Category: Travel and people

Mellow moods for Autumn (5) : sounds of the forest stream

We’re lucky to live close to two forests. The first is a few minutes’ walk away, the other is further and larger, the main path taking the walker in a slow ascent through the ancient Sizergh estate. At the highest point, you emerge into the open air within a few hundred metres of the local organic farm shop and cafe. Tess loves the walk. … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (5) : sounds of the forest stream

Dr Joy’s Garden

A poignant return visit to Alnmouth, a beautiful coastal town in Northumberland. A memorial garden dedicated to a very special woman… Read Dr Joy’s garden here…

Above the Lion and the Lamb (part three)

It was past four in the afternoon. We had been walking for over five hours. Despite our best smiles – and Joh’s chocolate – we were tired, very tired. We were desperately looking for something – a path that should have been climbing up towards us from the steep lower slopes of the glacial corrie below. But paths – this far into a landscape … Read More Above the Lion and the Lamb (part three)

Above the Lion and the Lamb (Part Two)

We were on the Helm Crag plateau, about to climb up and beyond the Lion and the Lamb rocks to reach the start of the ridge. When you’ve just done a steep climb, it’s natural to feel that you’re ‘at the top’. In our case, this assumption was to prove expensive… It was time to say goodbye to the glorious views of Grasmere – … Read More Above the Lion and the Lamb (Part Two)

Above the Lion and the Lamb (Part One)

We were delighted to meet up with some friends from the UK who had emigrated to New Zealand many years ago. Bernie went to school with Kathryn and the couple had kindly collected and put us up in Auckland – their home, now – at the end of our short cruise from Sydney, last November. Jon is a keen walker, and has fond memories … Read More Above the Lion and the Lamb (Part One)

‘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…’

Hands of the Future

It was cold, very cold on that Friday… just five days ago. Across the road, people were trickling out of the railway station and along the busy main road through Penrith. Three hours from now it would fill with commuters both leaving and arriving in the Cumbrian town on the main west-coast line to Glasgow. But not yet… “Full Circle: Finding the Way Home’ … Read More Hands of the Future

Whispers of Babylon

It is unlike anything you’ve seen before. If you were raised, like I was, on sci-fi, you’ll recognise the soaring structures that look like other-worldly trees; whose job is to be a framework for a vast array of green life embedded in the vertical lattices. Those paintings were by Christopher Fosse, whose futuristic artwork graced the covers of many of the sci-fi novels of … Read More Whispers of Babylon

Antipodean Fragments: Harry’s Cafe de Wheels

In the old black and white photo, the colonel is eating… a pie. He’s more associated with Kentucky’s fried chicken, but here it’s a pie. It was taken a long time ago (1972) and the iconic fried chicken man is clearly enjoying himself doing something different. The Colonel’s faded picture is mounted on the silver walls of an amazing creation in front of us … Read More Antipodean Fragments: Harry’s Cafe de Wheels

Spaceships and Chewing Gum

I am in a hotel room in Singapore. It’s 05.02 and I’ve been awake for three hours. Beside me, my wife, Bernie, has also give up trying to sleep and is sitting up drinking the tea I have just made. Having failed to sleep for most of the night, she has joined me in a plan to take an early breakfast as soon as … Read More Spaceships and Chewing Gum

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