Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Song at the End of Almost Famous



Have you ever watched the credits rolling at the end of a film and wondered what the song playing was? Well, that just happened to me. The funny thing is the film was Almost Famous and I'd watched it before, but never noticed the song. Anyway, nowadays, with the wonders of Google, it doesn't take long to find out things like that. So here is that song: Feel Flows by the Beach Boys, and I think it's going to be stuck in my head for at least a week.

"White hot glistening shadowy flows."

(Yes, he was on something at the time.)

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Friday, November 13, 2009

The First Person to Walk Around the World


I am hoping to fulfill one of my ambitions in January, when I visit my 100th country, but there is another one that realistically I don't think I'm ever going to achieve, and that is to walk around the world. Why am I not going to achieve it? Well, one reason is that I just don't think my feet are up to it. But, more important still, sometimes in my travels I have to consider other people, and as such a journey would take around four years and I know my wife wouldn't want to do it, I'll just have to pass on this one and take my hat off to someone who has acually done it, the first person to walk around the world, Dave Kunst, who achieved this feat (puns are fun) between 1970 and 1974. He was accompanied by his brother, John Kunst, who was shot dead along the way and so never made it.

Some people just don't seem to get the fame they deserve. One of them is Tim Berners-Lee the inventor of the World Wide Web, and another is Dave Kunst. Dave walked 14,500 miles, took twenty million steps and wore out twenty-one pairs of shoes along the way. He even found time, when he was walking across Australia, to meet the woman whom he was later to marry.

You can see Dave telling how he did it here:

Earthwalker.


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Thursday, November 5, 2009

More Street Scenes From Around the World



Bucharest, Aleppo and Hong Kong are three of the many cities I have worked in: the first two for several months; Hong Kong for just a few weeks.

The photo of Piata Uniriii in Bucharest was taken on a cold afternoon. It was the first time I had lived in a European city for many years, and I found it a refreshing experience, going back to my home continent. The light was fading and I can recall shivering as evening approached. The colourful billboards drew me in as they seemed to emanate warmth.

Aleppo is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, although citizens of Damascus and Jericho might dispute that. In spite of the fact that it has a population of more than three million, it still has a laid back charm and you can easily imagine yourself stepping back in time. I hadn't been there long when I took that photo. I was wandering the maze of streets of the old city on a warm summer evening. It was so tranquil that it was hard to believe that war was raging just over the border on both sides of the country.

The photo of Mongkok, which is the best district in Hong Kong to buy cheap electrical goods, was taken on a hot summer night: much stickier and more humid than the dry heat of Aleppo. I was buying a camera and I popped outside the shop to try it. That is the photo I took, and it is the first picture I ever took with a digital camera.

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