Sunday, May 23, 2004


They (whomever they are) say you can't go back. I don't know.

It may only have been a 30 hour visit, but my trip to DC told me that you can go back.

I left DC under a bit of a cloud three years ago. After four years of easy living and rather dull working, I was ready to come "home" to England. A new life in Central London was on offer. A new job, an interesting area, new people, new contacts were on offer. A chance to rebuild my life...

Well, three years back here have been eventful, successful, productive if a little costly. Since returning I've learned a lot about myself and my strengths and weaknesses. Still, I've made some of the same old mistakes. And, now fallen on my feet.

Going back to DC was a very odd experience. Immediately I recognised that the atmosphere in the US is starkly different to what it was in April 2001. The farce of Bush election was still news back then. Though there were signs that political life was bedding down. Focus for four years would be strictly on domestic issues. Bush was quietly racking up vacation time. He looked like being the new Ike: always on the golf course.

But, it all changed five months later. By that time, I'd severed the last strong link to DC. There was no turning back. On a sunny autumn day everything else changed back there too.

My feelings on return were mixed. This was my old home. I had gone back - to many of my old colleagues and contacts. But, it had changed. A inner and outer perimeter around the White House was one clear manifestation. Somehow also, I felt that this was a country at war. This is something I do not feel in London. It is definitely in the air in Washington.

Yet. And yet. There was a familiar attractiveness to Washington. The city; it's potholes; the traffic; News Channel 8; the lobbyists; ESPN; the evening thunderstorms.

I'm back in London now. Probably for the rest of my working life... Who knows?

:: Posted by pete @ 20:44