Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Home truths and worries ♡

From the Pillion

Pillion in Carcassonne
You know how your nearest and dearest aren’t shy about pointing out your shortcomings? And how you notice traits in others you don’t like about yourself? Well, recently, during our trip break at my mum's, I pointed out one such trait to my mum, at which my sister, without pausing for breath, piped up 'But you do that too, A LOT!' She then readily admitted that she shared the same annoying habit. We all had a good laugh about it in the end.

Got me thinking, though.

We are now in week 12 of the trip, almost 10,000 km under our wheels and glutes. Any niggles that exist in a relationship come to the fore when you live together. But they present themselves under a magnifying glass when you’re travelling, especially on a motorbike, and spend so much time together.

It’s an adventure, it’s challenging and there’s serendipity. No regrets. The good stuff far outweighs the trouble zones.

We seem to have found an MO that works for unpacking, packing, unpacking, packing... (why oh why did we pack a hairdryer, Simon’s hair straighteners, a coffee machine?? Ha ha, only joking!)

We’ve posted some stuff home already, e.g. the extra jumper I bought for the forecast Arctic front at Nordkapp that turned out to be a freak 20 degrees! (Actually, maybe no longer freak, but that’s a different discussion).

Both Simon and I read ‘Jupiter’s Travels’ by Ted Simon before the trip (Thank you Len Brown, again! 😊) and I’ve just finished ‘Dreaming of Jupiter’. It’s Ted’s account of retracing his motorbike journey round the world, some 30 years later, at the age of 69-71.

Our hero, Ted Simon 
Ted is a writer who happens to ride a motorbike and his books are a joy to read. I love his philosophical insights. Anyone who loves travelling, by motorbike or other means, would enjoy reading his books.

On a different matter, I can’t help following politics in Westminster and watching in disbelief and with an increasing sense of unease what is hiding in plain sight. The drama that is Brexit has morphed from a Shakespearean tragi-comedy, at which Britain’s European partners just shook their heads, to a full-blown tragedy. The parallels to developments during the 1930s in Germany are, to me, striking. Hitler came to power legally and, once established, set about dismantling democracy by stealth and force, silencing the opposition and employing his propaganda machine to brainwash people with misinformation.

Sounds familiar? Except that the possibilities of contemporary IT are far more powerful and wide-reaching than Goebbels’ radio propaganda.

Let’s hope that all the checks and balances the (unwritten) constitution in Britain has to offer will guard against the insidious undermining of democracy that Johnson and his cronies are trying to bring about.

I am concerned.


  1. It's OK - we know Simon is difficult, and you can leave Boris to us.

  2. Take notice of the animals you cross paths with!

  3. Twelve weeks already?!!!

    I imagine being on the back of a bike would be quite something. No reading. No focusing on maps. Just you and your thoughts for hours upon hours. You'll come back a philosopher in your own right. I can't help but think I'd absolutely love it.
    I don't have faith in politicians, but I do have faith in people, we can rise above them and we must! ❤️

  4. Good to hear from you again, all sorts of visions kept entering my head with spending 12 weeks with your partner on a motorbike!!!


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