Anniversary

It’s been 8 years to the day that my father died whilst on holiday. He was 61 and to be honest it was completely out of the blue when it happened. He was scuba diving (he’d never done this before, he was something of a sedentary chap) and something happened. Either it was a heart attack or some kind of “Freak” wave that then triggered off his arrest. Regardless he didn’t come back from that holiday. He was with my mother at the time and the horrible thing was the boat broke down so she had to stay with him whilst he turned different colours.

Hmm

Grim eh.

Still it’s 8 years on and life goes on. I am pretty much the double of my father, I have a great many of his characteristics too, but of course I am bound to do, genetics and learned behaviour and all that!

I once read a quote in a book that challenged the reader to ‘Live as though your father is dead’. One could be rather glib about this as I’ve been doing this for 8 years, but I think the real purpose of the authors words are to be free of the expectations of your father. I think it’s an interesting exercise, and a challenging one. Because despite his physical death, it took me time to let go of his ghost, his expectations.

I think for me, that meditation has helped me start to let go of expectations, I must emphasise that I really do mean ‘start to let go’.

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Bloody emigrants.

A conversation occurred today. Not an unusual phenomenon in that respect but I was struck by the depth of feeling it provoked.

It revolved around the subject of emigration. I love the UK. I love the awful weather, the fact we have no giant insects and that the diseases we get are generally our own fault. I love the NHS, the strangely attractive post woman and the stunning countryside that we are lucky to have. Of course I don’t like the cost of living (particularly the cost of petrol), the constant opening of  a new branch of Tesco nor indeed the politics of this land.

However I was struck today by the desire of my colleagues to want to live in Australia or some other far flung country. It is a scientific fact that Australia is 10 minutes from the sun. That the land is filled with deadly creatures and its seas teeming with Sharks and Jellyfish that seem to have an antipathy towards humans (not that I blame them for that, I’ve met some and they were ghastly). Despite these drawbacks some people very much want to live abroad, claiming that the quality of life is better.

Fuel may well be cheaper, but other than that I find no justification for wanting to live over there.  Take theatre for example. Last night I went to book tickets for a show on Saturday. I bumped into lots of my actor chums and it was really rather marvellous.  Today I talked with an artist who has an exhibition on at a local art gallery. All marvellous stuff. So, one wonders out-side of the big cities of Sydney, Brisbane et al, is there a thriving culture scene? I doubt it. Consider the evidence, Cell block H, Neighbours, Home and Away.

Awful gush the lot of it.

“Ahh but Lord Egbut, what about the sea, the beaches, the easy life style”?  Were some of the responses thrown at me.

The sea is already ruled out as being deadly.

The beach is awful. Sand everywhere and one has to wear awful clothes (no need for Harris Tweed there).

Easy life style? I’m sorry but we Brits are a miserable, sarcastic and cynical bunch. We ruled 1/3 of the world and did our damnedest to make those poor blighters equally miserable too.  Hence we have wonderful writers, comedians and musicians. There is nothing more depressing than a happy song, or feel good book. This market is reserved for children whom have no concept of the horrors of ennui that await them in their lives.