Tuesday, 19 April 2011

In the cold light of day

It is early on Tuesday morning April 19, contrary to what may be printed across the top of this blog. For some reason best known to Google, they set all blogs at US west coast time - hence my apparently being able to write about the highly successful Moffat Book Event before it started. In the cold light of the day after the day after The Day, I am preparing for our post-event meeting on Thursday. We will be reviewing every aspect of Love and Marriage: what worked, what didn't, and how to make the best use of our limited resources - human and financial - for our October 15 & 16 event themed on Identity: People and Place. One comment I particularly treasure is how nice everyone was on Sat. Being a friendly, welcoming and happy event is important if people are going to want to come to the next one. The theme for October is arguably more unisex than Love and Marriage, appealing to a universal curiosity: who am I? What makes us who we are includes a very broad spectrum of factors ranging from the hard-wired physical such as DNA (hair colour, sex)through diet, education and the various accidents of existence such as where you live and the narratives that surround you at home and at school, on TV and the web. Famously, one test of who you are includes who you cheer for at sports. In my case, this varied with who I was married to, in the first instance a Welshman in the 1970's when Wales carried all before it at rugby then to an Englishman whose parents lived near to the famous cricket ground at Arundel where test sides played friendlies against a local team. When I had a holiday job at the Institute for Nervous Diseases in London's Queen Square, we studied patients' handedness with the aid of a checklist of 12 or more questions to establish how profoundly 'handed'(left or right) they were to assist in rehabilitation after brain surgery. A similar questionnaire might be developed to discover how profoundly 'native' you feel yourself to be to any given location. At another stage of my life, I was aware of a passionate Welsh nationalist of the sort who burned down holiday cottages who turned out not to be technically Welsh at all. In October, we have the opportunity to examine how dress, food, and fairytales affect who we are - or, more properly, who we feel ourselves to be. We will be mapping out the journey, starting from now.

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