Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Necesitamos dinero

Cunard persists on sending me e-mails promoting their transatlantic voyages. I never asked for these e-mails but I can't seem to get myself to mark them as spam out of that crazy desire for them to be relevant. I want to be someone who has the time and money to spend six days crossing the Atlantic.

I have this vision of my taking a laptop along and spending the time happily typing away, occasionally venturing out to go... uhm... do posh things. I don't actually know what I would do; it is an economic bracket beyond my comprehension.

In truth, though, I would probably hate it. I have always had a similar vision of travelling via train across the United States -- writing and staring at the landscape and writing. But Owen Martell told me once that he has already pulled this stunt and it was, in fact, kind of shit. I guess, in essence, six days on the Atlantic would just be a really long version of two hours on the Irish Sea, which I have done a handful of times. Each time I do that, I am hit with a frontal lobe headache of the sort I always get when drinking too much Stella Artois. Of course, this could have something to do with the fact that I usually spend my ferry journeys drinking Stella Artois.

At the moment, though, I haven't even got the money for a trans-Bristol Channel journey. The child bride and I ain't gots no money, bitches. All those stories of late about the economy going to shit are met at the Cope hovel with a disgruntled nodding of the head. Yes, BBC, I know I've got no money. Why do you insist on rubbing it in my face? "It sucks for you, and it's just going to keep on sucking. Don't you feel stupid for moving here? You might have a house in St. Paul (a) by now had you stayed in Minnesota."

I am probably doomed to think this ad perpetuum until I manage to establish some sort of a Welsh harem (Chris takes several minutes to mentally catalogue his first 15) and therefore able to convince myself beyond unreasonable doubt that moving here was the best idea ever. I am inclined toward this type of thinking now especially that the academic year has come to an end.

I have successfully stumbled my way through two whole years of university and now feel a need to reflect. At the pub last Friday, Llŷr appropriately had to ask me three times if this is the farthest I've ever progressed in university. The answer was eventually yes, and it's an answer that in itself serves as validation. I am now only a year away from actually having a proper degree (b).

And now, in brilliant summer weather, I have nothing to do but write a book. And that's probably what has me most unsettled at the moment: things are coming together. Dude, that's scary. When the pieces of life start to fit I start to get nervous, waiting for it all to come apart in some British drama fashion (c).

Thank the sweet baby Jesus, then, that we've only got £35 to last us the next fortnight. If we weren't in financial dire straits I'd be seriously worried, expecting at any moment for the guy who really killed Jill Dando and Princess Diana to come walking in after us.


(a) It would be more accurate to say that I might have had a house in St. Paul. Almost certainly I would have been one of those subprime mortgage victims.

(b) OK, yes, it's a degree in Welsh, so I'm not sure how "proper" a degree it is. But considering that previous ambitions were for degrees in philosophy and politics, it's not as if I was ever going to get a "proper" degree anyway.

(c) One of the reasons I am so loyal to programmes like "Strictly Come Dancing" is the fact that British dramas can be so soul-destroying. They will build the character up and then suddenly, seemingly without reason, take the person down and end the story with no redeeming element whatsoever. They seem to feel some kind of moral obligation to do this, TV critics always complaining that American dramas "give in" and allow their characters certain levels of redemption. I will watch "Doctor Who" because it is geared toward younger viewers and I feel I can trust it not to pull the rug from under me, but you can see how desperately the writers want to.


Anonymous said...

I can get you a great deal on a foreclosed upon house in St. Paul.

Anonymous said...

I am also obsessed with sea voyages! The seven month round-the-world ones that P&O do. It's the only things the boy has told me I'll NEVER BE ABLE TO DO. Hah - I'll show him.

Also, you should get a wacky short-term job, like being a steward at the Glastonbury Festival or something. You could camp and harass celebrities and write a column about it!

om said...

Ah Cope, you misunderestimated me! (Though wasn't it Oscar Wilde in fact who said, "I live in fear of not being misunderestimated"?)

I have nothing but praise for the American Railroad. New York to San Francisco is a big symphonic four-scoop treat.

My only misgivings stemmed from not getting a place in the sleeper car. Having slept upright in a single seat all four nights of the outward journey, I then did the same thing on the return. I stepped off the train in Penn Station at the end of the journey with a country-full of the most spectacular images... and two backs.

Worth it every bit, though. Go Amtrak!


Chris Cope said...

Owen, I would imagine that travelling across the United States via train and not having a sleeper car is some kind of weird torture on par with self-flagellation.

Wierdo said...

I agree totally regarding dr who. I mean if they kill somebody/something off, they can just bring them back easy peasy - gotta love sci-fi!

I am however dreading the leaving of David Tennant. There will be tears and sulking no doubt about it. I mean I cried when rose left and I was jealous of her!

Anonymous said...

When Rose left it was the saddest thing ever to happen on television. The Doctor cried a SINGLE TEAR!