I have named my clock 'the grim reaper' as its loud ticks and tocks remind me of the steady march towards inevitable death. And being reminded of death is to be reminded of what to do with one's remaining life. I'm troubled by the New Testament proverb that states a servant cannot serve two masters. Of course it's a metaphor for the life material- one master- and the life spiritual, the other. Which is to say the direction of an individual's life can be inferred by which of these concepts their choices are underpinned by. Like most people, my life is essentially material.
I have very much been immersed in material thoughts this week. I've been watching cars on Ebay. You can pick up a one careful owner Escort with low mileage and no rust for less than 500, the insurance would probably be another 300. I've been thinking about what furniture to put in my apartment. My mum has a load of the stuff in her house she's happy to give me- from an old fashioned brass bed to a table lamp made out of wood that came down in the Great Storm of 1987. (I'll tell people that it was made from the storm of 1703). But here's the thing, I have made a little concession to the spiritual. I didn't really want to settle down south, because the south of England has the most frigid women in the world. And the men quite often want to kill you.
Cases in point. When I went to Margate on Thursday a woman was struggling to take a buggy up a steep flight of steps. It seemed cruel not to offer her help, which I did. "I can do it myself, thanks," she barked back at me aggressively. It was all in the tone of voice. Come to think of it, I also saw an amusing but slightly frightening situation when a fight nearly broke out between three girls, two walking in one direction, one walking in another. I only caught the aftermath, when words had already been exchanged. Two girls- maybe Romany- hard to say- gave a white lower working class girl a behind the back finger and sauntered off towards the eastern end of Northdown Road. The white girl stormed off in the other, but her anger was bubbling and after walking maybe 200 metres west she ran into a friend and said something like "Don't talk to me now, 2 cunts just fucking started on me- blah blah blah" and turned and quick marched back in their direction.
Margate is being gentrified. It has very nice eateries, stuff you don't need shops, art gallery, theatre and so on but also plenty of deprivation and a type of working class that I find hard to engage with without there being some sort of misunderstanding. For some reason, I don't find the same problem with Northerners that I've met. It could just be a fantasy of mine based on a lack of experience but now I won't know. I'm staying down south because my mother's partner wants me to be near my mother. I would have preferred Brighton with its arty and alternative scene but it's too expensive and Margate has a surprisingly cool Old Town. Another thing about Brighton, it has a Green MP. I've only voted once- Liberal- because Lewsisham had no Green candidate. The North East is predominantly Labour, which is also ok. Thanet is predominantly Tory. I don't think everything about Tory is bad- it's just a case of what suits me. I want to live in a place that has the best possibilities for dating, a job I won't hate and social life/hobbies. Maybe Margate isn't it but if I move there I'll give it my best shot.