29th May 2017

With not very much planned for the bank holiday at the beginning of the week, I’ve found myself busy meeting people and seeing parts of Londres I don’t usually see. I even enjoyed doorstepping for the Opposition. Now all I need is for this humidity to end.

Yesterday on the way for a drink I was approaching a nearby district when I saw a column of smoke ahead of me. It lent an air of apocalypse to the warm evening. I was reminded of the Londres riots of five years ago. I had been here too then, in exactly that spot, watching crowds breaking into shops, and police sweeping down roads with dogs. For a moment I wondered if we were seeing new riots, but there was no restlessness in the air, no air of desperation. It turned out to be a burning scooter abandoned in the middle of the road. I edged around it and went on, passing a fire engine a few minutes later. I noted some slight sense of disappointment. It’s not that riots are a way forward, but dissatisfaction that intense feels like it could drive change.

The evening was one of convivial drinking and getting to know a new resident of Londres. I left with a good feeling, a new connection made, and lay in until midday. It has been a weekend of conversation  and I am happy to have a quieter day today. I love talking with people but after many hours of it I feel the edges of myself slipping, the need to sit quietly for a while, re-establish some inner calm. Perhaps I should let those edges slip a little more, but I’m not sure that it would make for a better me.

A thought from the weekend: one of my worst sides, to see people as better or worse than me, seems to be abating. Some time ago I recognised this tendency that I had, exacerbated by a society that thinks competitively, to unconsciously rank people as good or bad, better or worse. That framework is driven by fear I think, mostly of losing what you have, but also of being made to suffer unnecessarily. Those fears aren’t entirely unreasonable, but it’s no good having them in the driving seat.

29th May 2017