It’s good to be home again. I thought I would get a chance to write from the road, but the opportunity didn’t arise and I didn’t make an effort to force myself to find an Internet connection. I did keep notes in my paper diary. The three days in Scotland were kind of touch and go. Here is a summary of the last three days:
- Flew BA instead of Flybe.
- Didn’t like BA’s blatant display of class discrimination.
- Had a rare moment of social conciousness – vowed not to fly BA again to protest their blatant class discrimination.
- BA served food on the flight (Flybe doesn’t) – changed my mind about flying BA (they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach)
- Lost my faith in man.
- No suits, no ties; fuck shareholder value.
- Desperately needed a coffee.
- Maybe it’s not so bad being Joe Average.
- Spent the day planted in front of a computer that belongs in a museum.
- Trying to designa 21st century product with 1980’s technology.
- Lovely Scottish hills – would love to live close enough to mountains to see them from my bedroom window.
- Searching for a story to plot and write.
- Hotel restaraunts are peculiar; lot’s of loney diners – they should force us to sit together get…what would be the harm in getting to know another fellow human being
- One to one with my boss
- More time stuck in front of dinosaur PC
- Thought about sticking a fork in my eye
- I had dinner with an old friend at my favorite restaraunt in Scotland – Jimmy Chungs
- Worked into the night on new elearning module
- Didn’t pack and should have
- Packed in a hurry
- Worked for a 4 hours in the office; left to catch flight home
- Saw a big Hill-Billy Bob looking man in a sky blue tie-dyed short sitting crossed-legged with no shoes on a chair to small for his big body
- Pissed off at the media showing the same pictures of abuse over and over again
- Pissed off at the US Soldiers who have disgraced and tarnished the reputation of the service I once proudly served in and still cherish
- Home Sweet Home
Time to ready myself for another week in the corporate salt mines, at least the week is only 4 days; today was the May Day bank holiday in England. I will be on the road this week, which is a good change of pace. Tomorrow I am in Sheffield for the day designing content for an elearning module. Wednesday I fly up to Scotland to work with my boss for a few days. I hope I get the room facing the monkey cage again. Or myabe not…they make an awful racket early in the morning.
I spent the whole of the day reading The Heart of the Matter, by Graham Greene.
“The Heart of the Matter” is the sad story of a man tormented by an inability to live up to the dictates of his religion. Deputy Police Commissioner Scobie begins the book as a rare subject, an English colonial policeman in Africa not on the take. He is cursed, however, with a wife who constantly, if not always overtly, reminds him that the life he has provided for them is beneath her. Louise Scobie is one of those Catholics of the mid-twentieth century that believes things like missing mass on Sunday is a mortal sin, but unfortunately can’t bring herself to “avoid superbia” as the nuns used to admonish schoolchildren in the fifties and sixties. In other words, Louise is a snob. When it’s announced that her husband won’t be promoted when the commissioner retires she simply can’t deal with the shame of it.
Most of Scobie’s capacity for love died several years earlier at a boarding school in England when their nine-year-old daughter was taken by a sudden illness–the difficulty of communication and the fact of World War II prevented him from even attending the funeral–and the third person narrator notes how he retreated into his job, but “[t]he less he needed Louise the more he felt responsible for her happiness.” Louise does see Scobie’s struggles, even gently accusing him of wishing she were dead. He responds, as he always does, that her happiness is his priority, and promises to find a way to pay for her passage to South Africa, where she’ll be able to be with friends and without the ignominy of not being the new commissioner’s wife. The only way to find the money is to borrow it from a well known but smooth Syrian crime boss who likes Scobie because he can trust him to be incorruptible.
Crossing the proprietary line of borrowing the money flows into crossing the mortal sin line as Scobie takes up with a much younger woman. While he grows to love Helen, whom he meets in a hospital while she recovers from nearly dying in a shipwreck, he cannot love what he sees himself becoming. Scobie’s struggles with despair are moving and genuine, even as the reader perhaps wishes Scobie were just a little bit smarter than he is. If he were of course, he wouldn’t be Scobie, never able to attain his desired simple life where he can do his job and feel loved and loving, redeemed and free.
A Few of my good friends are moving on from the office and on to new adventures. Darren is moving on to work in the big city of London. Phil is setting sail for Japan to teach English as a foreign language, and Tom is going to travel around the world for 5 months.
In true British style, we had a leaving-do (any excuse will do to drink beer, wine, and spirits). We rented out the party room of the Jug and Jester complete with full bar.
The Jug and the Jester carries a lot of history fo us; When we first started putting together the joint-venture 4 years ago, the Jug was the place we’d all meet to release tension built up over the long hard days of getting the joint-venture ready for launch day. We would absolutely go hog wild (think National Lampoon’s Animal House). It was good hard clean (well maybe not so clean) fun.
So much has changed over the last 4 years when the project first started. The sun is setting on the end of an era. Many of the original members of the joint-venture have moved on and the last of us are starting to trickle out. The place is barely recognizable now. So many new faces populate the place.
Anyway, we had an awesome turn out last night; even people who’d long since left the venture returned to see Darren and crew off. It was good to see some of the old familiar faces. I suspect I will not be long in joining them….
New adventures await….
Couldn’t resist seeing my limited vocab.