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I had to pull over and cry. Obama’s acceptance speech was on the radio.


Here’s the deal:

I never thought I’d hear a politician say the things he’s said. Ever.

I’ve never been proud of anything but America’s past. Certainly not her present. In my lifetime. Until now.

It’s been years since I wanted to be there. Twenty, to be precise. But today I really, really wished I were.



What with Obama and Clinton raging in Iowa and New Hampshire, I’ve found myself longing to be ‘in the fray’. Not that I’ve ever managed — despite best intentions, admittedly — to be in any particular fray…but this one does grab me.

I also feel homesick. The lack of any interesting precipitation (where’s the snow for heaven’s sake?) along with Sarah Salway’s picture of a cardinal — the bright red state bird of Virginia (where I grew up) — over on her blog, together make me want to be there.

It’s abstracted. It’s irrational. But this morning I sang The Star Bangled Banner to M in the car. Yes I did. She listened all the way through before quietly remarking that she didn’t think she’d ever heard it before. Shame on me.

In recompense, please accept this particularly belting version. If you didn’t know it before M, you’ll know it now!


From January 2010, my new blog is Waving and Drowning


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Who am I?

A writer born in Texas, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (yes, like the song), and who's been living in the UK since 1988. I've published two books (see below), and teach creative writing at the University of Kent. I'm married to a composer, and we have two young children. See About for my full profile.