Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

A serious spirituality for serious times?

Posted by HC in Boats / Spirituality / Travel on 30 October 2008 | 2 comments ›

A bright young correspondent has chided me for being a touch frivolous. Aren’t I selling myself short, he asks? Tapping this out in the main saloon of an oligarch’s yacht, for it to be winged off by satellite, I am in good condition to reflect ruefully on these remarks. Read more ›

The great – upbeat – 1950s

Posted by HC in Books / People / Travel on 7 August 2008 | No comments ›

Norman Lewis has found a very decent if slightly verbose biographer in Julian Evans. I am particularly keen on Evans’ understanding of the cultural milieu in which Lewis operated. So often we hear of England as being socially ossified, at least until the 1960s. Actually, England has never been socially rigid and it was becoming ever less so in the first half of this century. So here is a quotation from the book which may help rehabilitate the rather vibrant post-war decade. Read more ›

Eric Newby on the “fuzzy-wuzzies”

Posted by HC in People / Travel on 27 July 2008 | No comments ›

Until I saw a recent BBC 4 TV documentary, I had an inadequate idea of the life of the travel writer Eric Newby. I knew he travelled in ladies’ fashion (“the apparel trade”, as friends of mine who are in it call it). But I had for some reason missed how he ran away to sea (and really sailed before the mast) before becoming known as the hardest man in his year at Sandhurst. But the real revelation was about 1970s Britain. We watched lush colour film of the great adventurer cycling round Hyde park Corner. It has always been good fun. Newby was heard saying that its was like being chased “by fuzzy-wuzzies without one’s trousers”. Read more ›

Norman Lewis – hunting authenticity

Posted by HC in Books / Travel on 22 July 2008 | No comments ›

I have read very little Norman Lewis, the travel writer, and will put that right. As shown in the new biography by Julian Evans, the man wrote - as people used to say – like an angel. Mr Evans stresses an important quality in his prey. Lewis, he says, made a huge impression on people, but was sort of evanescent. Read more ›

Living it large the Porritt way

Posted by HC in 'In the news...' / Boats / Monasticism / People / Travel / UK politics / US politics on 21 July 2008 | No comments ›

Every time I do something un-environmental, I think of Jonathon Porritt. He is the embodiment of my guilt. The other day, the phenomenon was given a twist by my reading a column of his. It was uppermost in a mulch of Guardian pages left behind by a passenger on a short haul flight I was taking. Read more ›

Princess Royal’s lighthouses

Posted by HC in Boats / Books / Monasticism / Travel on 14 July 2008 | No comments ›

Great news that Princess Anne loves lighthouses, and even better to think that she is following in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson. Read more ›

Francesco’s Croatian lighthouse

Posted by HC in Boats / Monasticism / Sanctuary / Spirituality / Travel on 12 July 2008 | No comments ›

When it comes to hide-aways, retreats, sanctuaries, I’m you’re man. They are, after all, where I have lived most of my adult life. I dreamed of them for most of my childhood, when my head was filled with Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe. So I warmed instantly to Francesco da Mosto’s Croatian lighthouse. Read more ›

Yachting with Francesco da Mosto

Posted by HC in Boats / People / Sanctuary / Spirituality / Travel / TV on 8 July 2008 | No comments ›

I imagine married men find Francesco da Mosto rather tiresome. He purrs and growls like a muscular old tabby cat – obviously one well-used to prowling the alleys of his native Venice. And used, too, one somehow supposes, to having his way with female felines. Good territory for a bit of jealousy, then. In my own case, I envy much of his solo life, as in his new TV series Francesco’s Mediterranean Voyage. Read more ›

That great guy Barry Goldwater

Posted by HC in Books / Travel / UK politics / US politics on 4 July 2008 | No comments ›

Barry Goldwater, handsome, manly, outspoken. Just the character we could do with in politics today. Yet forty years ago, he was a bogeyman for my generation. So it did me a lot of good to read Pure Goldwater, an anthology of the great man’s own, mostly informal, writing. Read more ›

A Russian-Jewish picaresque

Posted by HC in Books / Ethics / Travel on 4 July 2008 | No comments ›

This would be a great novel if all it did was add to the heap of comic writing about Jewishness. But Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan scores many times over by taking us – breathless, gob-smacked – from the nouveau-riche world of glamorous, dodgy Moscow and on out to the staggeringly vibrant, but staggering, world of the ex-Soviet republics. Read more ›