Thursday, 12 June 2008

Where will you end up?

Following the lukewarm reception to my previous fascinating post about statistics, I thought I had better try to pen something a little more interesting. Before I start however, I would like to make a couple of points.

What follows is not intended to be a morose moribund maudlin moan. I will be musing on a purely hypothetical subject. In the past, I have been accused of just such depressing character traits (beginning with m) when I have raised this in the pub (along with the choice of music for my funeral, which includes - incidentally and for the moment - I Don't Want To Grow Up by The Ramones) I am none of the above, believe me, but I do occasionally ponder on life and death. So sue me.

Additionally, I am aware that the reality of what will happen is very likely to be totally different from what I am about to suggest, so this is just an imagining. It has no bearing on my life as it is now, or the manner and location of my passing from it, as it will be. Now that that's clear, on with the show.

There have been some news stories recently about second generation immigrants returning to their countries of origin. I can also verify from people I know that this is a definite and real phenomenon. Who can blame them? Lying in a hammock on a beach in Mauritius, for example, is an attractive prospect. People I have spoken to are tired of London (I'm still undecided as to whether I agree that this means they are also tired of life, but that's maybe a debate for another day) and are yearning for a different vibe - a place and a way of living which is less aggressive and enervating. The general demeanour of the city has changed, they say, and it is not a pleasant place in which to live. People are rude, there is no conversation and no human contact, just a headlong rush to grab as much money as possible in as short a time as they can.

For myself, though London still (mostly) excites me more than it depresses me, I have thought often of where I would like to end up. It's important for me to make the distinction between the twilight years, the peaceful wind-down of older age, and the actual final 15 minutes, the time of life's fading.
Shropshire is my ancestral home, the place where I grew into adulthood, but I have no pressing urge to return there as yet - even if it were to be an economically viable option. In any case, Shropshire is deficient in the one thing I would find important in a life of relaxation, and that is: the sea. The only seas in Shropshire are seas of wheat, beet, maize and oilseed rape, and I would dearly love to be able to take a dip each day in salt water - though I wouldn't wish for a tropical climate - being fully prepared to endure a cooler winter. I don't see myself as a Daily Mail and sangria ex-pat type, but more of a Graham Greene type - reading, writing, sipping a carajillo, chugging on a cohiba and chatting to friends while knee deep in warm Mediterranean water. Maybe later, a game of backgammon and some tapas at a street cafe.

As to the crux of the matter - the sticking point if you will - I see myself on a grassy bank, staring up at a clear blue sky on a spring morning. If I turn my head, I can see the branches of trees moving in the wind and the long stems of grass gently brush and tickle my cheek. There is a skylark's song, insistent and ascending to the heavens. And I am gone.

26 comments:

john titor said...

I'm sorry, i don't know if you make it to 2036, much less your whereabouts.

Myeral said...

Why 2036?

dame shirley porter said...

I think he means that you'll still be alive just after half-past eight, you cheeky young scamp.

frank cannon said...

Ooohh! That means you can get a few mints down you! By the way, did anyone see that episode of me with me and the mints? Or was it mince? I can't remember.

i ron side said...

Surely it was mince AND mints?

c o'lumbo said...

Something's bothering me. I need a mint for my indigestion.

bergerac said...

Wasn't Frank Cannon in that re-make of Planet of the Apes?

Pope BenedictXVI said...

For Christ's sake! No!

hp lovejoy said...

Don't know about that, but does anybody wanna buy an antique?

jim rockford said...

At the tone, leave your name and number and I'll get back to you.

Myeral said...

Are any of these detectives going to take a punt on my Euro 08 vote?

m marple said...

Stop being so silly young man.

Frank cannon said...

What the heck is Euro 208?

Spender said...

Why Aye Man! I'll take a punt ya ...

pope benedicy xvi said...

I'm not a TV 'tec you know.

frank cannon said...

Who the heck is Pope Benedicy xvi?

d de laurentiis said...

Hey Ben, I see a series coming on. Ageing demagogue in a pointy hat on a crime fighting spree in the garbage strewn streets of Naples. It's a winner, I tell ya!

pope benedict xvi said...

Yes, I'd like to know that as well. After all, I AM a TV 'tec. God's detective: earth branch.

pope benedict xvi said...

Look! I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU! I AM a detective, and God agrees with me. And a dinosaur does too.

Cracker said...

That's a Carson!

Hardy drew said...

The Nancy Boys!

b rathbone said...

If you had read my monogram (on my shirt cuff AND my bib and tucker) you would have seen that I foresaw just this nonsense through the opium haze and violin screeching and the ramblings of that blithering idiot Watson with his walrus moustache. Pass the pipe, young Georges, there's a good chap.

g riding said...

I can't find my donkey! Do any detectives read this blog?

tommy trombone said...

Is it 'Basil' as in 'Brush' or 'Baysel' as in 'America'?

toby rone said...

Or is it Basel as in Switzerland?

john titor said...

Because a lot of records were lost in the past 20 years or so.