Yesterday, on my little bus trip into Douglas, I was struck, for totally different reasons, by two blogger's posts that I had recently read: Yorkshire Pudding's observations about the differences in cultural diversity in various parts of the UK and Rachel's comment on her blog What is the Joy of Living?
We had taken the trip into Douglas to visit the Government Planning Department to view the original plans for the conversion of our house. As these are twenty years old now, they are only available on microfiche so we had to sit at the machine in the reception area and peer at the dark and fuzzy images on the small screen in order to make out the details. Unfortunately, the scanned documents appeared to be incomplete and some of the technical stuff seemed to be missing. We did glean some information, however, so it was not a totally wasted visit.
We also did some shopping and had a coffee, to make a day of it.
Anyway, this is when YP's blog post about diversity struck me. Although our island is very small compared to the UK, our population has very quickly grown in ethnic and cultural diversity over the past couple of years. It was apparent just walking through town and visiting shops and cafes that there is a very wide mix of new residents. We have many different colours and creeds here now whereas up until very recently the island was made up predominantly of white Manx, UK and Irish nationalities.
The young lady at the reception desk in the Government office was of Eastern Europe origin, as are some of the staff we speak to over the 'phone at the bank and building contractor offices. There are many different nationalities working in our health care services and I have also seen quite a few different nationalities working on the local fishing boats too.
I thought about YP's observations that, across in the UK, this does not seem to be the case in areas outside of London and the surrounding areas of other cities but we certainly seem to be welcoming many different people here to bolster our population.
As we were ensconced in our seats on the bus home I was gazing out of the window and, once free from the gritty environs of Douglas, was enjoying the view of the rolling green hills and sea cliffs as we bowled along. I had a moment of total contentment, feeling fortunate to be reasonably fit and healthy and to live in a relatively safe, quiet and beautiful place with just enough money to feed, clothe and warm ourselves .... so far,
That is when Rachel's comment on What is the Joy of Living? came to me. At that particular moment I felt that was my version of it.