Telling It Like It Is -- The View From This End

Mike Harling

When I started my blog, back in January 2002, I had no end of things to write about. I was in the midst of moving to another country to marry a woman who, in truth, I barely knew. And, once I arrived, I was faced with so many cultural peculiarities that I couldn’t walk across the street without the inspiration for several blog posts striking me.

That trend continued for many years. I was an American out of his depth, faced with travel, work, holidays and a domestic life that was very different, and therefore exciting and blog-worthy.

Then, gradually, I became an American who was not so out of his depth. Eventually, I found myself more and more out of my depth each time I visited America (though that was always good for a few blog posts).

Currently, I consider myself British, and no longer out of my depth. If I run into a tourist and they require directions, assistance or advice, I can reliably supply it. Also, I’m retired, so I have little opportunity for business travel (somehow, I always managed to get into some sort of situation awkward or funny or dangerous enough for a post whenever I traveled for work). And recently, my wife retired, which means I am rarely left without adult supervision, a condition that often led to blog-worthy misadventures.

None of this bothers me. Boredom is terribly underrated. We have a nice life, but there isn’t much to write about these days, which make my presence on this blog somewhat dubious.

It’s not that nothing is happening in my life. In many ways, I’m busier than I have ever been. I’m writing novels, I’m running a choir, I’m learning to play the piano and I have rediscovered the joys of making things out of wood in the garden shed my mother-in-law kindly lets me use. However, do you want to hear about any of those things in greater detail? I thought not.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say. I may not be having many mirth-inducing escapades, but the world is certainly in a state that requires some commentary.

For the record, I have been comfortably aware for much of my life that Cyberspace is better off without my musings being added to the maelstrom of madness currently muddying up our lives. This is why I tend to keep that sort of thing off my other blog. But Tell It Like It Is seems a good place to give vent to the things I reflect on while sitting with a pipe and a beverage on my balcony, enjoying the peaceful twilight.

Don’t worry, I’ll keep them brief, and, if possible, funny. And I’ll definitely try to keep you from wising I’d talk to you about my garden shed, instead.

It's not much of a view, but it's mine.