Scottish Daily Mail
THE obituaries of Jan Morris — who died last week — brought her to life in magnificent fashion.
Many of them were sprinkled with her wisdom about travel — though she did not regard herself as a travel writer, rather, a writer about places and people.
‘The books have never tried to tell somebody what a city is like. All I do is say how I’ve felt about it,’ she once said.
One of her techniques was to ‘wander aimlessly about’, another was asking people for directions even if she knew exactly where she was going. A potent mix of detachment on the one hand, engagement on the other.
And I loved how she would first visit a city’s law court, ‘where you can see every kind of rapscallion and decent person, too, and you can judge the temper of the city by the magistrates’.
I wonder what side of the argument about travel — or the lack thereof — Jan would be on right now.
I’m fairly sure she would be a fully paid-up member of the Mail’s Get Britain Flying Again campaign, and would be aghast at the plight of those in the travel industry.
Mind you, we think this week’s cover story brings some muchneeded sunshine.
We can thank ‘El Comandante’ for opening up Cuba’s Riviera; in fact, Fidel Castro had a huge house there himself, although he was never keen for his subjects to know exactly where.
Some of the deals we have unearthed on the Varadero peninsula are surely irresistible — and I know from experience that the food in Cuba is now edible.
On the home front, Christmas is back, with three households allowed to get together, so on Pages 64 and 65 we’ve rounded up some gorgeous properties (pictured) around the country, all of which still have availability during the five days when it doesn’t matter what tier you’re in.
There won’t be many law courts to inspect i n that period, but plenty of time to wander aimlessly about — with Jan Morris’s approval.