Wednesday, 12 October 2011


I have been very fortunate to have travelled the world extensively as both child and adult. I was born in Trinidad and sailed back to the Channel Islands via the UK at the age of about 6 weeks. Shortly after that we sailed out to Kenya via the Suez Canal. I remained in East Africa for Three years before returning to Britain via the Cape of Good Hope. By the time I was four I had crossed the Atlantic and circumnavigated Africa on board 3 liners.

My parents knew that if I continued to live with them I would be constantly changing school and in order that I had a stable education they sent me to boarding school whilst they continued to Globe Trot. By this time Airliners had become the normal means of travel and so my school Holidays were full of trips to exotic countries such as; Ascension Island, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Grand Cayman and Gibraltar, to name a few.

This nomadic lifestyle continued when I joined the Army on leaving school. I moved regularly sometimes for a few weeks and other times for months or years. By the time I left the Army the longest I had lived in one place was three years.

I have now lived in Guernsey for eight years and I am still enjoying the stability that has come with remaining in one place. I was thinking about this about a year ago and thought that it might be fun to pen some verse on the different forms of accommodation I have lived in over the years. I hope you enjoy the results of this endeavour;


I boarded at school
along with my brother,
spending our holls.
with Father and Mother.

I’ve lived in the tropics,
the Far East and near,
a while in the US,
I even lived here.

I spent years in barracks
surrounded by wire,
with guards on the gate
ready to fire.

I’ve lived in a trench,
in all kinds of weather,
wrapped in a poncho
surrounded by heather.

I lived in a port
in a bombed out warehouse.
In Hong Kong I lived in
a parquet floored penthouse.

I spent six months
In a far off region,
sharing a camp
with the Foreign Legion.

Now refugee camps
are not “state of the art”;
they have to be uncomfortable
so people depart.

While a shipping container’s
a ready made shelter
it’s freezing in winter,
and in summer you swelter.

The heat of a jungle
the cold of the snow
these are the things
I’ve come to know

I’ve lived in buildings
as tall as the sky
and down in the cuds
but these I decry;

For all of these places
have become part of me,
but none were a home
without my family.

John Carré Buchanan
25 September 2010

Image: NASA/Via the Daily Mail


  1. What an exciting life you've lead, John! I think it's wonderful that you've had the opportunity and good fortune to travel and see the world, although as you point out, the stability and routine that come with putting down roots can be a comfort as well. Greetings from Argentina!

  2. Katie, Thank you for your comment, I hope all is well over in your neck of the woods. Seeing the world has been great fun (most of the time) and I am lucky to have done so many things in my life.
    My challenge now is to beat the bonds that CRPS has bound me in and ensure that I finish my life in the way that I started. Writing and blogging is helping me achieve this as it provides inspiration, especially when people let me know they like something I have written. Once again thanks for your kind comment. And a big Hi from Guernsey.

  3. I think it's wonderful that you've had the opportunity and good fortune to travel and see the world.Real estate for sale ads

  4. Rajmangal, You are right, I have been very lucky, although many of the places I went to were experiencing wars or conflicts when I was there. I wish that mankind could learn that tolerating ones neighbours leads to a much more enjoyable and peaceful world then conflict and greed.


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