Friday, 1 April 2011

We all wanna change the world...

March, which started in the rain with a death and a funeral, should have blazed out yesterday in the rays of a rainbow – instead it finished in rain.

Lots of it, wet and grumpy.

In between, here in Bitsnbobs land – the place that scoffs, yes scoffs at all things GPS – there was an inordinate amount of sunshine.

So much so that the spring sprung out on us like a hungry tiger, devouring sleepy bush and hedgerow and I hesitated, yes hesitated, about cutting the grass for the first time of the year.


You should see things today – green jungle, verdant chaos, a vibrant but claustrophobic invasion.

But, despite the rain it’s time to press on to pastures new and something that is vexing my conscience as I stare at the encroaching undergrowth.

Because I need some advice.....

Recently I received an e-mail inviting me to post a link to my blog, on someone else’s web site.

And you know what?

I think Lenin might have been right.

The website inviting me was this one - and as you can see if you just followed that link it’s a sort of “ex-pats in France information data base link up thingy.”

And you know what?

I don’t know whether Tim was right.

Tim was one of my best mates at school and we kept in touch through the rigours of University, and even in the post university shambles of our looking for new ways; the night I saw him singing in front of his band will forever be one of the biggest surprises I have ever had, he was awesome.

When I told him I was moving to France he said something like - “I never thought you would become an ex-pat.”

And you know what?

I didn’t think I was.

I guess ex-pat means something different to me than it’s component parts but either way one would have to be a Pat before being able to be Ex, and I don’t think I ever was.

So when I looked at the website inviting me to join them I hesitated.

Is this me?

Can you be an ex-pat without being an Ex-Pat?

Then I remembered Lenin.

I’m not sure if I understood the history lessons correctly, I would normally ask Tim if I could check the notes he took in class, but unfairly time and tide have separated us.

But one of the things I took away from our studies on the Russian revolution was Lenin’s choice between building a mass movement or a small unit of dedicated activists.

He chose the latter.

He had his revolution.

I was impressed.

I still am, but at the time - thinking as I was of starting my own revolution – the impression was stronger.

That was all before I met an artist who used to say – “The biggest change one can make to society, short of destroying it, is to change your attitude to it.”

All these thoughts came crashing back as I surfed through the French links website, should I sell my soul to the devil in an effort to build readership – (I have consciously tried to keep this blog advertising free, and however well intentioned I would be adding an advertising banner to these pages)?

Or should I stay working slowly to build up my own radical cell of activists?

After all, the folk who contacted me have never, as far as I know, left a comment on these pages so there lingers a suspicion that they might be using me as just one more relentless cog in their own empire.

I may have nothing to loose.

But do I want the chains?


Anne Hodgson said...

Tricky. Living in the country wasn't enough to make you a part of a clearly defined community encompassing the whole; How, then, can not living there? Sociologists tell us there's a bond that forms among those living abroad. But I feel I have little in common with anyone, really, at this point. I think it's called being cosmopolitan, and I'm told you can be it in the village you were born in, if you put your mind to it.

popps said...

Or outsider?
That is the question.
Whether it be nobler to suffer the stares and criticisms.....

etc etc

ps thanks for being my friend.

Mary said...

Let's see -- are you an Ex-Pat?

Is being British a state of mind or a state where you live?

I don't consider myself an Italian Ex-Pat because my parents emigrated from Italy to Canada when I was a baby. I didn't/couldn't choose and so have been left in the hyphentated Italian-Canadian limbo-land where I don't feel I am fully part of either. But I digress - we've had this discussion before.

You did choose to leave England and to live in France. Perhaps you thought it would just be for a short while or that eventually you would go "back". That's what my parents thought would happen -- but they never went back. These days - in their eighties -- I think that they wish they had moved back when they were in their late 60's.

Next issue -- You say you admired and still admire Lenin and yet you struggle with the dilemna of whether to open your blog up to potential capitalist influences. Lenin or capitalism - only you can answer that. As a reader -- I feel that it is your blog and can do what you like with it. But I guess you have to ask yourself whether the revenues you would potentially earn are something that you a) need, and b)are comfortable with. It will require compromise.

Am confident you will make the right decision for you.


popps said...

That's it, settled then, thanks Mary.
I'll move back/forward to Italy when i'm sixty.

Mary said...

In retrospect, my analogy is not really comparable to yours, I know these things can be quite complicated and conflicting.



Anne Hodgson said...

Cosmic cosmopolitan:

popps said...

No Mary, i think your contribution was more than pertinent (i hope that means what i think it means and not -rude).
And Anne, thank you for once again for adding to my musical education, i am considering assigning official ambassador status.