THIS IS a travel blog. It’s not one of those blogs that will give you the details on where to stay or how much to pay, but instead hopes to shed some light on the places that I visit. What interests me is the everyday, the things that make up people’s lives, and how these things come together to make culture. The strangeness of other peoples’ familiar is an important way of understanding ourselves.
In 2014 I travelled the world for a year-long trip with BKC, my wife, taking only what we could carry on our backs (which, as it turned out, was more than we needed). Since then I’ve come home, re-integrated into the working life and – whilst not earning a crust – I’m studying part time for an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck Universty. Work and study mean that, for the time being, my blogposts are less frequent, but no less enjoyed in the writing – and, I hope, the reading.
I also write fiction.
The Importance of Elsewhere
By Philip Larkin
Lonely in Ireland, since it was not home,
Strangeness made sense. The salt rebuff of speech,
Insisting so on difference, made me welcome:
Once that was recognised, we were in touch
Their draughty streets, end-on to hills, the faint
Archaic smell of dockland, like a stable,
The herring-hawker’s cry, dwindling, went
To prove me separate, not unworkable.
Living in England has no such excuse:
These are my customs and establishments
It would be much more serious to refuse.
Here no elsewhere underwrites my existence.