Category: Travel and Photography

Bridges of Stone and Heart

The emotional story of an unusual wartime chapel on Orkney reveals a different type of heroism… and hope. (A ten-minute read, 1400 words). (Above: the waters of Scapa Flow have not always been so calm…) Shortly after midnight on the 14th October, 1939, a German U-boat, U-47, passed unseen into the vast and hitherto safe waters of Orkney’s Scapa Flow, the base of the … Read More Bridges of Stone and Heart

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…

#ShortWrytz : Dreams of Trees

The river is just below. Close and beautiful, as always, but he’s photographed it a hundred times and the winter’s challenge is to find a new place; a place hidden in the old, hidden in the usual. And then, as he turns to seek elsewhere, it’s there. Devoid of leaves, its tall structure is all there is, but its presence is magnificent and dark … Read More #ShortWrytz : Dreams of Trees

#ShortWritz: End of the Road

The A66 road connects east and west across northern England and runs through some of the highest parts of the Pennine Hills. Notorious for its severe winter winds that topple heavy wagons, it’s also very beautiful. Here, at its western end, this fast road soars across the glacial landscape, up and down like a bird of prey, before dropping us onto a scene of … Read More #ShortWritz: End of the Road

Horseman in the Mist

The town of Cassel, near Lille in Northern France, is shrouded in mist – the same mist that had accompanied our first ever visit to the World War One cemeteries of Vimy and Notre Dame de Lorette. Six of us are slotted, snugly, into the mid-size people carrier bouncing at speed into the centre of Cassel. Behind us are a variety of warm coats … Read More Horseman in the Mist

#NightMoves : Sodium Stroll, Wimereux

Like most bloggers, I enjoy writing. I also enjoy taking photographs – as many as my long-suffering wife, Bernie, can tolerate, on our travels. One of my favourite styles of photography is black and white – particularly the high-contrast ‘Noir’ mode offered by modern cameras. I recently suppressed the urge to upgrade my ageing Apple laptop in favour of spending the money on a … Read More #NightMoves : Sodium Stroll, Wimereux

Keys of Heaven (1): Cod and Lobster

Bright against the icy darkness, the Christmas lights of the Cod and Lobster pub greet the quiet sound of only two sets of winter boots, where, until a few hours ago, there were many… It’s quite a walk down from the car park above the lovely fishing village of Staithes – pronounced ‘Steas’ – just north of Whitby along the coast of Yorkshire’s beautiful … Read More Keys of Heaven (1): Cod and Lobster

Divide and be Conquered

It’s a funny thing, division – its principles apply to many aspects of our lives. We can cut something up, but its original ‘wholeness’ persists in ways we may never have considered. Wholeness as a concept is worth some thought. Can we step back and consider why we think something is whole? Is it simply that ‘it works’ – in the way that a … Read More Divide and be Conquered

White Iron Bride

No coward this white train That dared to speak a virgin’s mind Stripped, to the abuser’s rule That sought to quash Dissent in journeys’ end ➰ It’s flaming red still trails the skies A freer voice than iron ways Where iron minds, entitled Lay down iron roads Within the minds and tongues of Those who cannot within their minds Travel by themselves… ➰ Unliveried, … Read More White Iron Bride

Fear and Love in the High Peak (2) – “I want a posset!”

The first visit of the Silent Eye ‘Rites of Passage: Seeing Beyond Fear’ weekend was to the Derbyshire village of Eyam (pronounced Eem) – The Plague Village. Our family has a personal connection with Eyam and the terrible events of 1665-6, when bubonic plague, newly arrived in Derbyshire from London, took the lives of 260 of its occupants: over seven-tenths of its population. No-one … Read More Fear and Love in the High Peak (2) – “I want a posset!”

Vexed by the Tribe (part two) – the fabrication of complexity

We’re visiting relatives. It’s friendly. We have a light meal and some cake to follow. But then someone mentions Brexit and a cold frost descends on the room… My wife and I bite our tongues, knowing our hosts are firm believers that Britain’s post-colonial destiny lies in a renewed ‘Little England’ reborn from some poster of decades ago. Until my wife’s uncle says, “Besides, … Read More Vexed by the Tribe (part two) – the fabrication of complexity

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)

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