A Spot of Time
... on our return from a place, perhaps the first thing to disappear from memory is just how much of the past we spent dwelling on what was to come; how much of it, that is, we spent somewhere other than where we were. There is a purity both in the remembered and in the anticipated visions of a place; it is the place itself that is allowed to stand out."
The Art of Travel, Alain de Botten, p.23
Discontent and restless, we long to keep travelling beyond the horizon. We seek a haven from the rain, the cold, the ubiquitous blanket of grey and we begin our chase of sunshine around the globe. Adverts in the tube with clear tropical blue waters, sunsets falling behind the old town or the snow-capped majestic alps promise blissful relaxation, history, culture and experiences of the sublime. Cities become places we tick off our list.
These works further explore our romanticisation of travel, re-examining images of idyllic places we hold in our memories. Over time we tend to forget any discomfort experienced on our travels. Our memories of places become doctored and multi-layered. So idealised these experiences in our minds become, during a moment of reflection, they can provide sources of comfort. Wordsworth described these oases in our memories as 'spots of time'.
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