The Long View

Virtually walking from the Iron Age hill fort, Barbury Castle to the Bronze Age circle at Avebury via Google Maps and Zoom with my friend Richard earlier today, we happened across the topic of the long-view. He told me how, on the Coast to Coast Path, at the end of the first day of walking … Continue reading The Long View

Listless by Moonlight

Tea bags, 9volt batteries, baking potatoes, printer ink, headset and mic, new notebook.....Working from home and making a list over lunch of what we need to carry on with our daily lives under lockdown reminded me of the explorer Richard Francis Burton and the list of items he acquired in Alexandria for the onward journey. … Continue reading Listless by Moonlight

Home and Away

At a time when we are all confined to our homes, the question arises of what gives a place, home or abroad, its ‘draw’? This was the topic of conversation between Mary and I as we set out on our virtual walk from Walberswick to Blythburgh. We were linked via facetime and shared Google maps … Continue reading Home and Away

Crime and Punishment

As the Easter festival approaches, I’m reminded of a journey taken one April weekend more than two decades ago, from Moscow to St Petersburg, that city first introduced to many of us through Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. It was a glorious if somewhat monotonous train ride, with snow laden pine and aspen forests slipping past … Continue reading Crime and Punishment

Lockdown Lane

Over the coming weeks it is my intention to make a number of virtual pilgrimages with friends along routes they know well and, with the help of technology, to share in their experience of the route and the destination. Past experience of virtual pilgrimage is that it can be as joyous as the real thing … Continue reading Lockdown Lane

Swift to Glastonbury

In preparation for the publication on April 9th of my book, We Are Pilgrims, last week I joined a group of around 15 folks on a pilgrimage from Glastonbury to Wells Cathedral. We began early in the day with a visit to two water sources that emanate from beneath Glastonbury Tor - the White Spring … Continue reading Swift to Glastonbury

All You Need is ‘Love’

Travelling up to Blackburn yesterday, I had to change trains at Preston and, asking the guard “which platform?” received the response “you want number four Love”. Not the passive aggressive “look ‘ere Love” of Londoners, typically directed to women, but a plain warm tone used equally by men and women in these parts to address … Continue reading All You Need is ‘Love’

What Have the Baltics Ever Done For Us?

It’s easy to forget what we owe others, when we’re busy listing our grievances, or counting our blessings, or hoarding our resources. In a hot debate on Europe, and more particularly, where it begins and ends, an otherwise temperate friend recently complained “why should we care about the Baltic states, what value are they to … Continue reading What Have the Baltics Ever Done For Us?

Inside, Outside, Ely

The one-day pilgrimage from Littleport to Ely was, for the most part, straight and clear, the path raised high above a canalised section of the Cam. One of the waterways which once carried goods to and from the Isle of Ely, on this day it carried only two boats of coxless fours and their coach … Continue reading Inside, Outside, Ely

Virtually There

On Wednesday, with the help of a little technology, my friend Richard and I made a virtual pilgrimage from Croyde Bay in Devon, around (the contrarily named) Baggy Point and with the air clear and bright over the sea, we were able to see out to Lundy Island, that finger of granite in the Atlantic that points up … Continue reading Virtually There