04 September 2007

Spirit of the Ditz

It feels like I’m learning everything for the first time all over again. I guess that’s what happens when you mistake ‘stunted’ for ‘settled’ as I did during those years following university. Oh, just a second,

I miss school.

I miss school I miss school I miss school.




M'kay, where were we…

It could be this strain is a result of me aiming higher than I’m actually capable of reaching but I truly hope that’s not the case. I’ve taken this ambition out of the deepfreeze and I’m prodding its sluggish corpse and I can see that it wants to respond. Soon I’ll sling its arm around my shoulder and drag it up and down the corridor while its toes scrape along the floor – anything to keep it from slipping back into unconsciousness.

Let Us Now Speak Eloquently of our Misfortunes

Kidding! I want to talk about the tube strike, which began last night and will continue for the next three days.

How could something so inconvenient be so much fun? My walk to work was indescribable – the trickle of bodies that typically commute via the South Bank swelled to more than triple this morning. All those underground faces were suddenly above ground, squinting disbelievingly into the sun and grinning at the river.

Young men in suits on bicycles - hair sweaty beneath helmets - weaved deliriously around pedestrians who seemed prepared to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro if it suddenly sprung up on the path. Reinforced with rucksacks and water bottles, hiking boots and iPods, the formally attired trampled silently up the Thames in wonder.

It had the same feeling as a fire drill in elementary school – all the boundaries of age and rank and popularity dissolving as kids move with singular intent, banding together to face the imminent collapse of authority.

Bruce says this is called the ‘Spirit of the Blitz,’ a quiet defiance that emerged as the result of Second World War bombing in Great Britain.

This will be useful to know when I apply for my leave to remain in a few years and I’m tested on Life in Great Britain. They’ll ask, “So what’s the Spirit of the Blitz, Friday?” and I’ll say, “It’s where you tell anyone or anything that gets in your way to go f*** itself.”

I might come up with a nicer way of putting it though.

Banjo lesson tomorrow! So far I can play the ballad of Jesse James, Hard Ain't it Hard and Tom Dooley with no mistakes, as long as I'm playing these songs alone and in a sound-proof room. Awesome!

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