I have been really fortunate to have travelled and lived in lots of places. My mum was in the horse racing business and it was through her work that my childhood and teenage years took me to wonderful, new countries. A love that stays with me and moves me too often for my daughter’s sanity! When aged about 9, she sweetly asked where ’home’ was – I answered that if the dog and I were there….then we were clearly at home.
Anyway, these are a few of my favourite images, because sharing them makes me smile and remember…
Luxembourg for Christmas because of the pure white snow that neatens everything. The mood is infectious, everybody is your long lost friend and large European hugging and kissing rituals assault you at every turn – enhanced moods possibly down to the mini Swiss chalets about the square; selling lakes of clove scented, warm mulled wine. How businesses get through December with a drunken workforce escapes me.
Mallorca (an island off Spain) during the celebration of the Three Kings around Christmas. Camels are ridden down from the hills and riders throw sweets at the hoards of children gathered in eager anticipation. There is absolutely no concept of the danger involved when throwing small, hard candy into a sea of soft, fleshy children. The locals accept the risk and then hold their babies skyward in the hope that they too may catch the candy gently between their eyelashes.
Australia at anybody’s bar-be-que, even if I have become a vegetarian since the last time I went to one. I just want to feel that comfort of being in a crowd of people with no ego, at their leisurely best. No-one does leisurely like an Australian.
The southern Belgian countryside to stay again in a village unchanged by two world wars; where bullet holes pock mark the buildings like aged teenage acne. The people sit silently outside their homes in a surreal setting amidst excitable dogs, children, chickens, tractors and field after extensive field of deep red poppies; atop the fertile land fed by seas of soldiers’ blood.
Blackpool seafront on the tram travelling North toward the fishing village of Fleetwood; with a shimmering ocean travelling at my left for a full 25 minutes. It is a Twilight Zone journey. The conductors are still listening to big band sounds in their heads and cracking saucy sexist jokes from days gone by. Just seeing a heavy, metal ticket machine about their waists makes me wonder at how the tram and its employees have escaped everything that happened in the last 60 years.
Hong Kong’s Peak. Hong Kong is an island and the peak offers a near 360 degree view of the thriving humanity beneath. We would have to run cross country for school up there; probably as it is the only bit of grass on this densely populated little island. Rather than fuss with the running, I would sit, have a cigarette and admire the beauty of the elderly Chinese as they practiced Tai Chi. Their moves were pure soul ballet energising old skinned limbs. A chorus line of gymnastic pensioners silhouetted against a backdrop of 6 million stressed people – a priceless image.
Needless to say, I failed Physical Education.