After spending some time in Europe researching a dissertation on English architectural history, I had a few things to say about bricks and mortar. But I learned even more about travel. London, Florence and Albania are my home bases in Europe. I experience a place through its history, food, music and language, and while I’m no food writer or music critic, I’d like to think that I might create something worth reading. If I dare to dream, I might hope, as Laurence Stern did in his Sentimental Journey, that some of “my travels and observations will be altogether of a different cast from any of my forerunners.”
I’m more of a storyteller than a travel advice blogger, and most of my best stories come from London and Notting Hill. I was lucky enough to find myself in this gorgeous corner of the city for a time, and it challenged me and uplifted me all at once. Born and bred in the American South, I had to bumble my way through some awkward moments, but I truly felt at home in vibrant Notting Hill. And not just because of all the stalls that sell cowboy boots.
Disclosure: sadly, this site has nothing whatever to do with The Notting Hillbillies, Mark Knopfler’s country music outfit, though I sincerely wish it did. I was not familiar with the band at all until I was casting around for a decent name for this blog (clearly I have a new project), but I have long been of the opinion that the Dire Straits are one of the best bands in rock history. The opening lick of “Money for Nothing” is one of the best rock-and-roll guitar riffs of all time, and the opening bars of “Romeo and Juliet” still stop me in my tracks and whisk me away to a pensive, quiet corner of my mind no matter what I am doing. If you’re reading this, Mr. Knopfler, thank you for everything.