It is true that it is only in hindsight that one sees with clarity. For example, I was recently wondering about the best meals of my life: for some reason, I began to wonder, which were the best meals I’ve ever eaten. I came up with a list of three: firstly, there was the seafood buffet I had on new years eve 06/07, in Sydney with my family. We had flown in from the ‘red centre’ that evening, and were lucky to get spaces for the festiivities in our Sydney hotel. The seafood was delicious, and the fireworks made it one of the most memorable evenings of my life.
Then there was the Cuban risotto I had in Paris. When I went there with charlotte, two years ago, we found a little Cuban place near the champs Elysess. I remember it vividly for two reasons: it was there that I drank my first authentic daiquiri, and it was there that charlotte tried to learn to dance Cuban style. I remember it being a truly amazing evening, and one of the best of my life.
The third meal on my list is the least recent, and the most special. In 1994, my parents tool me to the west coast of America. We rented a van, and we toured California, Nevada, and Arizona before going back into California. On one of the last nights, we were up in the Rockies, in Yosemite. Despite the incredible natural beauty, I was miserable, as the chalets we were staying in didn’t have any TV sets. That evening, despite me being in a preadolescent huff, I remember my parents, my brothers and I sitting, up among the redwoods, playing Chinese whispers over a pizza. The sky was so clear that we could see Venus between the mountains. I was young and in a huff, but, looking back, I think that was one of the most magical evenings of my life.
My point is, I think retrospect is the key; none of my favourite meals felt significant at the time. You cant grasp the significance of an event until enough time passes that you can look back on it. Maybe this is the case with politics: Gordon brown is currently portrayed as inept, but I suspect retrospect will show that he saved us from a worldwide depression. I know the two examples are worlds apart, but it is only through hindsight that one can realise the significance of anything, from your three finest meals to the efficacy of a prime minister.