'Little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstituted. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they become the bleached bones of a story' - Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things, pp32-33.
It's supposed to be the small things you notice the most when you travel - the mundane and the everyday become, for you, the exotic and fantastic. This blog will document mine and Matilda's travels overseas for our friends, families and future selves.
Friday, December 24, 2010
A vindication of the rights of sloth
The other day Gilly and I indulged in the oft-maligned practice of the lazy day, and we definitely felt guilty. I don't mean like, relaxing in the sun or whatever when you're in Thailand; I mean wilfully shunning the sights and sounds of the barely explored outside world in order to watch The Breakfast Club and From Dusk Till Dawn on a projector screen in the dark while gormandising pizza, popcorn, wedges, chicken strips, sandwiches, Twixes, and hearty servings of chips, cheese and gravy.
I know, I know: I should’ve been out ogling the London Eye or frolicking in the verdant fields saying things like ‘Oh golly, would you look at that, top drawer!’ But we just didn’t feel like it, okay? No more, this ridiculous sense of guilt. In moderation, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of hedonism. It’s like at Splendour – I enjoyed myself ten times as much once I stopped worrying about going to see every single band just to get my money’s worth. Some of my best memories of that weekend are chilling out in the coconut hut or on the hill next to the pavilion where the John Steel Singers were playing. That kind of thing leaves you well-rested for the things you really want to see, and makes your activity more exciting by contrast. That’s one lesson learned for this trip. I want to see plenty of tourist attractions and monuments, but I’m not dragging myself to them out of a sense of duty, or out of a need to manufacture memories in front of them, that’s for sure.
We tried to make up for our indolence the next day by going to the New Forest and Durdle Door, but traffic prevented that, so we went shopping instead. I got me an English coat!
We were more successful the next day when we went to this amazing open-air museum where they preserve houses and buildings from the twelfth century onwards.
Can't you feel the amazement? A whole forty years of collecting!
On the way there we giggled over silly English town names, imagining how they could be made more hilarious by common English town name additions like ‘Little’, ‘Great’, and ‘-ton’ = (Little) Didling(ton) and (Great) Cocking (upon Sea).
So very, very mature.
They also had a duckpond which was frozen over, and a merry time was had by all when I chased them onto the surface in order to watch them skid as they landed. Perhaps less fun was had by the ducks, I don’t know.
Since then I’ve come and gone from Ireland (see following post for details on that), but there too I have fallen victim to the will of sloth. One day, overcome by the dankness of European winter (I think it was actually the shortest day of the year), Charlene and I could do nothing but lounge on the mattress in the dark, affecting world-weary French accents, practically dripping ennui:
‘Ah, I ’ate zis vucking countree. She is a filthy, vile wretch ... But I cannot ’elp but love her also. She is like a putrefying whore lying seductively in the gutter of Europe, and while I am disgusted, I cannot stop myself from suckling at ’er withered teat.’