Returning from a visit to England, with a familiar feeling. At once delighted, charmed, deeply happy to have spent the time with my family, but also with a sense that somehow their gifts, experiences, relationship, characters are inescapably bigger and better than mine, and I haven't the largeness of personality not to feel discouraged by this. Rather as with reading other people's blogs. What can I possibly come up with of any relative worth?
This inferiority, little me, unaccustomed as I am, stuff is tedious. If I'm ever to get this blog off the ground, I can't waste any more of the short and precious time I have to do it in airing it but simply have to bypass it altogether and get on with it. Same goes for a lot else.
Great to see family ( a distaff gathering this time ) , good to see English land- and townscapes, not least trees allowed to grow into their natural full shapes and not hacked back into distressed vertical fuzzy caterpillars for the sake of firewood. It was good to dive into a supermarket and buy naan bread and brazil nuts and Marmite, of course, and to be able to function at all times in my first language. But after a few days I wasn't sorry to leave a growing perception of a society riven with greed for money and status, and the seething feeling in myself that I'm reluctant to identify as envy but is certainly resentment. I've no illusions about France being any better in many regards, but living here as an outsider I can succeed in maintaining ignorance.
And very quickly I start feeling soothed by my sense of rootedness here, which has taken a while to take, and wasn't always there. Now it is, and I'm glad of it.
Next year, the Booker prize
5 hours ago