My response to Ailsa’s travel theme (Where’s my backpack): a clock that has travelled around the world and a book about a family shaped by agoraphobia.
The clock was made by Brendan Adams, a ceramic artist based in Auckland, New Zealand. I bought it on a visit “home” while I was living in England. It was a birthday present for my partner and I had to carefully hide it in my hand luggage on the return trip to make sure, a) it didn’t get broken and b), he didn’t find it before his birthday.
The clock travelled around England with us for about six years then made the trip back to NZ; this time professionally packed and locked in a shipping container. Like us, the clock has been in its present home for 13 years now.
I bought this book for my son who, as he does, devoured it virtually in a sitting. Then I read it and wondered why no-one seemed to write book like that for young adults when I was a young adult. I’ve gone back to it a couple of times, and still think it is one of the best written, most beautiful novels I’ve ever read.
Books are essential to travel. I can’t imagine hours on planes, trains, ferries without a book. Nor nights in strange beds without the lullaby of verse to comfort and soothe.