Friday 19 March 2021


 Talking of nostalgia, it's a feeling I'm getting all too much of when I look back over recent times as recorded in my blog. The root meaning of nostalgia is home-pain, i.e. homesickness (something Odysseus's men, for all their machismo, were very prone to, I seem to recall). The home I feel pain for is the world I felt at home in, the one we all took for granted and thought would just carry on, pretty much unchanged – and then it was lost in the great convulsion of the Covid response. It was normal human life, with all its little social amenities – and I miss it and wonder when, or even if, it's going to come back.
  A year ago at this time, Mrs N and I were seizing the chance to dine out on the final evening before Lockdown 1.0. It was to be a long while till either of us saw the inside of a restaurant again.
  Two years ago, the world still had nearly a year of normal to go, and I was out and about as usual, taking in, among other things, a fine exhibition at the Pallant Gallery in Chichester (ah, the lost joy of wandering around a gallery, maskless and unimpeded). On that day I also wandered at liberty around the cathedral (another joy largely lost as the Church of England withdraws from the world to gaze into its 'institutionally racist' navel), and a couple of days later I was taking a look around Soane's Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing – what a mad whirl it seems from here...
  Three years ago, I was enjoying a walk on and under the Sussex downs, in Gill Country (walking with my walker friends is another pleasure lost since last summer). And four years ago – ah, four years ago, I was In Deepest England (well, the Nottinghamshire Wolds), in those happy days when I was touring the obscure monuments of Platonic England for the purposes of writing this book. Had I been trying to write it now, I would have had to give up months ago – as, indeed, I have had to give up researching my next projected book. At least I was able to write my little butterfly book in the interim. I'll let you know when and if that one sees the light of day.

No comments:

Post a Comment