I managed somehow,despite a diary,to conflate last week and this so that going away for a few days rather caught me by surprise.So it’s been a long time before i got to visit my sister in Nottingham where she moved to many months ago.This took me away from my usual activism.
It set me thinking about when i last visited,and i guess it must all be over a decade ago.I came here to visit a particular shop,associated with a hobby.I sometimes passed through on my way returning home from an annual retreat,all of which gave me a very limited view of the city.And before that,it must have been decades since i visited on a regular basis,so its like visiting a place for the first time again,and i recognised little.
So my first walk around the city centre was to find some neccessities and get something to eat.We were approached by a young man needing money to buy food,and both workless and homeless.When i asked him if he was getting any help,he described that he did not get help and that every agency and community he visited,despite perhaps local”associations”simply turned him away.I gave him some money and some advice how how and where to get help,though i know it is all getting tougher and bleaker.It may not be London,but misery is still here,although surprising it looks like there is still working class/council housing.That said i know looks can be deceptive.It also seems like the city still has a pretty impressive bus service-which gets my brother in law to work,whatever his shift time,but again i’m very aware that being avisitor is very different to living somewhere….
For the next few days then i did tourist things,though it was more than a bit disheartening to find that there were times when i simply did not have the energy or stamina to keep up.That forces me to renegotiate with myself how i am going to cope,get on with things and make the best of it.
One of the best”payoffs”was that i managed to do more reading than in a long time and got to read through to my third book during the week.So whilst i did not exactly take a step back to reflect any more,or any more deeply-at least i might have extended my knowledge a little more,and to strengthen my”dissident marxism”.
Returning Friday,saturday returned me to business as usual…