19th April 2009

Lately I've been experiencing a bit of an identity crisis. When children ask what's the point in learning subjects like history (it's all dead and buried), the wise history teacher will say that unless we know where we've come from, we'll never know who we are.
The French, for all their faults, know exactly who they are. From the blockading fishermen in the north to the village townsfolk in the south, their culture is supreme. I even saw in our village bibliotheque a leaflet on how to renovate ancient crumbling houses so as to maintain French local heritage and history.
I see in the Sunday Times that Prince Charles is battling to stop a monstrous glass and steel reconstruction of the ancient much-loved Chelsea Barracks in London. I agree with him. A lot of what's wrong with the UK is not the crumbling edifices of its houses, but the crumbling edifices of its culture. When will planners get the message that unless we conserve the essential character of our past, we destroy not only our heritage but the essential character of who we are.
So, I suppose my own id crisis is caused by being an Englishwoman with eastern-Europe ancestors struggling to be accepted in yet another country. Like the teeming nomads in history, cross-circuiting the globe in search of a better life, I too need to find the essential ingredient that tells me who I am.
Answers please (not on a postcard) but by the comments section here!


George said...

Here in the U.S we can not afford to repair the aging suspention bridges, tall buildings, and thousands of miles of highways. A generation ago we easily aforded building them George

georett41farrell said...

I recently downloaded Pensioners in Paradis, and having read it, I can assure you there is no need for your ID crisis.

With your sense of humour, and your take on life, I think the Place where you grew up, has more than contributed. Stay just as you are, be your lovely self, and acceptance in your adopted country will come, without you making any effort.

I'm looking forward to the article in the Sun whenever it appears.

We are hoping to go and live in France later this year, encouraged I may say by your example.

Every happiness for the future.

Margaret Farrell