Here I am, about exactly half-way through my trip, in the function room at Òran Mór, looking at the Alasdair Gray murals and feeling very happy. While I was overseas, I missed my daughters, I missed my girlfriend, I missed my family and friends and workmates, but I didn’t miss being in Australia at all. Something was absent from my consciousness while I was in the UK and Ireland, and it took me a little while to figure out what it was, as when a wind drops or a machine stops running in the next room and you’re aware that something has changed before you’re aware of what it is that has changed.
What I was missing was a sort of inward sneer, a background hum of cynicism which had become so familiar to me that I’d stopped being aware of it. Is it me? Is it Australia? (Or just Sydney? It could be a side effect of me discovering that public transport is actually a solved problem, not an arcane lost art of the ancients.) Is it the interaction between the two?
J blamed John Howard, but I don’t think he deserves the rap for this one. I’ve been a pretty cynical person, slightly above the average in a nation of cynics, for most of my life; less so in the last ten years, as I’ve been actively fighting against it, but, still, it probably is me. Did I just really, really need a holiday?
I’ve been trying, with some success, so far, to stop it coming back.