Monthly Archives: January 2009

Time travel

colossusNow that we live in the future, a week can be compressed into less than a minute. Consequently, our eight day trip to London lasted around 85 seconds from start to finish. The memories are still intact but feel more like a dream than anything real. Oddly, while we were in London we felt similarly about the life we left behind in Philadelphia; it surely can’t have been real. Quotidian events, like taking a bus along Lee High Road, emphasised how real and normal that life was compared to the obviously ethereal dream of a life on a different continent. Now we’re back in our home, with our birds and our own settings on the thermostat. In a typical autistic male style, here is a list of some of the things we did while we were home/away:

  • Got ill. We both managed to have at least two days of snotty, hurty, coughy misery while we were there. Of course, we’re still ill now, but it’s just that tedious phase of permanent dreariness that lingers on for months after the main viral assault has been impeded. On the upside it’s quite a nice feeling to know we’ve smuggled in some foreign cold germs into America without getting caught by Customs or DHS.
  • Christmas day and Boxing day! Too much food, too much drink, and an excess of quality telly! The Christmas Radio Times still gives me goose bumps when I get to the pages that eschew the day and date in favour of the magical titles “Christmas Eve”, “Christmas Day” and “Boxing Day”. It’s like normal life and time are suspended for a while, and instead you are encouraged to veg out in front of the TV watching christmas specials and old comedy films. BTW Brits: stop banging on about how crap the telly is these days. Alright, you have some tremendously banal shit available to you these days, but it’s still orders of magnitude better than what our American shit-pump has to offer.
  • Lying in a bath listening to Radio 4. Sublime.
  • Curry! Oh god we had a couple of arse-kicking curries while we were over there. Literally. In fact we spent our last night at home with my parents, my sister, and her boyfriend, eating a superb take-away and watching a tribute to Humphrey Lyttleton…could it have been any better ?
  • Seeing friends. Actually we didn’t do nearly enough of this. But it’s indescribably enjoyable to meet up with people you really, really miss, and talk bollocks with them. The sad part is that on a short trip you end up spending all your time catching-up and never get a chance to chat the way you would if you lived back there. I miss the everyday after-work chats over a pint or two…
  • Pubs! Ever tried “Oyster Stout” ? It is the perfect lubricant for social interaction in a warm, welcoming, boozer.
  • Bletchley Park: Mecca for geeks. There were 15 of us, plus two children, and it was fucking ace. I can’t describe how excellent it was to see everyone again.
  • Air travel via Terminal 5. Call it modernism if you will, I call it being too tight to buy plasterboard/dry-wall. 50 years ago I can imagine it being thrilling to see the inside of a lift as it goes up and down, but nowadays it just looks like they couldn’t be bothered to finish it properly. And the architects really need to be reminded that their artwork also needs to function as something beyond a big glass shed. It feels like a month before completion, one of the junior architects ran into the office in a panic shouting “Oh no! Where are we going to put all the aeroplanes ?” and was answered by the senior architect with “Oh yes, how tiresome. Couldn’t we stick them on the back somewhere, out of the way ?”
    How can anyone design a brand new air terminal, the purpose of which is to connect passengers with planes, so badly that it still depends on buses and trains to get the passengers from the departure lounge to the actual bit of airfield where the planes are ? It’s almost as if the architects have their heads stuck so far up their arses that they don’t know what the fuck they’re supposed to be doing.

Nice to be home though.