From summer to autumn

Illustration from The Worst Journey in the World - the view from a railway carriage windowThe move back to Brussels from Gothenburg which took place at the end of August was very much like a move from summer to autumn. The days down here in Europe are noticeably and increasingly shorter, the temperature is cooler and there’s more rain in the air. Now, to be sure, we had remarkably good fortune at home in Sweden in August. As everybody kept telling us. This June and July were pretty much washed out in Sweden, but August on the west coast was good.

I tried to write about how much I enjoyed my summer holiday for Stops and Stories, but I only managed one article and recording – “Home but Away”. The week after I just couldn’t seem to get a grip on the material (I have a lot of material – photos and ambient sound recordings), and eventually I had to give up. While “Home but Away” was amost lyrical, this week’s entry by contrast was more serious (though not without humour I hope). “The Worst Journey in the World” was inspired by public and private events over the last ten days.

As my travel blog, Stops and Stories, my home on Soundcloud, my photo of the week from Gothenburg on My Gothenburg Days Facebook page and this, my main website, are now functioning, if not fully at least more or less as I want them to, I am today trying to breathe life back into At the Quill. I’ve just published an initial report on my NaNoWriMo lookalike effort “Writing Elin’s Story” this September.

Behind the scenes I’m still trying to tidy up TheSupercargo. We really do need a privacy page but I’m still having trouble identifying exactly which cookies my various plug-ins are imposing on visitors. I don’t think there’s anything dangerous or objectionable, but I wish I could be 100% sure.

Just before I left Gothenburg I set up a simple Archive page, and it’s possible now to browse my various posts on this website going all the way back to 2008. Unfortunately some of the earlier entries still bear the scars of having been ported from one web hotel to another. A lot of pictures went missing, and also a lot of “Swedish letters” – ö, ä, å – as well as quite a lot of abbreviations. Diacritical marks and some puctuation seem to have been replaced by groups of letters and symbols which can make reading some of the texts a bit of a trial. I may try to correct these problems in the future, but they aren’t high on my list of priorities.

One thing I did think quite fun, looking back at my earlier pieces, is one of my very first video efforts. Prora Rügen: Kraft durch Freude, is still up on YouTube and has now garnered well over 18,000 views. I haven’t done anything to promote it so I guess, without thinking, I managed to optimise it for search engines all on my own. It’s a music video – take a look!

As you’ll read in “Writing Elin’s Story”, September is largely being given over to trying to write 2000 words a day of The Long Way to London. So that’s where my energy lies this month. I hope to report back in October with more news.

Cheerio for now.