On the urge to get away

Writing for the morning(s) after, by Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, Jenny Diski, Andrew Motion, Nicholas Spice, Peter Hill, Barbara Newman, Alexei Sayle and Mary-Kay Wilmers.

What made Albert run: Mad Travellers

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, 27 May 1999

You wake up one morning, the whole world is grey, you have had enough of your cold, colourless life. You want to drop everything, escape, far away, where life is real. Who has not had this dream from time to time?

Diary: A Looking-Glass Land of Sorts

Jenny Diski, 23 February 1995

The lady who has embarked on a campaign to give me serene shoulders, my ‘massoose’ she calls herself, asks me what I do and gets the wrong end of the stick. No, really, I’m not here in search of plot ideas. ‘I expect you have to travel a lot to get stories to write about.’ ‘Not at all,’ I say. ‘I stay at home and make them up.’ 

Poem: ‘Run’

Andrew Motion, 21 December 1989

To hell with out of place!The pissy Thames is rubbing away your face! 

On Loathing Rees-Mogg

Nicholas Spice, 21 February 2019

I associate my Remain vote with my tendency to claustrophobia: I like to know how I can get out. I give sleeping bags a wide berth, potholing I try hard not to think about. I prefer an aisle seat on the plane or in the theatre. I like open spaces and silence. 

Diary: From the Lighthouse

Peter Hill, 6 June 1996

I spent the most bizarre night of my life on Hyskeir. If I mention The Birds you will immediately understand. 

Diary: The 006 from Liverpool to London

Alexei Sayle, 19 January 1984

Paul Theroux takes the London Transport Number 19 from his house down to the shops. Michael Frayn goes on a sight-seeing tour round Sheffield, and Michael Palin pays five quid to go to India on an old Leeds Corporation double-decker. And I, in a bus-ride down memory motorway, take the number 006 National Coach from Liverpool to London. 

Diary: Brussels

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 29 July 1999

I was born, not long before the Second World War, in the United States, where until the age of nine I lived in a succession of different towns and states, of which New York was the last, the place from which I left the country for good. I didn’t know at the time that we weren’t going back; and it was only later that it occurred to me that I’d spent the rest of my childhood in some sort of exile.

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