August 14, 2012 § 64 Comments
From yesterday’s Times:-
It seems a state of suspended animation prevails. This is due to so many summer factors, but primarily the school holidays (no head space to think too much) and the Olympics. I was bored stiff by the whole notion of the Olympics. I snootily told the children I may be prevailed upon to watch Bolt in the 100m final, but that was the sum 9.36 seconds I was prepared to give it. When friends were banging on about their ticket struggles, I felt all smug that at least that wasn’t my struggle.
Well, more fool me. It soon dawned that my children and I were badly missing out. We had to make do with being glued to the telly, watching sports I never knew existed (Glistening Otter Volleyball?), cheering whilst on the privacy of our sofa as opposed to en masse. But all the hoopla meant for magnificent deflection. Days went by holed up at home with barely a nod to my planktonhood status. I did harbour vague thoughts of, if only I had trained my lardy arse off every single day from sparrows till the witching hour for years without end, only stopping to eat the most carefully calibrated diet known to Science and to sleep special sleep then I, too, give or take a little time travel, might have been proclaiming that life was amazing and joining in the wild Olympian denouement. But I expect you didn’t have to be a plankton to think that. That must surely have crossed every middle-aged person’s mind, even the fully-paired up ones as well.
Anyway, the Olympics meant for pretty efficient and even joyful distraction for a couple of weeks. Now I am resorting to the more usual summer stalwart of going abroad for a week. This is a rare treat, and I am looking forward to that feeling that Abroad often bestows, of time out of time. The way being out of one’s normal existence – I hestitate to say humdrum, because there is much about my humdrum which I relish – which throws one, gloriously, fleetingly, into being someone else. Well, almost. In my case, this means dispensing with comfort zone clothes and non-thinking food and all my well-trammelled thoughts and neuroses. It means sloughing off for a few days the veils of one’s reality, and freeing up the mind and body to new experiences and conversations and dreams. One knows it is all short-lived and a plankton is a plankton in exotic parts just as much as at home, but usual business is delicately suspended and I can fantasise about being, if not a golden Olympian, then at least a flip-flop and sunglasses version of my normal self.