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Today's quote:

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Beautiful one day, perfect the next!

Click on image for a full panorama shot


Leaving the family home at the age of fourteen, and leaving the "Fatherland" at the age of nineteen to come to Australia, prepared me to pay week by week for the space I took up in the world, and to finally close my eyes in a rented house.

I was happy to wander the earth, to have only portable possessions, and to live in temporary dwellings. No family ties, no entry in the parish register, no attic full of grandmother's furniture, no family vault for me.

So what imp of perversity made me buy "Riverbend", this seemingly commonplace decision which shaped my life for the last twenty-seven years and seems to have determined my fate for the next twenty-or-so?

For what I had not realised at the time I bought this place was that it would begin owning me. I was lured into a sort of perpetual treasure hunt for this and that and something else to fill all the rooms, forever accumulating, and increasingly tied to, more and more possessions.

And then there is probably the greatest drawback of living in a small community - the lack of anonymity. Here you recognise everyone and everyone recognises you. We all meet again, and yet again. Endlessly meeting, the same people over and over again; endlessly meeting, the same conversations, yesterday, today, tomorrow; endlessly meeting, the same shafts of malice and spite, the same behind-the-hand sniggers.

As a close-by resident exclaimed when asked why he hadn't joined the others in the recent New Year's Eve firestorm, "I'd rather burn alive." Then there was the starry-eyed newcomer who during a neighbourly get-together blurted out, "Everyone here is so nice!", in response to which someone nearby stage-whispered, "Give them time!" As it turned out, he'd mixed up his pronouns and should've said "Give me time!"

Mind you, we are lucky, as we can pull up the drawbridge and drop the portcullis. We live on the edge of it all and on rambling seven acres, far enough from the ontological baggage of others so as not to burden us.

Our neighbour is the river. As the Rat said in "The Wind in the Willows",
"[I live] by it and with it and on it and in it. It's my world, and I don't want any other."

Indeed I don't! It's beautiful here; beautiful one day, perfect the next!

Googlemap Riverbend