Monday, April 5, 1982


Andrew spent the morning reading Mervin Peake’s Gormenghast. We talked about how being apolitical is the best way. Andrew said, “I’m a hippy at heart. All the nicest people I know are the ones who aren't bothered about their image. I just want to run away and hide and stuff everyone else.”

I know what he means because I kind of agree and increasingly I'm starting to think that the basic unhappiness everyone feels, our unfulfilled desire for some sort of Utopian situation where we’ll always be happy can only be tackled on an individual level and by something like Zen. Away with the “big programmes full of social planning.” They create only bitterness, anger and negative reactions.  

This can only be solved by a sort of inner peace which at least makes the pointlessness of day-to-day activities, the tragedy of living and growing old bearable. But my speaking like this sounds so bad, me snug in my little middle-class conformist cocoon where everything is looking set. . . .

I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon revising my Persuasion notes and at least I’ve made a start. I almost feel optimistic.

The news was an hour-long today and the newspaper headlines were huge. New Zealand has broken off diplomatic relations with Argentina; Lord Carrington has resigned as Foreign Secretary along with his deputy and someone else. Patriotic scenes as the fleet, the largest naval force assembled by any country since WW2, has set sail to cheering flag-waving crowds who lined the quayside at Portsmouth.

Later I watched a programme about the completely immoral and sickeningly hypocritical government sale of arms to Argentina, which only ended on Saturday.

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