Tower Bridge, grand show-off and London’s fascinator, is not just a story book gateway – it is a steel-framed masterpiece of Victorian engineering, and one of the city’s greatest living links.
This collection of essays begins with a river and the road beside it, that “winds without rhyme or reason where it could run straight” .
Together they set the compass for Nicolas Bouvier’s meander beside people and their places, with moments picked out like glistening pebbles.
I bought this book a while back and then left it sitting in the bottom of a drawer. Bad idea. If there’s anyone who shouldn’t be shut away, it’s Dervla Murphy.
She flew out of the pages.
We turn our wheels west, from Kilifi towards Tsavo.
It’s hot, and there are five of us in the 4×4 … and about 250km to go.
We arrive at Heathrow … ready. Outside cold winter presses against the glass, and our mobiles ping with the last twitches of the lives we’ve just left.
By morning we’ll be in Addis Ababa.
This is our first visit to a city we know of but do not know, and we have just one October weekend to make its acquaintance.
The Vltava River is the eye-catcher as we fly in.
Seven of us – female, and last together decades ago at school in Zimbabwe – leave our lives in England, South Africa, Spain, France and Australia, and head off for a week’s reunion in Extremadura.
The plan, born from a cyber whim, somehow, suddenly becomes real.