Kerouac

I’ve not written anything for a couple of weeks; I’ve been travelling around Europe, looking at things. I’m still polishing everything I wrote, but I can’t stand to see my beloved website sitting empty. So, while I write up all my travels, here’s a video of one of my favourite writers, Jack Kerouac. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, every single time. This man inspires me to see the beauty in every day, to throw myself at life for all I’m worth, and to never stop dreaming. His writing is as wonderful as it is tragic, and the fluctuations he experiences between cascading joy and absolute misery have touched my soul like nothing else I’ve read. I’m far from the first to say this, but by the time you’ve read a couple of his books, you’ll feel like his friend. He was deeply flawed, but he was honest, vulnerable, and his appreciation of beauty was unbridled. We never met, but I miss you, Jack.

On The Protests in the UK and the Muslim Ban

Yeah, this one’s about politics and the Muslim ban, not travelling. Whatever.

I’ve tried to write a political article about 5 times in the past 48 hours, and every time I’ve given up and scrapped it. My thoughts are too disjointed and frantic and plain fucking furious to put into any comprehensible order. Instead, I’ve decided to simply write a list, wherein I will answer the myriad complaints I have seen about the Muslim ban protests that took place across my homeland yesterday. You might have thought that people could not find much fault with peaceful protests for the sake of the rights of fellow human beings, protests designed to show support and camaraderie with a people that is being increasingly maligned. However, you would be wrong, for this is 2017. The Second World War is slowly passing out of living memory, and humanity, with eye-rolling predictability, seems to be toying with the idea of destroying each other once again. So let’s get into it. Continue reading

Donald Trump and Violence

Seven days until the fate of the world is decided, and I feel sick.

Latest polls show that Donald Trump is behind by a mere three points and counting. I wanted to write about Berlin and the fun things I’ve been doing, but I absolutely cannot think of anything else right now. The thought that I live in a world where such an utterly, blindingly, hair-rippingly obviously evil man is inches from being elected head of the world is absolutely terrifying me, and makes me so angry I barely know how to express it. Continue reading

I Didn’t Like Los Angeles

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Flying out of Nadi, Fiji, my plane touched down in LAX after 12 hours of rumbling over the Pacific. I was sat next to a pretty Spanish girl who I’d been happily chatting to when we first took off the day before. She wasn’t talking to me anymore because I’d been uncontrollably farting throughout the night. The altitude or something, I don’t know. Continue reading

Strippers and Thugs in San Antonio, Texas

You are sleeping soundly in your four poster bed, dreaming of sugar plums and prancing ponies. A slight breeze makes you shudder in your sleep, and you instinctively draw the covers tighter around you. As you drift back to your slumber, a noise jolts you awake. Your eyes flick open, but you daren’t move. Slowly, you push yourself upright, gathering your nightie up around you. The window is open a crack. That’s not right. You closed it before you went to sleep. You always close the window.

Something moves in the corner of your eye. A shadow shifts, and you freeze.

“Who are you?” you croak. “What do you want from me?”

I step forward and you behold my terrible form; a translucent wraith, my face gaunt and hollow, my eyes sunken. I reach out for you, you back away frantically, until you bump into your wardrobe. Trapped. Continue reading

That Time I Dropped My Phone Off a Cliff in Yosemite

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***You walk into my office. It’s dark, but you can see my outline through the gloom. I’m sitting with my back to you, the slatted blinds casting thin slivers of moonlight over me. My face is lost to shadow. A cigarette smoulders in the ashtray on my desk next to a tumbler of some brown liquor. You say my name and I turn my head. I bring a bottle to my lips and laugh a bitter, gurgling laugh. I ask you what you want. You tell me you want to know what really happened, that summer day in Yosemite. I turn sour, I tell you to get out of my office. I stand up out of my seat and slam the bottle down on the table, spilling liquor over a stack of old newspaper cuttings. Get out, I tell you, but you stand firm. You whisper a name. I pause. I pick up the cigarette and draw it deep into my lungs.

“Samsung S3 Mini?” I murmur, as the smoke curls out of my mouth and the embers reflect in my eyes. “I haven’t heard that name in years…”*** Continue reading

Monument Valley

We were driving through Arizona, although we were passing through states so quickly I found it hard to keep track, especially with all the lack of sleep and the bottles of wine I was putting away at a rate that would draw a lopsided smile and thumbs up from Gerard Depardieu.  Over endless miles of highway we sang songs and played games and drew on the windows with wipe clean pens. We laughed at each other’s gaping mouths when we took naps, and we disagreed on who should get to be in charge of the radio. (Nobody else wanted Meatloaf, dammit) The rocks around us steadily turned red as we headed south. We stopped at a deserted little settlement, some depressing metal huts in the arse end of nowhere. Navajo people sat in the huts, browsing magazines with disinterest, all kinds of Native American bric-a-brac stacked around them. Daggers, bows, arrows, necklaces. I hobbled straight past all of it and found a bathroom; the first we’d had passed in hours. Thank god. Continue reading

Lost in New York

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Travelling alone tests you. It’s shit at the time, obviously, but when you look back on it, wrapped in the warm blanket of hindsight, it’s a beautiful thing.

I was in New York in August, 2014, at the end of the best three months of my life. During those three wild months I had visited Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and had travelled the whole width of the USA. New York was the end of the line, and I was due to fly home in a couple of days. I was the most tanned I’ve ever been, my hair was long and curly and bleached by the sun, and I was horribly unfit after months of partying and boozy adventures around the world.

I realise I could have lied to you then, and made myself sound more charming, but… meh. Continue reading