Books are a key to the Future

Books are a key to the future - time to get back to the library to look for clues about tomorrow..

Facing an Uncertain Future

Last weekend I went for a walk amongst an ancient grove of oaks – not just a picturesque carbon sink, but a useful illustration of how different communities experience uncertainty about the future. Once numbering 4,000 trees, this oak plantation was planted sometime in the Middle Ages by a landowner who would already be dead … Continue reading Facing an Uncertain Future

A Life of Pilgrimage

During the research for my book We are Pilgrims I encountered many pilgrim travellers but none quite like Martin Gray. Over the course of 38 years, this photographer and anthropologist has visited thousands of pilgrim sites and sacred places in 160 countries across the globe. His web-site World Pilgrimage Guide is an essential source of information for anyone contemplating … Continue reading A Life of Pilgrimage

Sweet Thames Run Softly

From my lockdown study, I allow my mind to wander and think of Pandit Nehru who as a boy mastered the art of ‘astral flying’, letting his mind roam where his body could not. It served him in good stead. Nehru was imprisoned many times in pursuit of India’s independence and from his cell wrote … Continue reading Sweet Thames Run Softly

The Cardboard Age

In the late afternoon I walk on the heath. A stonechat perched on a plinth of gorse while a hobby circles overhead, patient, unrelenting, waiting for a chance to pounce. A silver birch tree buzzes with a flurry of finches, continuously moving and impossible to glimpse for more than a second. At the end of … Continue reading The Cardboard Age

Lockdown Loopholes

Where shall we go this weekend? Where shall we go this summer? Until recently the answer depended on how itchy your feet, how expansive your wallet, how much time you could take away from work, school or family. It has been something of a shock to lose the liberty we once took so much for … Continue reading Lockdown Loopholes

Tuesday’s Toledo Travelogue

On Tuesday I travelled to Toledo, that city which lies at the heart of La Mancha, Spain. Home to Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, and Judah Halevi, the medieval scholar. Both accompanied me and my friend George on our way through the city on this week’s virtual pilgrimage. Through these characters, George illuminated the current … Continue reading Tuesday’s Toledo Travelogue

The Oldest Story Ever Told

With plenty of time to reflect on the journey as a metaphor for the search for meaning, I turned once more to the oldest story ever told. A story about wealth, power and violence, greed and ignorance. And as the narrative unfolds, a tale of love and loss, and a quest to find a way … Continue reading The Oldest Story Ever Told

Mountains of the Mind

Today I received a gift through the mail from the inspiring author and adventurer Levison Wood. His book - An Arabian Journey- is sitting on my desk as I write, calling me to stop everything and luring me to enter those mountains of the mind that lie within its pages. It’s been a great week for … Continue reading Mountains of the Mind