Viper Squad Ten

[ Saturday, November 15, 2003 ]

An old post, transposed in time...
Starbuck [00:40] Comments: 0 []
OK droods, I've been getting a bit lazy in my VSX Blog publishing over the last couple of months, what with moving and that. But tonight, with my liver's alcohol-acetaldehyde dehyrogenase working overtime, and my mind as unconnected as Thomas Anderson's to whatever's going on around me, it's probably a good time to just "let my fingers do the talking", and to make a post that I'd wanted to write a few weeks back but didn't.

OK, I know that I've got a tendency of making unneccesarily long, detailed descriptions of my surroundings - you just need to read the slightly-too-botanical diary that I wrote when me and my mate Gill visited China a few years back (to unashamedly link to it yet a-bleedin-gain!). So its no suprise that, on my journey back to London a couple of weekends ago (the first time I'd returned to my old new home in the 3 months or so since I moved back "oop north"), I found myself documenting my experiences as I went along. (Though if you've read this post earlier in the month, you'll already have read a much more concise version, and you'd be better of just skipping to here.)

It was an incredibly crisp and bright Saturday morning that my little Peugeot made its way down the M40. The sun, low in the sky, casts elongated shadows across the landscape of Southern England, revealing the myriad ridge and furrow historical plots striating the hillsides, a geographical archive of the lives of peasant farmers from several hundreds of years previously, still entranched in the upper hillsides where the most brutal of modern ploughs still fear to tread. I find difficulty concentrating on the road, the route that I have travelled too many times before, utterly different under a new light. The Chemical Brothers are thumping out of my speakers, heightening my pulse, keeping me in a serotonin-drenched wonderland. I miss this journey - I miss the thinking space that it provides. I miss the visuals displayed on fast-forward at the side of the road; this time, the motorway was cutting a elegant swathe through the chaotic autumnal patchwork of golds and browns.

And, upon reaching the heart of London, the Thames, driving alongside Battersea Park, the majesty of the trees reaching skyward a stark contrast to the tidally-bereft river.

Driving through to Stockwell, it really strikes me, that things are very different from when I was last here. Although gleaming, glistening buildings have sprung up out of their scaffolding skeletons, most noticeable is the jump that the cycle of seasons has undertaken. You spend several years of your life in a place where your surroundings would always grab your interest, where there was always something new to catch the imagination, then after a few months isolated from the unstoppable but unnoticable incremental changes that occur when you live in a place, the whole city seems painted in a very different style.

Or maybe I'm just drunk on memories. (Or just drunk.)

One thing the trip made me realise, apart from London itself, was just how much I miss my London friends. It was so good to catch up with those who could make it.

However, being apart from my good lady friend, who was representing ourselves at another function elsewhere, just for a couple of days... well, I managed to live in a different city to her for more than a year, but I wouldn't be able to manage it any more.

And returning to Leamington on Sunday night, a town I've know for most of my life due to having been brought up in a village nearby, but a place I've only recently began to live in properly, it felt like I was really returning home.

Which is nice.

I guess that it's ironic that I was writing all this about the arboreal beauty of autumn, on the day that most trees were being stripped of their cladding by the gales that were battering the country. Or maybe not that ironic. As any desperate stand-up comedian will tell you, the most ironic thing in this world was Alanis Morissette revealing her total lack of understanding of the word "ironic" in her 1996 hit "Ironic".

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