Monday, 9 May 2005

Thoughts From Under The Sea.

Read the first part of this post.

Saturday 07 May (afternoon)

I am in the Tunnel, on the Eurostar again, on the journey back to London. The week has gone quite quickly but I am eager to be home. It will be five years in July that I have left France and I am starting to feel really disconnected with France. I was more interested with the results of the general elections than with what was happening on the news in France. In my first few years in the UK, I tended to try and dissociate myself as much as possible from all things French; this trip has shown me that I have perhaps grown more relax in this respect. Perhaps this is due to my being actually more remote than I have ever been. On the whole I am quite pleased to have been there during the past week and I enjoyed Dijon particularly, which (as I was well aware but perhaps refused to acknowledge too loudly) is a charming little city. Of course it will never compete with London for me and I am more sure than ever that I would not be able to go back and bury myself there again.

The first few days I spent working on a brochure I am producing on the history of a local church. The research and writing up have been done years ago but this week I took pictures of the church and put together a new lay out for the whole thing. I am quite chuffed with the final result although My Friend the designer will probably want to change it all…

On Wednesday, I went to Dijon to do some shopping and I had a walk around; taking a few touristy pictures and noting the changes both in the town where I was born and later I lived for almost seven years and in me. It does not seem to have changed much and the then slowly flourishing gay scene has shrunk back to one bar tucked away in a quite street behind closed doors. I think the major interests of those trips to where one has grown up is to take stock of how much one has grown and how far one is gone. Always a gladdening experience for me, as I tend to forget how much my life as improved in recent years, bogged that I am in daily monotony and frustrating immobility.

On Thursday, although I am more and more uneasy with Catholic Church and its teachings, I did my duty as a godfather and attended my god-daughter’s communion. I had not seen her since she was two or three. She is now eleven. A bright young girl, sometimes really forth coming, at other times, shy and reserved as if under the weight of her mother’s domination. I was surprised how keen she seemed to meet and know me (although we did not make much progress in this department). If somehow we manage to get in touch regularly, the next few years might prove interesting…

On Friday, I spend the day at my former best friend’s home, in a tiny village lost in the middle of nowhere (I even got lost trying to get there), where she lives with her husband and two young kids. One of our common friends with whom I seem to reconnect directly each time, however long it has been, was there too. It was good to catch up although as usual when several people are there, it is not as thorough as it could be otherwise. Once again I was surprised at how forth coming and unafraid kids can be.

As I was leaving my parent’s home for the station, I went to say goodbye to my own godmother (my father’s sister who lives across the street) and she regaled me with one of her sermons on how I should not do like my parents, and try and meet a nice girl soon and start a family. I think she is genuinely worried that I will end up my life alone (which I probably will) and, more to the point, actually waste it by not fulfilling every man’s dream and ambition to procreate and leave kids behind him. Yuk!

I am in the Tunnel. I am tempted to say that this could also be a metaphor for my life. Hopefully the light is not too far away. There is a whole as yet unfinished post in my Drafts telling of my frustrations with life and how useless I feel, and how little I have achieved. I might finish and publish it one day; for the moment I want to bask for a while longer into the glow of the feelings brought on by this journey. Although I am not at the point I was the first time I came back from a visit to France (feeling like skipping and whistling on my way to buy lunch the day after my return), I am certainly in a jubilatory mood.

Update
I have been told that I have gone native again after a week in France. Apparently my accent has come back much more strongly. I did find it a bit difficult to write the post above too and to be honest I am not exactly satisfied with it. Hopefully things will come back to normal soon.



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