Saturday, September 6, 2008

Nothing to do with Arsenal

I'm back from Tintern Abbey, and currently cooling my heels in Chepstow. Welsh buses are even more infrequent than Melbourne ones. Still, it's a nice looking abbey and all. Framed with rain and mist and lush, forested hills, it looks suitably mournful.

There's an air of sadness around all these moldy ruins.

It's a bit to do with the impermanence of man and how all our works will one day lie forgotten in the ground. You walk through delicately carved archways and soaring gothic pillars, and you realise how much effort went into making these things last for all time. When you look at all the monuments and flagstones dedicated to past luminaries, you start to realise how little you really leave behind. There's nothing there but a name and a touching little epiphet.

It's a bit to do with the whole futility of Welsh nationalism, how they seem to shoot themselves in the foot all the time. I'm not really familiar with their history (it's mainly pieced from Lonely Planet guidebooks and plaques off moldy ruins), but it seems a history of division and discorded, and lots of noble dudes sucking up to more powerful England lords. Even all their transportation is focused west-east instead of north-south (due, historically, to shepherds leading their flock to richer English markets). All these buildings they've built are like a monument to their fruitless, ill-guided energies.

Then again, it also might be because of the bloody rain. It always makes me melacholy and introspective. It rains 90% of the time when I'm in Wales, and 100% of the time when I'm in a moldy ruin. Often, there's dazzling sunshine when I'm in a bus, but once I'm out, it starts again. I'd quite like Cardiff specifically, and Wales generally, if it wasn't the case. It's quite a pretty little place.

Anyway, I'm off to Oxford tomorrow. And the way things are, I probably won't blog for a while. I'm too cheap to pay £1 for 15 minutes of internet. It's too much for too little. Like Wenger, I don't care if it's the market price - I want to buy my time on my terms, or not at all.

There's not a lot going on, anyway. There's an internationl match tonight (I think). My prediction's that Walcott will get a game against Andorra and score a hattrick, play against Croatia and get two more, and have a host of tabloids complaining that Wenger's been holding this kid back. Or something like that.

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