Bath 4.12.2001

Wednesday 4th December

I am enjoying the coolness of the air, the grey damp and my cold ears. In many ways it seems so easy, so livable.
As we left Heathrow I was amused by the solidity and the greyness of the buildings. How solid and strong, such a grasp on the land. I looked beyond and saw that even the grass, the hedges and the trees also bear this same sense of permanency, rootedness, healthfulness.
I thought back to Australia and could picture the dry scrub, the tenacity of the plants struggling to obtain water for life. I looked back to those squat, often ugly single storey dwellings or shacks and could see a transience both in the flora and the architecture, an impermanence.
I pondered on the English psyche and thought how fitting this all is, how inevitable that we should have developed as we have with our austere sense of importance and serious nature wheras Australia is wild and along with it, it’s peoples are wild.
I wonder what it must be like to live in a country where everyone says, ‘wow, I love it here’ and to know that it exudes a wealth, a continents worth of experiences.
In contrast, visitors to England usually greet me with ‘I didn’t like London, so grey and wet… the villages are pretty but its just so cold, and wet’. It gives one nothing to inspire a national love or sense of pride.
And here in Bath, with Carla, how very, very much more imposing everything is, the buildings, the attitudes, the snobbishness. From the disdain I receive in the charity shop when seeking desert-like fabrics to make my christmas cards or the comment at the allotment, ‘Oh we only use Heritage seeds here.’
How funny people are.

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