Monday, 7 November 2022

We gotta get out of this place...

It was 1965. The Animals.

We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
'Cause girl, there's a better life for me and you

These are the words which became the theme song of the Vietnam War and are burnt into my brain.


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Every time I get away for a break, note - not a positive thing like a “make” but a break, a destruction of something that works I resolve it’ll be the first of many. Never is. 

This one’s hardly a summer holiday. We’ve already had one of those but as I recall – a rather fuzzy memory -  I had Covid and spent most of the time asleep. No, this is a retreat to a quiet apartment overlooking a nature reserve and a stream.

In Canterbury for glorious choral music, Elizabethan architecture, lazy lunches and bison. Virtually extinct in Europe and pretty well unknown in Britain these creatures, the heaviest living wild land animals, are like powerful demolition machines. In a rewilding experiment  at Wilder Blean in Kent they are turning jungles into parks. And a baby bison has just been born so things are looking up.

Wilder Blean | Kent Wildlife Trust

And everyone else seems at it too. Good friends have just returned from a brilliant trip to and around India. It’s strange that when I was there a few years ago it seemed somehow familiar as though I’d lived there in a previous existence. It smelt wonderful and mysterious and was exciting in a way China, although fascinating too, somehow wasn’t. Poetry as opposed to prose.

Pantry Staples for the Exotic Kitchen – A Measured Life

And our daughter, son in law and grandchildren are in New York doing what we all do in the most thrilling city in the world. Walking. Walking. Walking. Walking through diversity. Chinatown. Harlem. The Financial District. Brownstone buildings. Central Park. The High Line. The Staten Ferry. Broadway diners where resting artists are now waitresses who suddenly burst into song. The biggest burgers ever. Whale sized Lobsters. And Walking. Walking. Walking.

A picture containing shore, dock

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What we missed through the drab days of lockdown was travel, experiences and change. In those same as, same as days of imprisonment that sixth sense of discovery and change was turned off which was tragic because ultimately it’s that sense which we need and which turns us on when we get weary.

So we are getting away because there’s a better life than Brighton great as Brighton is. But right now it feels like this dirty old part of the city where the sun refused to shine. Living in Brighton is like a never ending dish of scampi. Delicious but occasionally I need steak or – can this be me – tofu. 

I’m looking forward to rediscovering deep sleep and getting rid of mental cobwebs. I’m also looking forward to learning a few new things – I don’t know what yet but when I find out I’ll be sure to tell you.

Have a great week. Have fun. Plan your next adventure.

Why the first glass of champagne gets you drunker than the rest

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