My Midsummer Morning: Rediscovering a Life of Adventure
A Financial Times Summer Book of 2019
Seasoned adventurer Alastair Humphreys pushes himself to his very limits – busking his way across Spain with a violin he can barely play.
In 1935 a young Englishman named Laurie Lee arrived in Spain. He had never been overseas; had hardly even left the quiet village he grew up in. His idea was to walk through the country, earning money for food by playing his violin in bars and plazas.
Nearly a century later, the book Laurie Lee wrote – As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – inspired Alastair Humphreys. It made him fall in love with Spain – the landscapes and the spirit – and with Laurie’s style of travel. He travelled slow, lived simply, slept on hilltops, relished spontaneity, and loved conversations with the different people he met along the hot and dusty road.
For 15 years, Alastair dreamed of retracing Laurie Lee’s footsteps, but could never get past the hurdle of being distinctly unmusical. This year, he decided to go anyway. The journey was his most terrifying yet, risking failure and humiliation every day, and finding himself truly vulnerable to the rhythms of the road and of his own life. But along the way, he found humility, redemption and triumph. It was a very good adventure.
'Humphreys is clearly slightly bonkers and this is a wonderful thing' Geographical Magazine -
”'Compelling reading … It’s honest and human” - The Great Outdoors magazine
”'Without a doubt Alastair’s best writing … intriguing and captivating” - The Outdoor Adventure Blog
”'Funny, heartwarming and above all, it was a very honest read” - Adventure Geek
”'Deeply personal … brave” - The Grown-Up Gap Year
”'A brutally honest, refreshing and heart-warming read” - Humans Resourced
”'Alastair’s books never fail to ignite the spark for travel in me, but this one is my favourite to date” - On: Yorkshire magazine
‘My Midsummer Morning is an honest and sincere look at a man trying to define himself. And it is Humphreys’ open and genuine spirit that provides the authenticity’ The Writer Shed -