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'If God had existed he would have made Oxford'


Depression only hits at home
Redmond O'Hanlon Writer
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The weird thing is, on these journeys, I never have... I never, ever have had depressive thoughts. And I'm terribly conscious that I can't cope with inner terror, you know? If this guy's shooting at you, somebody's got an eight-foot-long arrow, it's fantastically flattering. You exist. You know, good for him, he's taking the trouble. He really is concerned. He cares about you, for that moment. No, no, it's being at home gets me. I mean, this is all only interesting because it must happen to thousands upon thousands of other people.

[Q] But you like being on your own?


[Q] In a silent place?

Yes. When I'm writing and I've actually got something to say, but when not, it can be bad at 3 o'clock on a dark afternoon. And you have all these habits that work when you're writing, you see. In other words, not picking up the phone, so everybody knows I don't pick up the phone, so nobody rings me when I'm not writing. I mean, when you're not writing, when you're not doing anything, no, no, no, that's just trivial nonsense. But I love...

I like the idea that a female cuckoo can fly over and the sparrow hawk comes through the garden twice a day and that we have long-tailed tits moving through. I don't think I could do without that. On the other hand, when I do go to London, it just seems exciting beyond belief. Like a teenager, it's ridiculous. But the bookshops and the fact that people are thinking... you know, the life of the mind really matters in the city. Whereas here, it's pigs that matter.

British author Redmond O’Hanlon writes about his journeys into some of the wildest places in the world. His travels have taken him into the jungles of the Congo and the Amazon, he has faced some of the toughest tribes alive today, and has sailed in the hurricane season on a trawler in the North Atlantic. In all of this, he explores the extremes of human existence with passion, wit and erudition.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: London

Duration: 2 minutes, 3 seconds

Date story recorded: July - September 2008

Date story went live: 11 August 2009