blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Thoughts of travel

Once again, I have been playing the accompaniments to Winterreise (by Schubert) and the Songs of Travel (by Vaughan Williams) where the piano clomps along like heavy, purposeful footsteps that keep the impetus going while the singer voices his wandering thoughts.
I have trod the upward and the downward path ..., 
goes the last song in the Vaughan Williams' cycle as the aging vagabond trudges off into the sunset, softly singing to himself,
... and I have lived and loved and closed the door!
(on a high D, pianissimo).

We seem to spend our lives thinking about travel. I wake up thinking about journeys after dreaming of expanses of water. Because the marketing department at work has ideas for him, Chris keeps sending me instant messages to say: would you mind going to China again next year? ... or Korea? It seems fairly certain we'll off to Germany in December and to England next February for him to participate in software engineering conferences.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit ...
(Shakespeare, Henry V)

Our son is even more of a wanderer; he's supposed to live and work in Sydney, but this year sees him popping up, for various reasons, on four continents: in Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Li Jiang, Cheng Du, Xi'an, Beijing, Chiang Mai, Kunming, São Jose (near São Paulo) and to the borders of the Tibet Autonomous Region. It's hard to keep up with where he might be on any given day. On Monday, he and Sha will fly to Canada to visit us for Thanksgiving; that I do know.

Physics World estimates that "as they fly all over the world to observatories, conferences and meetings astronomers are averaging some 23 000 air miles per year." What restless people we all are, except for our daughter (who noticed that quotation and sent it rather pointedly to her brother); she, apart from a week on the Isle of Wight, is contentedly staying put for the whole year with her family in Hampton Hill, London.

1 comment:

Emma said...

Had I not been on maternity leave, things could have been a bit different - I was invited to meetings in South Africa and Hawaii this year and California next year.

The fact that I was relieved when my company told me that I wasn't amongst those chosen to go to California, probably says it all...

I didn't just go to the Isle of Wight ... I went to Cambridge for 3 days too! I wouldn't be surprised if I've walked and taken a bus further than I've travelled in any other form of transport in the last 12 months.

Did you see the article on the Physics World website "Orbiting standards lab..."? I'm hoping to return to work to work on that.