Death in Life, Life in Death

In the final few weeks of 2017, a few people close to me experienced the death of someone close to them. A friend’s grandfather; another friend’s father; and the son of a family friend, who died tragically. The news of this last death was different. It concerned a young man who had decided he no … Continue reading Death in Life, Life in Death

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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Currently on a visit to India, I stayed in Delhi for around a week at the beginning of the trip, acclimatising as best I could given the poor air quality that, sadly, is typical during the winter months. One day I went to visit the Gandhi Smriti Memorial Museum. Noticing it was just one month … Continue reading Looking Back, Looking Ahead

The Year of the Goat: Greece & Palestine

A couple of weeks ago it was my birthday. According to the Chinese zodiac, I was born in the year of the goat. I'd never paid much attention to this but the last couple of years I've spent a bit of time in Greece and have become a little captivated by the goats which, depending … Continue reading The Year of the Goat: Greece & Palestine

Silk Roads: threads of hope in uncertain times

I recently finished reading Peter Frankopan’s excellent book The Silk Roads and noticed afterwards I was feeling some sense of overwhelm. I've been able to pinpoint three reasons for this. On one level, the most visceral, I was left with an acute sense of the magnitude and complexity of the world’s problems in the twenty first century … Continue reading Silk Roads: threads of hope in uncertain times

Hummus, swimming and the way to peace: Israel and Palestine revisited

Jaffa beach, Tel Aviv Earlier today I was sitting in Jaffa in the highly rated - and rightly so - hummus cafe, Abu Hassan. It's a lively place with a nice buzz where both Arabic and Hebrew can be overheard aplenty. Getting stuck in to my generous portion of falafel, hummus, raw onion and pita … Continue reading Hummus, swimming and the way to peace: Israel and Palestine revisited

Writing haikus: an exercise in simplicity and observation

Melissani Cave, Kefalonia A few weeks ago I referred to a recorded talk which I'd found very inspiring. It was by John Paul Lederach who has many years' experience in the area of conflict resolution. It was an easy, although compelling, listen, full of examples and stories that resonated with me deeply. One of these was … Continue reading Writing haikus: an exercise in simplicity and observation

On the Move: the challenges and benefits of letting go

One of the things I was looking forward to about heading out of London for a while was having to clear out some of my stuff. Although I knew I'd keep a fair amount of it, I also knew I'd be forced to sort through, and shed, some bits and pieces. When I did a … Continue reading On the Move: the challenges and benefits of letting go

The Place of Generosity: acts and words of kindness on leaving and arriving

A couple of days ago I left the UK for the beginning of a trip of several weeks. It is a trip that I expect to be filled with new places, sounds and sights as well as with yoga, meditation and voluntary work. Time for a taxi Arriving at Gatwick Airport late on Tuesday evening … Continue reading The Place of Generosity: acts and words of kindness on leaving and arriving

Calais: taking heart in hard times

Calais beach Last week I was in Calais. We were a group of sixteen people who'd come together for three days to learn what was possible about the global refugee crisis and the current situation in the northern tip of France. On two of those days we went to the donations warehouse just outside Calais … Continue reading Calais: taking heart in hard times

A Dash of Etymology & A Poem Not Prose: Al-Jalama checkpoint revisited

The other day I posted a piece about my experience of leaving Palestine through a checkpoint in the north of the country. It was an experience that did not compare with any other in my life that I could think of. I found it utterly dehumanising. Yet it's an experience that many thousands of Palestinians … Continue reading A Dash of Etymology & A Poem Not Prose: Al-Jalama checkpoint revisited