Interview: Tom Savano

Are you sitting comfortably? It’s story-telling time.

Tom Savano had time on his hands. As a business entrepreneur, he enjoyed the good things in life that he had worked hard to achieve. But, in time, Savano tended to avoid places where the affluent set gathered to party in summer, or rendezvous in winter.

Travelling for its own sake wasn’t part of his natural character. Living for experiences rather than to accumulate trappings he began to seek out new and authentic cultures.

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This week… balance

I think it’s safe to say that by now I’m totally confused. This number has gone down, that one has gone up. Wear a mask here, but not there. Travel to this country but not that one. Quarantine, no quarantine, and, yes, hello quarantine, again. Some people are back at work, some are simply refusing to give up working from home and many are losing their jobs (including a family member this week). It’s a mad house. I watch reruns of the Bourne film series and take myself off to the beach (safely, of course).

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This week… adjusting

This week my mind has been decidedly on food. I grew up eating fruit and vegetables my dad grew in the garden, supplemented by produce shared by the community. One person in the neighbourhood might have an abundance of Victoria plums and another a plentiful supply of rhubarb, and as children we were encouraged to fill our baskets. We gathered nuts and berries from hedgerows, collected windfall apples (while watching out for dozy wasps, drunk on fermented apple juice) and went scrumping for cherries (keeping an eye out for the irate farmer). I cannot recall where that last scavenge took place but in the spirit of making amends, I apologise. What can I say, I was only around seven or eight and the luscious, ruby red, low-hanging cherries were too much of a temptation.

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This week… escape from lockdown

So the UK is more or less out of lockdown. It feels weird. Or rather it’s a strange experience trying to revert back to life-as-usual. After over 100 days of lockdown the world has turned and it feels we’re like waking up in another dimension altogether. Stepping outside your front door and picking up where you left off simply isn’t an option. This week I visit the dentist for a check-up and the experience leaves me a little shaken, I have to admit.

Despite a careful process of masks, face shields, sanitiser and more, lying captive in the dentist’s chair with someone inches from my face, after weeks of isolaton, is a little scary. This is the new reality. We have reemerged from hibernation and the goal posts have moved. I wonder if Cinderella felt this way after 100 years of slumber?

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This week… under lockdown (fourteen)

Travel highlights this week included taking the car to the garage for a check up after weeks of sitting idly in the car park. A second trip out was to the local Household Recycling Centre. I kept tripping over the old hoover in the hall after it blew up a few weeks ago and it had to go. I’ve also been doing my civic duty (ahem) and went shopping online with a £100 M&S voucher (courtesy of my new broadband supplier, a gift for switching, thank you!).

Small potatoes you might be thinking but actually it’s a start in my coming-out-of-lockdown process, and it felt good to be doing something normal again. Venturing out it’s clear that despite people’s attempts to appear upbeat, we’re all a little jumpy. In the UK the hospitality sector is scheduled to reopen on 4 July but the worldwide news is troubling. Fresh outbreaks of the virus in many destinations has meant reapplying the brakes. Staying at home forever isn’t an option, however, and this week I feel the need to make a bid for freedom, however tentative the initial steps.

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