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Travel Writing

July 4, 2013

Dunes near Ghadames, Libya

Dunes near Ghadames, Libya


Maybe it’s the weather.
Could be.
Dull. Grey. Cold.
There’s been a lot of rain.
Retreating into a winter mode of eating carbs and lolling on the sofa in front of the stove seems to be the best way to go.
I’ve come out the far side of four years of University. My efforts (and those of my lecturers and tutors) rewarded me with a First. I have an honours BA in History and Classics, with a specialism in Writing.
I managed to get published in each of my degree years as well as being a featured poet at a poetry festival.
I’m proud of my achievements.

Now what?

I await replies to scholarship applications.
I am in life-plan limbo.
So,I am catching up on all those programmes recorded on the SKY + – and I dream of this:

Baida, from El Hay deserted village, Jordan

Baida, from El Hay deserted village, Jordan

Over the last few days I’ve seen a fantastic BBC documentary: Wild Arabia

The photography is wonderful and Alexander Siddiq’s narration is liquid gold.
It brought back memories…
‘There’s Wadi Rum’
‘That’s surely Dhofar, isn’t it?’
Yes, and yes.

I longed to be back.
I could taste the dry heat, feel the sand on my skin, and hear the sound of water flowing in the falaj, under the date palms. I wanted to wander around Ubar in 40 degree heat; to drive for miles in a 4WD, along wadi beds and in the desert. I wanted the comfort of Baida – emptied of tourists, or The Siq in Petra, at night; to see a pillar of sand rise up again at the edge of Oman’s Empty Quarter.

Perhaps because Egypt is in the News I also wanted this:
the sunset view and the sounds of the Nile at Luxor.
Felucca Nile from the Winter Palace

There’s no doubt about it –
I am officially unsettled.
My thoughts are Bedu, walking the ghostly tracks of memory. Image and experience are mirages seen on the hot horizon.
The sand whips up.
Images shift.

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