Friday, 23 July 2010
Whitstable, where it all began, and one of Peter's faves.
So tomorrow the countdown begins: first to New York to hang with Portia, meet old friends, buy that IPAD, and some NYC Sales' clothes. Three years on from the first walk things are different. I am a graduate student at UCL, working on representations of "terror" - Thomas Coryat might come into that as a post-Gunpowder treason "tourist". Who knows? Only the Rhine will tell.
Also, my father Peter, is dead; he died suddenly last summer - so one of my favourite readers isn't around any more. The walk will be for him, of course. All those mountains in Switzerland, the swoosh of German traffic (he hated those autobahns) - I'm sure I'll think of him a lot. Thomas's father died shortly before his walk...
These days those I tell about the journey break down into the "so like Leigh Fermor," or the "so like (that lovely) Rory Stewart" brigade. Nothing is new any more. I'll write about both men on the journey. It isn't new what I'm doing, but the technology to learn, communicate, and publish, is. This time there's a thriving Facebook community, Twitter, 18 MegaPixels instead of 3 (though I love that 3MP roughness, so perhaps I'll stick with the little Leica., and of course the new player, Foursquare. Plus, Ebooks, IPADs, more and more wonderful digital transcriptions of old stuff. Wi-Fi is now a wonderland...
...And Apps! Oh, perhaps I don't even need to leave home. But of course there's still the walking; and there's still the old (now sacred) Merrell boots. The Dean of my faculty asked if - like Tommy Boy - I'll be donating them to the University. I think they'd rather have the IPAD.
Anyway, almost there again, almost starting. Switzerland and those Alps very soon.