I used to travel a lot. My later trips were, what might be regarded by some, independent travel but, in fact, they were package holidays with dirtier hotels. In the wilder heights of the Altiplano one should not expect luxury, but a constant diet of dishwater and dog soup out of cracked plastic bowls palled. Adventures such as learning that the Huancavelica police station had been blown up by the Sendero Luminoso the day after we had been inside it , or drifting in a broken-down boat on Lake Titicaca as the Bolivian navy sailed past, are best enjoyed retrospectively.
I even spent a night in the hell that is Las Vegas and more than one night in the purgatory that is Carlisle. I explored the interstices of just about every town in the UK. I visited India, Nepal, Thailand, Turkey, Peru, Morocco, most of Europe, the Pacific northwest states of America, Louisiana, Maryland and Virginia and British Columbia. Now I find quite enough to interest me in my garden beneath the Namunukula mountains in Sri Lanka.
I am now persuaded by Pascal’s maxim: ‘I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man’s being unable to sit still in a room.’
Another Frenchman, Voltaire, wrote: “we must cultivate our garden"
A third Gaul, Baudelaire, wrote: “Life is a hospital where each patient is dying to change beds. One of them would like to suffer in front of the heater; another thinks he could get better next to the window. It seems to me that I would always be better off where I am not, and this question of moving is one of those I discuss incessantly with my soul...Finally my soul explodes and wisely cries to me: ‘Anywhere! Anywhere! Only let it be out of this world.’”
For a more detailed exposition of my current views about travel broadening the arse rather than the mind see:
I hope to post on Our Salon a kind of journal with pictures about the universe in the acre of land around my dwelling and much teeming life within it. Our garden is home to so many strange creatures and varieties of fruit there is an endless supply of material. One idea I have is writing a series of articles about different fruits, drawing in information about medicinal, social, cultural, historical aspects.
I have no claims to be an expert on wildlife or to be an expert photographer. My aim would be to describe the nature in my immediate vicinity in a poetic, philosophical or cultural context.