East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Two books and a movie

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I am lucky: there’s people out there that give me books as gifts. I am really moved by this, because it means these persons recognize my addiction, and have enough compassion to want to help me stay sane by keeping me well provided with reading matters.

So yesterday I got a digital copy of Alastair Humphreys’ My Midsummer Morning. The person that sent it to me (thank you!) knows I am a fan of Humphreys’, and knew I was curious about this book – that chronicles the author’s travel through Spain, on foot, living on the earnings of his busking.

Humphreys’ offbeat adventure was inspired by another great book, Laurie Lee’s classic As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, which chronicles Lee’s crossing of the Spanish peninsula, while busking with his violin to make a living. Lee’s adventure took place in 1934. He would return in Spain in ’37 as a member of the International Brigade.

Humphreys’ book is all about finding adventure by facing what causes us anxiety and fear – because if it’s all fun and games, it’s not a challenge, and cannot be a proper adventure.
Hence his idea of travelling as a busker while having no previous experience as a violin player but a few months of lessons and frustrating exercise.
Yes, it’s a wild, crazy idea, but one that works, and does make a sort of sense.

And never before as in these days we needed to be able to face what causes us pain and anxiety.
Books will help, and music. And a certain mental attitude, that allows us to discover adventure in adversity.

So here I have the ebook on my reader.
But in case you are curious, the author also shot a documentary of his adventure, and here it is… enjoy!

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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