Thursday, 16 April 2009


One of the many things that I find irritating about TV talent shows is when a participant is interviewed and without exception bursts into tears and describes the experience of competing as an incredible journey. I have no quibble, however, with the idea of a journey as a metaphor for life itself and the ups and downs that it throws at us.

Last Wednesday I began a week’s holiday with a journey of my own. It was across Switzerland and started in cloudy conditions at Zurich where I landed by plane. To begin with there was the mad panic of finding my way from airport arrivals to the appropriate station platform along with assorted pieces of baggage. Travelling through urban scenery there was the highlight of the first glimpse of a lake as the cityscape began to recede and the downside of changing trains with that heavy luggage to heave from one platform to another. My journey proceeded south-eastwards, climbing gradually into the mountains. The spring buds which had been in evidence in the UK before my journey began were non-existent and the countryside I passed through was still in the grip of winter. Whilst snow at the side of the tracks had thawed in some places, in others it resolutely remained, deep and frozen.

Arriving at my destination in the middle of the afternoon, however, the sky was blue and cloud-free; the sun was shining and the local inhabitants were smiling and welcoming as they helped with the luggage. Yes, my journey too was complete; I had arrived.

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