I have entered a peculiar stage in my life — at least peculiar to me. Lately I feel like my British roots are bleeding into the Stars and Stripes. This is not so much a bad thing, as a sad thing. I don’t want to loose my Welshness. I’ve even tried sleeping cocooned in a Union Jack. It does no good. I only wake feeling culturally inferior. I’ve even dreamed of Dickens. But when I wake, all I can do is entertain my daughter with my impersonation of Fagin.
I’ve thought about doing something drastic, like quitting my job, packing up the house, and moving my family back to the homeland. But that is irresponsible, I keep getting told. And boyish. It is, I know. I blame Kundera’s Life is Elsewhere for screwing me up.
But I’m determined to do something about this sense of loss. Something that doesn’t require a lot of money, obstinacy, and regret.
So I bought myself a spanking new pair of oxblood Doc Martens. It’s been years since I’ve owned these boots. And now I feel like I can start to once more reconnect with my working-class, British roots. And they didn’t cost much compared to a flight. Plus they’re stylish. And made in Britain.
So now when I wander around, I can ponder my existence with a pair of good, sturdy British boots on my feet. Which should do wonders for my soles — both of them.
“You don’t have to know what kind of book you are writing until you have written a good deal of it, maybe not until you’ve finished it – maybe not even then. All that matters is that at some point the book generates a form and style uniquely appropriate to its own needs. Why bother offering readers an experience that they can get from someone else?”