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

A View of the City

On Friday, from my study in Suffolk, with the apple blossom in full bloom outside, I took a virtual pilgrimage through Pepys’ London, with author Jacky Colliss Harvey and Barbara Schwepcke, founder of Haus Publishing. Through the glass of our screens, Jacky gave us a tour of some of the 17th century tea and coffee … Continue reading A View of the City

Journey to the Interior

There have been many press reports recently of COVID dreams, perhaps a feature of extended sleep as it seems that many of us now gratefully fall into the arms of slumber much earlier than usual each night, simply to escape the monotony of our own existence. Locked into our homes we are also to some … Continue reading Journey to the Interior

What Next?

In almost every dimension of human society, whether in love or war, politics or the weather, improving our understanding of what the future has in store confers an advantage, and since the very earliest times we have been trying to peer over the horizon by one means or another to get a glimpse of tomorrow … Continue reading What Next?

The Road Not Taken

The millions of pairs of feet that in normal times would already be striding out for Rome or Mecca, Benares or Mashhad are stilled today while so many patient pilgrims are waiting for the tide to turn on the pandemic. But the imagination is a fine thing and this morning I ventured virtually along the … Continue reading The Road Not Taken