I’m handed a leaflet on Egypt. (Thanks). I pass suits, hotdogs, more suits, and enter another well-lit carpeted cavern. I’m handed a leaflet on Germany. (Uh, thanks, yes, I’m somewhat aware of the place). I thread between suits and skirts, deeply self-conscious of my hoodie and rucksack. I’m handed a leaflet on…I don’t know where, since I pop it into … Read More
He points at me – no, past me. A blast of German. “I..don’t speak…” “The train station is closing”. I turn around and head back out of the Alexanderplatz U-Bahn, running just far enough ahead of the advancing officials to buy a sandwich from a kiosk. I’m dimly aware I have a good walk ahead of me. How full is my … Read More
I’ve decided this isn’t working out. So – I quit. Let’s talk about why.
(2008) The voice coming over the loudspeaker is beginning to struggle. “Uh – on platform 6, the Treno Notte to Roma will be leaving in approximately…” “SHOW ME TH’WAYDA GO-OME…..CAZZ I’M TIREDANA WANNA GOHDA BED…”
It’s midnight, and I’m looking up at a signpost. The best way to see England is on foot. (The second best way? Ask Sustrans). It’s a country designed to fit your feet, whether via the National Trail network or by those enticing mystery dashed lines you see winding their way into the trees at the fringes of your Ordnance Survey … Read More
London breathes on my back. Around me, shirts billow, dresses flare and hats are clutched, as the stuffy, tasteless air roars past us in search of somewhere to dump its heat. Behind me, the mournful screee of an Underground Tube train – and around me, a subterranean London that is far from solid. Imagine laying a cross-section across the city, … Read More
If at first you don’t succeed..you might be onto something here. For a long while, my ability to attract misadventure and fall flat on my face whenever enough ground presented itself…well, it haunted me. Other people seemed to glide as if well-oiled through the machinations of society. I rattled, clunked and occasionally jammed. In 1995 I went on my first archaeological … Read More
What stuff do you need to go travelling? Let’s pretend we’re back at school, and that’s an essay question. What are we trained to do? Break down. (The question, I mean). We disassemble into its component concepts, in search of the tricksiest. And what’s the troublesome word here? Need. I have a real problem with that word – because I’m … Read More