Friday, July 21, 2023

On Blog PTSD

Now then. What the heck. It seems I had forgotten about my blog completely rather than just neglecting it this time. To return after so long is like seeing an old friend again after many years that shuttle by like underground trains in the rain to the point that they are become the same blur of motion and lose what distinguished them in the first place. You look at her face and ponder old glories.

Not that my blog was epic from the start. It was not even particularly clever, although it had its moments. No lion tamer has ever felt more accomplished than the time he cracks the whip and the big, dumb feline jumps from podium to podium at his command.

Only to devour the trainer when his back is turned.

Now then. I say it again to rally my mind. I'll be honest. When first starting this blog in 2011 as I listened to the static of the police scanner, I was fairly smug. I thought each word was carefully crafted and would fall like a perfectly polished stone into an eager cerebral pond. I gained followers fast. After a year or so I had a small but loyal community of friends in the blogosphere. We interacted, we hung on each others' comments, and engaged in other obscure blogo pleasures. Then social media came along and pissed on our proverbial parade.

I kept writing for the sake of it. Putting down your thoughts, however discombobulated they may be, is cathartic. Today if I get a comment it's probably spam. It's something I accept. I don't make much effort either.

Back then, I hoped I could impart some wisdom or at least give advice to other Brits who made the terrifying leap across the pond but I feel I failed in that regard too. Almost two decades ago, I would have told fellow Brits it's easier to get food over here but it's also a lot easier to get shot. No change there. It's also easier to end up frazzled up in a wildfire or flattened by a tornado.

Now I find myself in a dreary in between. When people ask me what I miss about the United Kingdom, I trot out some weak line about decent fish and chips and warm beer. I cringe as I hear myself say it. It's lazy and it's avoiding the question. Of course, there's much more. Drystone walls weaving up the rolling hills and dales, the sun setting over the coast of Wales, the smell of newly mown grass and the mellow tap of the ball on a cricket bat.But seriously. It's not as if can cram all of that into a conversation before people glaze over. Know what I say. Warm beer and fish and chips. I don't even mix much.

There's an expat group in this city but I'm not keen to go along and chinwag. For a start they all seem more Trumpy than Trump. Increasingly, Brits and Americans seem to be embraced in some time warp vaudeville show involving a slow dance with the freaky clowns that haunted the living daylights out of their childhood. 

Sign me up for a Big Mac and a smattering of recurring PTSD.

Don't get me wrong. I gravitate towards a British accent when I hear one. This weekend in Tulum when we lined up in the blistering heat to pay a tourist tax for the temple at a single kiosk with two more admissions barriers on the hot hillside ahead I heard a British guy behind me laying down some good old Brit common sense.

"They employ people to give you maps, to help with directions and there's one person giving out tickets."

My thoughts entirely. I engaged him and his family in conversation.

"Stoke on Trent. Nice mate. Been there but never got off the train."

He seemed like a nice bloke. We could relate.

Then he got onto the topic of immigration.

Now then. I made my excuses and trotted off to do something more interesting like pull at a toe nail or rearrange some twigs in the trees.

Now then. That expression again. It haunts me. I catch a glimpse of an Irish/Italian girl in the rain.


  1. ok I really liked this. No razzle dazzle word play to attract followers, just honest thoughts put down into words. Maybe I can revive your interest in this blog. Anyway I seem to get along very well with Brits' so it's great getting back in touch with you again.


On Blog PTSD

Now then. What the heck. It seems I had forgotten about my blog completely rather than just neglecting it this time. To return after so long...