In the 1980s I had what could be called a ‘gap-decade’ in which I was lucky enough to do a lot of travelling. Clearly something this important needed to be recorded, and I did indeed keep a set of diaries, which went under the collective brand name: ‘Peter, his log’. (They really did).
In the 1970s I may have been interested in buses, and this may have led to certain heavily-bus-oriented day-trips. And it may have been the case that the first such trip was on the seventeenth of February 1975, meaning that today’s date exerts a resonance down the years.
22 years ago
On 17/2/1990 I was 30 and living near Kobe, Japan. Three days earlier I’d received a phone call confirming a job in faraway Peterborough, UK, which set us on the course of leaving Japan for the UK, and me heading for a ‘proper job’.
It’s not every day such an opportunity arises so I decided that the only way to go was by surface – all the way – via boat and the trans-Siberian railway. This was all booked independently and required many components to fall into place. On this day my passport arrived bearing a Polish visa, thus paving the way for a Chinese visa application.
25 years ago
On 17/2/1987 I was 27 and travelling – somewhere interesting, but the relevant edition of Peter, his log eludes me – so this is a gap to be filled in later.
27 years ago
On 17/2/1985 I was 25 and living in Tokyo, Japan. On this day I spent several hours at the Budokan for a display of Japanese and Chinese martial arts, to celebrate the arena’s 20th anniversary.
30 years ago
On 17/2/1982 I was 22 and travelling – for the first time – in India, in wonderful Rajasthan.
On this day – can you imagine – I took the train from Jodhpur to – oh lucky me – Jaisalmer. The 10-hour journey cost Rs 12.50 (17 rupees to the £). I record that I sat on the roof of the train from 1045 to 1100. The scenery was desert and cacti, with occasional people/cows/huts in the middle of nowhere. I note that on arrival there was no reception committee !.
The next day I enjoyed Jaisalmer: stuffed omelette for breakfast, a couple of nesting pigeons inside the bank, exquisite Jain temples, plus narrow, medieval streets, and lots of golden yellow sandstone.
I have never been back to Jaisalmer – that does need fixing.
37 years ago
On 17/2/1975 I was 15.
I took the 432 from Bristol to Cirencester (WHW 371H – an RELH),
the 562 to Cheltenham (OHW 592F – an RELL),
the 547 to Gloucester (FHT 15D – an FLF),
and the 526 back to Bristol (359 MHU – an MW).