Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Back in Blighty

Union Jack
Originally uploaded by wjwmorrow.
I've now been back in the UK for five days to do rally preparations and receive my DSc from the University of Plymouth. I've had rather mixed emotions since I've been here.

My first day I spent seeing professional colleagues regarding collaborations. This was really productive and before long I'm going to be writing more about my work rather than rallys and other fun hobbies.

At the weekend I was hosted by the delightful Nicky West and Rob Stacey. These are rally pals. We had a great time together: we each obtained a full set of maps for the MCH rally and then managed to squeeze in a visit to one of my favourite old haunts "La Lanterna" in Mill St.

On Sunday I traipsed off to Bill Richards' place in deepest Kent. The journey was somewhat tortuous but eventually I arrived intact.

My view of Britain is oddly detached. I don't feel a great sentimentality for the place. This is the longest time (2 1/2 years) I've been away and I was curious to see how I'd react. Well it all seems dirty, crowded and aggressive. Not to mention outrageously expensive (this not being helped by the scandalously weak dollar). Larger Loutism is all too alive and well and I witnessed unrestrained littering, public drunkeness and swearing in the three days I was in and around London. In addition everone bloody smokes with absolutely no regard to whether they are exhaling in your face. I thought Tony Blair was going to do something about this revolting practice. There is simply no excuse for allowing public smoking to continue. Shame on the British Government for their inaction. I certainly don't feel I ever want to live in London again. "Been there, done that" is the phrase that springs to mind as the best way to sum things up.


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