In 1975 I visited England for the first time in real life. I had of course been there years and years before in the company of Enid Blytons many young heroes. This time I went all by myself, to work on a farm in Hungerford for a month. It was also my introduction to the world of InterRail tickets.
During the period 1975-1983 I bought at least one InterRail ticket almost every summer. As I had made friends in England, outside or very close to London, I usually got stucked in England, Wales, Scotland and once on the Channel Islands. Unfortunately I experienced very little of the rest of Europe. Some countries or places I railed through and to, though - France, Netherlands, Italy and Greece, where I took a boat to the island of Ios.
I have always loved islands, big ones and small ones. On Ios there where a lot of hippy hoppy shakes going on. A guy from Australia wanted to settle down in a cave where Homeros was buried, he told me. But before that he gave me some music to enjoy, like Birthday Party. Cave was the word, indeed. A song I remember very vividly was this one, Talking Heads Cities. The joyful moments, when I stepped out in the sunshine on the terrace and David Byrne guided me between Scylla and Charybdis. "Think of London, small city / Dark, dark in the daytime / People sleep, sleep in the daytime / If they want to, if they want to /... / I forget to mention, forget to mention Memphis / Home of Elvis and the ancient Greeks /... / But it all works out, sometimes I'm a little freaked out / I'll find a city, find myself a city to live in".
Eventually I found myself living and working in London later on, that summer. I also saw The Birthday Party at The Venue on the 5:th of August; it was a farewell gig to Phill Calvert, the drummer. Blood, sweat and fire. Check out this Greece review from the same era and get a glimpse.
But back in 1976 all this was still shape of things to come. I had joined an InterRail trip together with two friends from my school and hometown. We arrived at Dover, went up and down the cliffs and took the last train somewhere. Had to change from train to train - I bet there were places like Ashford and Appledore (sounds like Harry Potter stuff) - and ended up in Hastings in the middle of the night, instead of good old London town. I never wrote much about my life as a teenage and youth InterRail tripper and hopper. But one night train poem though, it was published in 1978 and here it is, for the first time in English: Night cruising.
Go ride trains, young folks. They can - and they will - take you to parts and dimensions even Google cannot reach.