Gilded treasures from summers of my youth - I will always return
From the silence of Zimbabwe's Matopos Hills, a homesick Fergal Keane reflects on a holiday in Co Cork
The story of our younger summers is always a story of loss. It is also, in one way or another, a love story whose pleasures tantalise and can never be quite matched again.
I am in Africa gazing out across the silence of Zimbabwe's Matopos Hills. It is just after sunrise in this place where rocks perch precariously on other rocks and the cave paintings of vanished tribes recall great hunts and feasts.
I was awoken by the barking of baboons. I should be inspired by the beauty here. But it is winter in this southern land. The dawn is cold and I am homesick. Memory is flaring. So there follows, with no particular logic, a succession of pictures from old summers that I summon for comfort. Here are the glad confessions of a nostalgist.