Thursday, 11 March 2010


This post is a response to a meme posed by Niamh at Various

The same performers -I've no idea who they are- also posted the out-takes - if you've got the time. There are quite a lot of different versions of the Geographical Fugue on Youtube to choose from. I liked this one.

I've discovered that one's earliest awareness of different parts of the world can be alarmingly revealing of the prevalent stereotypes and prejudices awash in one's culture. My earliest awareness of the following would be:

Europe: Being born there, and the little plastic German soldiers I used to play with.

America: President Kennedy's Funeral. I can just remember it.

Africa: A book about a boy who chased a tiger round a tree and turned it into pancakes. It sounds strangely implausible when I tell it like that, but that's how I remember it. And then there was a Rupert Bear story. This used language in a way which people would find offensive and alarming now, as I remember it.

Australia: Rolf Harris. My dad was widely believed to look like Rolf Harris.

Asia: My dad's wartime experiences as a Japanese prisoner and a book at school about China, Lee Lan and the Dragon-Kite.

The furthest North I've ever travelled is, in the air, over Greenland while flying to Canada. On the ground, Uppsala in Sweden.

The furtherst West, Toronto. I'd like to have said Mansfield, Pennsylvania (there are, or were, T shirts there that say "Where the Hell's Mansfield?").

Furthest East: Stockholm. Memorable for it's (disappointingly small, as I remember it) Jean Tinguely sculpture park.

Furthest South: Barcelona. I was into Orwell's Homage to Catalonia at the time.

Longest time in one place: 16 years, here.

Shortest: Manchester, 3 years.

I lived in Aisthorpe (near Lincoln), Lichfield, Wolverhampton, Manchester, London, Halifax, North Yorkshire.

Addresses: 16.

I could add, as a radio amateur, my most distant 2-way contacts. They're not very impressive by amateur radio standards:

Furthest North: Svalbard; furthest South: Brazil; furthest West: Chicago; Furthest East, Russia or Israel.


Elisabeth said...

Gorgeous. I love the Youtube and your experiences. I shall give it a try myself. Thanks.

I've now been to visit Niamh. How exciting, a new theme/meme with a continental flavour.

Niamh B said...

Thanks for sharing Dominic! In the air doesn't count I'm afraid - but Sweden's good enough.
Interesting answers on the geo-awareness front - sad that europe and asia both came with connotations of war. I guess place - and definition of place are both so wrapped up in arguements over same that it's bound to stand out.

Rachel Fox said...

I didn't think about where I've been in the air! And I've been to Canada too (and hence over Greenland).
I've just posted my answers and I agree it is quite an eye-opening exercise.
Is the book you're thinking of 'Little Black Sambo'? I do remember that and looking it up it was written by a Scot who lived in India.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

I liked Trinidad. I also like Halifax. I always think of Stan Rogers and Barrett's Privateers when anyone metions Halifax.