20.9.10

THE DOUGANS' TRIUMPHANTLY RETURN TO THE UK! LAURELS SCATTERED BENEATH THEIR TYRES BY A GRATEFUL POPULATION!

Indeed palms beneath our feet and hosanna's ringing in the air?  I think not.  As we disembarked the ferry at Weymouth in the early hours of a grim Sunday the only sound was of the muffled clamp of thick fog and wind-spun drizzle as we blithely drove out of the town in completely the wrong direction for which action, in the tradition of my gender, I roundly blamed my poor suffering wife, while the children optimistically asked whether we were there yet.  Ten hours later we arrived at Kendal red-eyed but relieved and stunned by the wild beauty of the Lakes-our eyes still unused to a horizon of land that exceeded nine miles in any direction.
So here we are, back in the UK after three years in Guernsey setting up court advisory services for children and families. It was a fascinating project and I’m now taking a break before embarking on a new challenge probably in the private care sector. And to top it all we're back just in time for the recession to start biting and the city streets to erupt into protest and revolution.  Marvellous, but then again was it not always thus?
Getting an entire household back from one country to another including children, the gerbil Mr Nibbles, and all possessions is quite an endeavour and an organisational task of immense proportions so my wife Millie and I are still in recovery mode as are the children. But they were all brilliant. I can blog a bit now and start to catch up on lots of stuff that’s been happening. Life in the Channel Islands has inspired me to begin writing a fairly lengthy poem called ‘A Theory of Islands’ and I’ll be posting bits on that as it develops. Essentially the concepts of flotsam and jetsam and the random way in which lives are cast up on distant shores serves as prime theme and then there is something of the inwardness of islands and the inevitable predatory reaction to ‘passing trade’. I began to think of smuggling and ship-wrecking and piracy not only as illegal survival activity but as a philosophical mindset determined by location, in this case the proximity of the sea-a kind of smuggle-osophy. And then there is the sea herself with all her mystery and pitiless wildness. To live within the ambit of such a wild force must inevitably impact on one’s growth and nature, on one’s perceptions and values. Anyway that’s my theory of islands stuff. It’s great being back in the UK and I’m aware how I relish just the great diversity of cultures and peoples. Even the complexities of weather are appealing-though I’m not sure how long that will last. I’m going to start posting some video on the blog over the coming weeks including some of my songs, some interpretations and some of my poems performed for the blog. When I get settled in the Brighton area I’ll be doing some gigs and readings and will post those dates here. It’s looking like I’ll be working in London which was part of my plan so I’m looking forward to that and just enjoying being unemployed for a wee while. Thanks for reading-Success to your work!

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