Tuesday, 15 April 2014


Looking forward to Easter: escape from London.
Usually don't allow myself to look forward this much. It feels like wishing the time (the days between now and the Paddington train on Friday morning) away.
So much talk at the moment about mindfulness and living in the present. Of course. But maybe the anticipation of a journey, and looking forward to a journey, is a very important part of travel (whether mental or physical).
Alain de Botton (have finished The Art of Travel ) disagrees. He argues that it's like believing the photos in the holiday brochures are true - the empty Caribbean beaches fringed with palms.
"... valuable elements may be easier to experience in art and in anticipation than in reality. The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress, they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments and, without either lying of embellishing, thus lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in teh distrcting woolliness of the present."

Yes perhaps. But there may be a half-way house here somewhere. Thoughts that lift and strengthen the mood can't be bad.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy