The photo used in the header was taken by me in Uzbekistan (more precisely, Tashkent), where I was at the time, but where I no longer am because I’m back in London.
Five things I learned:
1) holidays are often too short
2) young Englishmen with big Jesus-beards and artistically arranged keffiyehs – the sort who like to think of themselves as travellers rather than tourists – are excruciating
3) you cannot have too many different beautiful blue majolica tile patterns on a mosque, or a madrassa, or a mausoleum. It simply isn’t possible to go over the top, although it seems many have tried
4) the Kalyan minaret in Bukhara was used as a lighthouse to guide caravans through the desert. The light could be seen two days away
5) You can get around Tashkent on the air-conditioned, marble-platformed tube system for about 20p for a single.
I learned other things as well but my brain has yet to process a lot of it, so this will have to do for now.