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Rumours of Wrongdoing – finding Tennes Kaspara (Lofoten, Norway)

November 23, 2012

Cars and trucks wait in orderly lines, the Moskenes-Værøy ferry still one hour distant.  It’s the northern autumn and rain arrives as I leave my car. The church I pass is small, the wet bluestone black. Behind, a mound rising to leaden skies, its sides shrouded in bush and showers of rain. Not far now. […]

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The Beat Goes On – pure poetry (New York, USA)

January 6, 2013

It’s New Year’s Day, and Joe Strummer – poet of the streets – looks down from a giant mural facing Tompkins Park.  From here I walk west with my girlfriend towards St Marks church-in-the-Bowery, past webs of winding fire escapes; hands deep in our pockets, wrapped scarves covering chilled cheeks and chins. Tribal drums sound […]

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The good, the bad, and Barcelona – Gaudi on Sunday (Catalonia, Spain)

June 15, 2015

In the crowded hotel lobby, my daypack zipper sounds conspicuously loud. I poke a hand inside: a woollen vest, an apple and a light rain jacket – nothing more. I rummage about. Still nothing. Everyone looks when I tip the contents out. A euro coin rolls across the tiled floor, hits the dark timber architrave […]

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Jigsaw Days – secret pieces (Picardy, France)

April 28, 2014

From Berlin I’ve flown to Paris late winter, driving north for 2hrs and overnighting in the hamlet of Behen, a classic French Chateau with stately entry paved for WW2 German tanks, towers and walls from 15th and 18th centuries, the stables once bombed by American war planes. Graceful shapes glide on a Monet pond; a […]

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Soul Searching – a sense in ancient science (South Island, New Zealand)

May 8, 2013

We linger in the dark after coffee, among deserted café chairs of bleached wooden slats, tables and simple benches. The air smells of seaweed, salt and garlic. The night cries of wheeling gulls float across Moeraki Harbour – ‘sleepy sky’ in Maori – as little blue penguins nest between waterline rocks at our feet. The […]

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Lost and Found – a splendid memory (Cape Arid, Western Australia)

June 4, 2013

`The truck’ bumps from side to side, the wheels in deeply rutted tracks. Nearer our coastal camp, scrub turns to woodland and we both lurch to the left as we drop a gear and edge across a scary slab of sloping granite. Back on sand it’s our final descent, to a wild coast of dazzling […]

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Losing Faith – at the Taj Mahal (Agra, India)

March 8, 2013

The plaintive cry of a lone peacock fractures the silence. Croaking egrets chorus from clumps of reeds at the foot of these stone walls and ramparts. There are snorts and bellows from buffalo. Two calves splash about, the mother’s wet horns and back steaming above broken reflections that come and go between drifts of morning […]

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Down in the Lucky Country – beggars, charlatons and thieves (Melbourne, Australia)

April 17, 2013

Straight from a long lunch, I raised my umbrella and headed for the pedestrian bridge. Crossing the river, I turned onto the station path; Melbourne cold and soaked after 6-days rain. I recall the soulful sounds of an upright 2-string Vietnamese fiddle commingling with the distant strains of bagpipes that echo from under the bluestone […]