Interesting Times Are What We Create Not What We Live In
Interesting times R Us. Interesting times are now.
When we look back, we often remember events as interesting, even if they were boring at the time. The truth is, we don’t live in interesting times, but come to view them as interesting on reflection.
When I was at university, my tutor consistently gave my essays harsh criticism. After the New Year break, he invited me out to dinner at a French restaurant with a wood burning fire on the edge of the River Cam. We drank too much. We talked about Camus, existentialism and the erotic novels of Anaïs Nin, whom I would one day try to emulate. I ended up that night in my tutor’s chambers in my tutor’s black iron bed.
Before I started university, I worked the long hot summer as an estate agent within the sound of the cathedral bells in Canterbury. I was so keen to get the commission from a sale, when I took a photographer to see a big old country house, it took little persuasion for me to strip from my clothes and dance naked in the August sunlight. We went to bed, of course, and I had my first orgasm.
It was these two events that led me in my early twenties to haunt the champagne bars of Soho. Often I went home with strangers. It was always curious, exciting, full of surprises. At times sex with a stranger was romantic, exotic, beautiful. At others, it was brutal, violent, dangerous. Bullies with psychological problems called me a ‘little whore’ and sent me home with bruises to remember them by. Grist to the mill of the would be erotic writer. It was a period I had to go through and, looking back, they were interesting times.
Interesting Times Curse
Saying: May you live in interesting times is said to be a Chinese curse. But there is no evidence of this being recorded by the Chinese sages. Interesting Times is a novel in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, and also the title of an autobiography by Eric Hobsbawm.
We will look back on 2016 and say they were interesting times because the old mould of politics appears to have been broken into a million pieces. We enter 2017 with a non-politician, Donald Trump, in the White House, and Britain having become an island again, as it always wanted to be, thanks to Brexit.
Having broken up with Tom, the great love of me life, my 2016 ended up being tiempos interesantes living in Spain, studying Spanish and meeting Ramon, almost ten years younger than me. Young lovers come and go, but it’s the coming more than the going that makes it all worthwhile. They have energy, vigour, constant erections and provide a girl with interesting times.
In order to live in interesting times, one has to be interesting. To be interesting, one has to be interested in new things, new people, expanding your horizons, reading more, learning more, travelling to new places. As 2017 looms, my plan, virtually a resolution, is to visit India. I have never been, but imagine it will be stimulating, motivating, eye-opening, and when I look back I am sure I will say, ah yes, 2017, I was living in interesting times.
Have a Happy New Year. Be yourself and try to be happy. But most important be brave and be yourself.