Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Something Missing

Living in Canberra, I sometimes find myself feeling unaccountably sad. I even wonder occasionally if I might have what a relative of mine claimed he had - 'clinical depression'. Could the condition run in the family, or was my relative's younger son right when he said that what his father meant was that he'd gone into a clinic and said to the doctor, 'I feel depressed'?

Anyway getting back to me, (that's better), and where I live, Canberra has many trees and plentiful carparking places. The weather is generally sunny. 'What's not to like?' I ask myself. Then I get on a plane and go to the other place I live - Budapest.

This is my local library in Canberra. This is my local library in Budapest:

It turns out it's just splendour deficit disorder that I suffer from; I need a dose of 'deep history' (to quote Chris Matarazzo) from time to time.


  1. Speaking as someone who works in a world-famous but completely crap and hideous building, I'm afraid I laughed out loud at your Canberra library. Does that make me a hypocrite?

  2. I may have to stop reading your blog. ANYONE can appreciate historic European buildings. It's only the few who can truly know and love the Dickson Library.

  3. And how can I forget those anxious moments of sending my small son into the men's room and wondering what seedy fellow might be there waiting for him? The library staff actually told me to keep a watchful eye on him.... so reassuring.

  4. That's exactly what I felt when I saw your photos from you balcony. A yearning for "deep history" and "splendour deficit disorder". I didn't know that there was a term for it.

    Now to just find that way of getting over there....

    @aptronym (who grew up going to Dickson Library, too)

  5. Sophie - If you work in the Houses of Parliament as a Hansard reporter, I sympathise - I've never seen working conditions so closely resembling a battery chicken farm. But it can't be there, because the Houses of Parliament are not hideous.
    Smiler - you are right, as is Barbara.
    Polly - the Dickson Library has actually been ripped apart inside so you can't even love it any more. The dear old architect wept publicly, but it made no difference.
    Aptronym - when there's no-one else in the flat, I do rent it out for very little. However, bear in mind that it has no lift so you have to stagger up several flights of stairs.

  6. "Splendour deficit disorder." See -- that's where a place like Budapest beats Philadelphia. Philadelphia has deep history, but no splendour. I guess deep history makes us feel rooted to human history, but splendour (especially human-created splendour)makes us proud to be human. (This is usually a temporary effect for me, sadly.)

  7. Surely that bell has some splendour?

  8. There's no pleasing some people