In contrast to my settled life in Wales during the 1970s, covered by Welsh Journal, the period represented by this journal was one of movements from place to place and country to country. Following two years in Winchester, and the breakdown of my first marriage, I returned to Wales in 1982 to complete five terms of teaching at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, before taking early retirement. I lodged with David Thomas in Llanbadarn, and travelled, as often as possible, to visit my children, who were living with Sue in Winchester, and to see my parents, at the family home in Pennington, between the New Forest and the coast. Openings begins with my meeting with Mieke at Cambridge in April 1983 and ends with my prospective return to England, following my successful application for a post at Bath College of Higher Education, as it then was, in May 1988.
From 1984 I lived with Mieke and her daughter, Elin, and my son, Joe, at Groningen in the Netherlands, where, after a time, I resumed teaching. I made numerous journeys between Holland and England, within Holland, and to places in other parts of Europe. After I had spent several weeks as writer in residence on a kibbutz, Mieke joined me and we travelled to Jerusalem and other places in Israel/Palestine. These are the main outward movements, through which my experience of the world was widened, that give one meaning to the title of this selection from my journal. (Jeremy Hooker)