In these very dark days, with tragedy and despair in every part of the world, I think the only answer – to keep form sinking into a permanent depression – is to find the occasional diversion.
The first most obvious diversion is to ‘get away from it all’ and I have just done that, taking a week’s holiday in Croatia. I was lucky enough to find a quiet hotel on the beautiful coast between Split and Dubrovnik and armed with a bag full of books I made my escape.
My fellow passengers were a mixed bunch, plenty of ‘novel fodder; but not at all intrusive as I only saw them at breakfast and supper.
I also learned a little about Croatia which in itself was a diversion. It was explained that whereas Bosnia leans towards the East both politically and in their religion – where they are mainly Moslems, Croatia leans towards the West and is mainly Roman Catholic. It is hard to believe they were ever a united Yugoslavia and it helps to explain why the civil war and breaking up was such a long and bitter struggle.
But a holiday wherever you go and however short, is a good escape and a definite diversion..
Books are an excellent escape. I find that once I am deep in a book, I live in it and find it hard to put down until the last page. So for those who have the time I suggest a three day devotion to reading – and of course I suggest my own Trilogy as a definite diversion, PARALLEL LINES, TRIANGLES IN SQUARES, FULL CIRCLE!
I have recently plunged into a big tome called SHARK ALLEY by Stephen Carver which is set in Dickensian times and takes you into a different world, a magical trawl into our past.
Even if you only have time to read a few pages of a book – it will divert you for a while. There is no shortage of wonderful books – so pick one up.
Television is the most common source of escape, although keep away from the news! My advice would be to go back to those brilliant programmes of the past, rather than the programmes made today with so many topical references. There are a many great series, now in box sets, which can keep you occupied for hours. My particular favourites are DAD’S ARMY and YES MINISTER, but there are hundreds to choose from.
And there are the old films as well. Lose yourself in the classics, even black and white. The best diversion of all is to watch the BUSTER KEATON and CHARLIE CHAPLIN films – “they don’t make them like that any more”. And we need to laugh.
Music, theatre and opera are all great diversions as well. Or go for a long walk in the countryside, or visit one of our great gardens. Join the National Trust, visit friends, go shopping, have a car boot sale. There is no shortage of ways to escape….
Alas, diversions are good for a while but all too soon we are brought back to reality. The tragedy of the murder of Jo Cox has shocked the entire country and for a moment has brought to a halt the increasingly hysterical, vicious and excessive language used by our politicians – and consequently reported in the media – in their pursuit of winning the EU campaign. It is likely, as Jo Cox stood for REMAIN, and the man who murdered her shouted “Britain First”, that he was probably from a far right group, whipped up into an angry frenzy by what he’d heard and mistakenly interpreted. So she was murdered for her beliefs which is shocking in itself.
Some of us have watched in alarm as many of our politicians started to use increasingly alarmist tactics, particularly with reference to immigration. The latest UKIP advertisement is nothing short of disgraceful. I hope and trust, that with Jo’s tragic death, politicians on all sides will come to their senses. Some – and I won’t name them because they are known to us all – could learn from the dignified, passionate way Jo Cox had worked in her short time as an MP, always with respect, always with intelligence and integrity.
RIP Jo Cox. Thank you for what you did. My thoughts are now with your family and friends.