A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Saturday, 30 January 2016
An Interloper; the pros and cons.
My life in the UK was spent between Sussex/Surrey (where I was born), Shropshire/Welsh border, and London. I really know very little about other parts of Britain, other than where I was at school and my knowledge of that area is pretty limited too.
I spent almost four years living in the West Midlands (in my people's house above), and had very mixed feelings about the place.
There is no question that the people of the Home Counties, and the people of the Midlands have a very different attitude towards hospitality. I'm not talking about those who were fortunate enough to have been educated away, or attended country-wide universities, but those who remained glued to their particular corner of the country.
I loved the countryside up there, and especially just over the border into Wales, but I never felt at home there. The locals had an uncanny way of making you feel like an unwelcome stranger, and they seemed to delight in as much.
I did all the usual things that one does to try to make oneself accepted into village life. I became a regular at the pub', I ran the local Youth Club for a year, I reintroduced the annual Horticultural Show (which had been allowed to lapse), I raised money to send a group of 8 village children on a fabulous free adventure holiday to Bavaria (my high point), and I organised fund-raising to buy an electric wheelchair for a local girl who'd had an accident abroad; amongst other things. I like to think that I did my bit to integrate.
However, none of these things really helped me to become properly accepted, and when I eventually left the area I was extremely happy to return to a much more sociable Sussex, and France.
I had a friend in the village who came from Liverpool. He once asked the village garage owner how long it would take for him to be accepted into village life. The garage man replied "Oh, at least TEN years". My friend replied "Remind me to leave in NINE".
p.s. I don't wish to sound anti my old temporary home area, because I'm not. It's actually one of the places where I'd still like to live. But being friendlier would have cost them nothing; I can't see the appeal of being inhospitable!
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away; we also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!