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Exiles in far islands

Currently  pertinent in regard  to colonial history,  the Karma Police are working overtime issuing warrants and ASBOs.    Unholy chaos in the Middle East (messing about with other peoples’ borders and ideas of nationhood) as well as  news reports of rotten baby teeth in Britain, obesity, cancer and diabetes (linked to a sugar laden national […] Read More


Making music with other people sparks a unique kind of synergy that can become addictive. I sing in the Jericho Choir, under the direction of Stephanie Tait who is a very good musician and commands the respect and attention of the singers. Steph arranges songs by Radiohead and teaches energetic  African harmonies, starting  with a […] Read More

Hythe Bridge- dicing with the Grim Reaper

Ever since the crossing was re-designed earlier in 2015 I have ventured out on my bike in the awful consciousness that it could be my last ride. Between myself and the wing-mirrors of cars and trucks there is a whisper of a passage as I brave Hythe Bridge Street. I signal right and make for […] Read More

Fave caffs no.11 (or pubs): The Dun Cow in Hornton

Lisa, chef at The Dun Cow Hornton

  Hornton Stone is a sedimentary rock formed in the Jurassic period approximately 160 million years ago. It is made up of a blue/grey limestone or calcium carbonate, however the stone has some iron ore content. This oxidises with the stone creating a brown/orange colour.Horton stone was quarried by Hornton Quarries Ltd, latterly known as, […] Read More

ελιά- elia (Olive)

I lived the beloved name In the shade of the aged olive tree In the roaring of the lifelong sea….. (Odysseus Elytis, 1911-1996,  Nobel prize for Literature 1979) The olive trees with the wrinkles of our fathers The rocks with the wisdom of our fathers and our brother’s blood alive on the earth were a […] Read More

Life’s non-guilty pleasures

Is there any experience more pleasurable than a whole week by oneself in a sunny climate, the sea at one’s front door, books to read, videos to watch, simple fresh food and company when one wants? My second trip to Kardimyli in late October was a near perfect holiday, just slightly marred by the presence […] Read More

Northumberland, the last outpost

On a peerless day in November we walked coatless alongside the River Till, near the estates of Ford and Etal and close by  Flodden where James IV’s Scottish army was defeated in a decisive battle. The sun was warm, almost hot, and we watched the play of light on the water and through the gold […] Read More

British Values (4): Watching the English

Summer to Autumn, Autumn to Winter the period before things stabilize into predictable patterns, or what they are going to be like for a while- at least until the next seasonal change starts to shake the air- people like me become restless and questioning. Who am I, where do I fit in, where do I […] Read More

‘Loved ones’ and ‘yarnbombing’

Am I the only one who finds the phrase ‘loved ones’   grates like chalk on a blackboard?  It’s now the standard platitude wheeled out by insensate reporters and politicians to denote the bereaved with a mixture of croc tears and feigned empathy  . How do they know that mother, father, siblings, aunties, uncles and cousins […] Read More

Hospitality (3) Casa del Grivo

Close to the ancient city of Civedale in the Friuli region and on the border of Slovenia is a ancient stone house, re-built and lovingly restored by Toni and Paola (with the help of many friends) when they were young and full of hopeful energy and enthusiasm. The sturdy walnut tree provided small walnuts for […] Read More