Category: mystical travel

A prospect of Whitby (1) The Abbey at the centre of time

The title’s cheeky… Bram Stoker created Count Dracula of Transylvania and had him come ashore at Whitby in a ship named The Prospect of Whitby. We’ll not be talking much about Dracula in our coming weekend workshop; we’ve got enough to contend with considering the truth… There are many ways to approach the centre of Whitby, but only one to truly approach its heart… … Read More A prospect of Whitby (1) The Abbey at the centre of time

‘Burn after visiting…’

He sat in the old cinema in Bolton, clutching the arms of the once-silky, faded red seat as John Barry’s James Bond theme started, accompanied by the huge screen showing the dark grey rifled barrel of the would be assassin trying to shoot our hero… and being killed by a turning 007, whose gun, though smaller, was quicker. The ‘ladies’ gun’ Beretta said it … Read More ‘Burn after visiting…’

Blue Europa

Through ancient winter streets I trod My collar tight and scarfed below In February’s Ghent, where waits For travellers who’ve seen it all, a shock: A vivid blue on winter water show ➰ Reminding us that in this place Though old beyond our knowing Is found a will of restful blue A lesson, then, for those whose fear And hatred is their only growing … Read More Blue Europa

Pilgrims of blood and stone

The blood: the Life that flows through us, taken in as breath, fresh each second, flowing out to be renewed in the world of nature; natural, given. The stone: the fixed structures we rely on to ensure persistence of that life-force made flesh. The riddle, the contradiction – the mystery… beginning with that most profound and persistent structure: the body… There is no more … Read More Pilgrims of blood and stone

On Golden Decks

On golden wood bedecked in yellow Is love of ochre gained from you? A fantasy glimpsed on old posters A space where poor children are few ⦿ From a farther place now you are calling Lost on the seas, uncharted, not gone Your home somewhere richer and darker with meaning Not glossy or gaudy nor stone ⦿ Let me sail down to Rio within … Read More On Golden Decks

Bright in the dark: endeavour and the lighthouse (4 – End)

There are two schools of thought on what to wear on a cycling summer day in which there is the possibility of a downpour, far from home… The first (Plan A)  says you should put up with the weight and pack a good set of waterproofs. Then, as soon as the heavens open, stop cycling and put them on. The second (Plan B) says that, … Read More Bright in the dark: endeavour and the lighthouse (4 – End)

Bright in the dark: endeavour and the lighthouse (3)

Something had happened when we decided to approach the strange village by walking along the beach and coming to it via the old but grand harbour, with its mighty blocks and sea-gates. It was only later that we realised that what we had, inadvertently, photographed in the far distance was the focus of the whole story. You could relate it to one of my … Read More Bright in the dark: endeavour and the lighthouse (3)

Bright in the dark: endeavour and the lighthouse (2)

‘Surreal’ is an often used word and does its best to convey a moment, usually quite fleeting, in which there is both a heightened sense of ‘being there’ and another feeling of strangeness. The two come together and we feel vaguely uncomfortable that something for which we have no real words envelopes us. This state of consciousness is described in more detail in the … Read More Bright in the dark: endeavour and the lighthouse (2)

Bright in the dark: endeavour and the lighthouse (1)

The tiny airport was a refreshing change to the madness of modern flying, with its scarring signature of  ‘security’. You could imagine a kindly local lady rushing out and saying, “Hamish the Russian terrorist is on holiday today, so I’m just going to wave you through, dearies…” There was, though, little distance to wave us through. Tiree is one of a pair of Scottish … Read More Bright in the dark: endeavour and the lighthouse (1)

An Eye full of Reflections (5)

Our visit to the actual village of Portmeirion ended quietly, but with an interesting mosaic of happenings. We rejoined our colleagues, silent in our own conclusions – for everyone must find their own in a place like this, and there can be no right or wrong, for the author, McGoohan, is long departed. We took the beautiful coastal walk which would bring us to … Read More An Eye full of Reflections (5)

An Eye full of Reflections (4)

As the land-train pulls out of the main square in Portmeirion, we head up into the forest. There are three distinct internal regions within the Portmeirion site. The first is the village, itself; the second is the coastal walk; and the third is the forest walk. The little train follows the forest road, but stops to give a view of the coast in several … Read More An Eye full of Reflections (4)

The Skerryvore Light

In tiny Hynish’s western shore Where gentle waves now kiss the sand The resting seas recall the names Of they who built the Skerryvore ➰ Forgotten in the passing nights Unknown to most, of even few Who chance on Hebridean soil And stumble on the wreck of lights ➰ For ears a story here in stone Which value engineers of night Of iron and … Read More The Skerryvore Light

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