It’s been a while…

Turns out it’s really tough undertaking a full-time MA in Near & Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS. Who knew? I went on plenty of trips, took quite a lot of photos, and composed some fantastic blog posts in my head. Unfortunately, every time I sat down to write and publish one, something along the lines of paid work or a 5,000 word essay came up. It turns out these are harder rather than easier to get to grips with as you get older – you have a greater awareness of weak spots and wafflage. The dissertation nearly killed me, but if you want to know anything about the fiction of and about Israeli settlers in English, I’m your gal.

So apologies for the long silence. Gentletourist will ride again. I’m off to Oslo this weekend, and there’s Ireland, Honduras, Nazareth, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Santa Fe, Vancouver, Montreal, Latvia, Italy and many others to catch up on. Also Sheffield. It’s a brilliant city, if you didn’t already know. Although I cannot recommend John Virgo’s commentary at the snooker. I had to leave before I lamped him one. To do so would have distressed Stephen Hendry greatly, since he appeared to be having a terrible time already – or does his face just always look like that?

It’s not all glamour at this blog. I’m not entirely sure of its future direction, or indeed my own, but I intend to embrace the ridiculous as well as the sublime. I can’t pretend men poking balls into holes with sticks at the Crucible is as rich a subject for description as the Rock of Cashel or the Library of Congress, but it has its place. (Round about 1985, I’d say.)

The post on Oslo will be better. I promise. Kindly check back in a week and there will be something here more in keeping with a well-respected travel blog than this round-the-houses-to-nowhere meander. Although sometimes, that’s what travel is all about.


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