueurs of boredom and fatigue in between the bits I enjoy, mostly to do with transition and transport.

The banks may be detestable but I guess you'll miss them when they go.

Roderick Robinson said...

Lucy: People in London rarely shuffle (as in Hereford); their eyes are focused 5 m ahead yet they never bump into their kind, seem to slither past; their expression hints at higher things; in tubes they read books (or Kindles) with ferocious concentration. None appears happy, none appears sad; all appear resistant.

I had all these attributes twenty-five years ago and I'm rather proud of the fact.

As to banks, OS works for one. Tells me they are not detestable which in her case is true. She sends bad guys to jail - peripheral Mediterranean types with fleeting unkempt hair and over-developed canines (teeth), born to be incarcerated. Let out on probation they should be condemned to wearing undivestable monk's habits, the very hairy sort.

I find I'm on a roll.