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I can’t believe we’re on the penultimate day of June already! Half way through 2021 in what (in many ways) feels like the blink of an eye. Admittedly, because of Covid part of me has been wishing it away, purely so we can see the back of the pandemic and the world returning to a normal life – although I suspect that’s not going to happen until 2022, despite the UKs success in rolling out the vaccines. Populist politics has shown it’s the Emperor’s new clothes in several countries, exacerbating the problems in countries like India and Brazil to name but two. It’s going to take time to unpick the mess, but at least the USA dumped Trump and got back on the road to recovery. Now, if only we could do with a certain blond buffoon here…

There’s been no travelling for me this week as I’ve had too much to do at home, catching up after so many days away. That’s not been a bad thing. It’s allowed me to get all my recent pictures edited and placed on my Zenfolio website, get other images out to clients and wade through a load of paperwork. Plus, after some weeks where thing have been allowd to slide (if you’ll pardon the pun) I’ve also managed to get some more of my old travel transparencies edite and on the website. So, finally, 29-30 years after I took them, all the scannable pictures I have from my 1991-1992 world trip have been added to this gallery. Now I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere after so many years and a project that’s taken me three decades is finally drawing to an end. Oh, I’ve still got a few thousand to scan but that’s manageable. When I added the latest batch to my website earlier day I realised I’d passed the 5000 mark in less than six months – and that’s with new pictures also. The most I’ve ever managed to add in a year since 2011 when I started stocking my new site has been 6200. If anything’s come out of Covid for me, it’s been this.

Apart from being a personal trip down memory lane I’m hoping I can provide an interesting archive for those who want to see how much the world’s changed in the past few decades. Plus, the pictures are going to allow me to tell quite a few stories when I get around to digitising and cross-referencing some of my old diaries as I’ve quite a few travel stories to tell from the days when backpackers went overland rather than jetting in and jetting out of disparate destinations.

Nostalgia’s not been the only thing that’s kept me occupied this week. I’ve been sending out a backlog of pictures to clients and I’ve a new article to write for RAIL magazine on the High Speed 2 railway following my site visit last week. Once this week’s over I’ll be back travelling as I’ve got several commissions and other travels lined-up. July’s going to be a busy month.

In the meantime, I’ll still be adding pictures old and new as well as blogging – and poking fun at what’s left of the anti HS2 campaign which is on its last legs. But, tonight I’ll end with a picture of the day from my 1991-92 travels. I took this picture of Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia in September 1992 as I returned from a boat-trip to nearby Semau Island.

At that time Timor was an unhappy Island. The Indonesians had invaded East Timor many years before and a civil war still raged. The East is now its own master again, but that’s not the only thing thing the Island is known for – Kupang especially has another place in history, as anyone who’s heard of the story of ‘The mutiny on the Bounty might know, because it’s here that Captain William Bligh and 14 of the crew who refused to take part in the mutiny made landfall after being set adrift in one of the ships boats. It was an extrordinary feat of navigation after a journey of 47 days and 3,618 nautical miles to land here, navigating using only a pocket-watch, a quadrant and a compass, but no charts.

Thankfully, my Island hoping was always a little more relaxed, but I have to say it was quite a buzz to visit a town so far away but with such a history.

I’ve a favour to ask…
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