January 22, 2017 §
It is true, though, that I love those long train journeys across Europe. Just to spend some days alone with my thoughts and my pen and paper. Perhaps I can enjoy one last Grand Tour of all my favourite places, before I retire from it. Oh but then a year later I will want one more Grand Tour just for old time’s sake, and it will never really end. I don’t know if I can really give up the solitary travelling. It does fulfill some need I have for solitariness. Like Helmut Kohl once a year would take himself off to a health spa. Last year I travelled to Europe four times and spent a total of 12 nights away from home, away from ——. 12 nights to myself out of 365 is not much is it? Perhaps I should allow myself just one Grand Tour a year, and in that tour go to all my places in one go. That is the glory of the Inter Rail Pass. If you are bored in one place, just jump on a train and leave sooner than you planned. If you stop off in another place not planning to stay, but find something amazing to detain you, just hang around longer than planned. That is why going on holiday by plane and just flying from A to B then back home to A again is so boring. Yes, let me allow myself one Grand Tour a year. Then I can just dip into northern Italy for a day or two, just dip into Switzerland and the Alps for a day or two. Get little tasters of those places I have always wanted to go to but will probably never have the time or money to ever really explore as much as I want. If I allow myself one Grand Tour a year, I will be free to go to as many beaches and clear blue seas as —— wants the rest of the year, to try to erase my guilt and shame at leaving her alone! See! I have already talked myself back into travelling alone!
January 12, 2017 §
It is funny when I find old notes from previous holidays previously disregarded. When I look back at some trips there may be one or two things that I always remember that trip for, but then when I find my old notes from that trip I find those one or two things were never even mentioned by me at the time. When I put old notes that I have just rediscovered into my book so often they instantly become the best and most powerful part of the book. Munich is really where it all began for me. It is where I was born as a European traveller. I got the Eurostar to Brussels and after taking no more than one step outside the Gare du Midi station into the alien Brussels street, I changed straight on to the night train to Munich. Arriving at the crack of dawn next morning with no German language, no German money, nowhere to stay, that is where I began to learn how to be a traveller. That was the start of my first Grand Tour. I itch to start another (literally & metaphorically).
January 4, 2017 §
For me the only travelling that is worth anything is travelling alone; which makes things difficult for those in a relationship. Only in the loneliness and the silence do your thoughts come out like bats at night. If you are with someone the noise of your constant chatter scares your thoughts away and they remain out of sight in the shadows, unknown. Like a firefly they live for such a short time, glimmer so brightly then expire, and are gone forever. You must be ready to harvest them at a second’s notice, without delay, lest a single one be lost. Because my thoughts seem so valuable! When I am gone I expect they will build libraries just filled with my writings; all my original notebooks and manuscripts will be pored over by philologists of the future.
December 27, 2016 §
Only now am I starting to mine my riches.
November 7, 2016 §
Ultimately every trip comes down to how much I write, to the insights I gain, to the clarity of my thinking that I can achieve. I love —– more than anything in the world and always will, nobody can ever take her place. When I die I want her to be beside my deathbed holding my hand, I want her eyes to be the last I ever look into. But, meanwhile, I want to follow my heart and lusts. Being married just doesn’t feel natural; that is the clinching argument against it. ‘Sultans of Swing’ now, that —– loves so much. “Way down south, in London Town.”
October 28, 2016 §
I look back on the old days of travelling as a Golden Age, and yet when I look at the words I wrote back then why was I so sad? Despite the sadness and pain of my life back then I was having the most extraordinary highs in Berlin, Vienna and Munich. Maybe it was the sadness and pain that produced the highs, that provided the essential conditions in which highs could occur anyway. In that rotting marsh gas of my despair sparks can ignite very easily.