18th september 2006

found in a drawer

My old interrail journal from 1983. It was the first time I'd left the country, barring a school trip to Italy when I was 14. After our first year at college, three of us took trains across Europe to Istanbul. I wrote stuff in a notebook in the style of the chapter headings of an eighteenth-century novel, sort of. Half the stuff I can remember little about, a lot of it sounds foolish; I was only 20. Bear with me: over the next few days I'll put up the whole thing.

Saturday 3rd September

The Early Rain - A Little Lift - The Wind on the M11 - A Big Lift - Highbury Corner - Ports Closed, Ports Open - The French, the Queues - On the Boat - Lindsay & Zen - On the Paris Train - A 10% Tariff - Gare du Nord - A Wait in the Corridor - A Gas Leak - A Difficult Night - "Ou Sommes Nous?" - An African and His Tricycle.

Sunday 4th September

Sunday Morning Mountains - Milan - A Happy Wash - Italy's Landscape - An Italian City - Stranger in the Doorway - A Slow Conversation - La Serenissima - A Watermelon - A Sunbathe with a Drunk - By Boat to the Station - By the Canal - A Walk in Gangland - A Farewell - Bedtime with the Sloanes.

Monday 5th September

Wakened by the Polis - A Wash in the Sun - Cappucino & Licorice Cake - Empty Piazza - A Walk to Arsenale - A Piano Aubade - The Bell - The Bells - San Marco - University Lunch - In the Market - Help with a Melon - A Trip in a Gondola - Trieste - The Coffee Smugglers - A Happy Bedtime - 'Better than Christmas' - A Rude Awakening - A Blow to the Skull - A Change of Atmosphere - A Bad Night - West-Enslaved Slavs.

Tuesday 6th September

The Flat Fen Fields - Belgrade - A Cheese Pie - French Canadians - A Silent Finn - Cakes & Ale - Peppers & Gourds - A Green Valley - A Breakdown - Blackberries - Rumours of a Corpse - A Corncob - Idomeni - Disembarcation Disallowed - 'Mister Food' - Bed in the Corridor - Thessaloniki - A Taxi Driver - In the Schoolyard - Noises of the Night.

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