Responding to The Age of Anger: at the LSE and on the bus

"Give it time...re-build trust". This was part of Pankaj Mishra's response to a member of the audience on Tuesday night when asked what we can do to stem the global tide of hatred and nationalism. Mishra had been talking with journalist Nesrine Malik at one of the early events of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival about his … Continue reading Responding to The Age of Anger: at the LSE and on the bus

House fire v. house demolitions: the difference a birthplace makes

Last week it was exactly a year since my flat caught fire. I expected to write about it here, to feel the pull to reflect on and pick over the event. But I found I didn't have much to say. I did walk around the house last week on that day feeling a bit slow, … Continue reading House fire v. house demolitions: the difference a birthplace makes

Switching Off, Momentarily: surviving the news deluge the middle way

Yesterday I sat down to eat my breakfast and got up again straightaway to turn the radio off. The news was on, it was Monday morning, my back felt out of sorts and I decided it was time for a break from the torrent of bleak updates from around the world and, principally, the USA. Contemplating the garden … Continue reading Switching Off, Momentarily: surviving the news deluge the middle way

Help Through Haikus

A couple of days ago I was walking along a beach near Lyme Regis. This part of the coastline is known as 'Jurassic' due to its ancient layers of sedimentary rock. Many fossils have been found in this area from 185 million years ago, telling us about prehistoric life. Picking over the past The day … Continue reading Help Through Haikus

Rain, Sun, Resolutions & Hope

Earlier on today I wrote the date on a postcard and noticed that it's the 17th day of the first month of the 17th year of this millennium: 17.01.17. I've always liked the neatness of these kinds of calendar numbers. And I noticed it's the middle of January already. This week has been looming large, … Continue reading Rain, Sun, Resolutions & Hope

Poem for Palestine: As Far As The Eye Can See

In my previous post I wrote about just one of the many stories I heard and distressing sights I saw while in Palestine last autumn. This is a poem I wrote the day before going to help with the olive harvest in a village called Deir Istyia in the West Bank: As far as the … Continue reading Poem for Palestine: As Far As The Eye Can See

Palestine; Israel

Palestine and Israel in the headlines Palestine and Israel seem to have been in the news a lot recently. On 23rd December a resolution was adopted by the UN security council for all Israeli settlement in the occupied territories to be halted. This resolution was passed by virtue of the US abstention from voting - as … Continue reading Palestine; Israel

Brand New Day

Early start, quiet walk On a couple of mornings between Christmas and New Year I got up in the dark and walked through the frost and the dawning day to do some voluntary work with Crisis at Christmas. That short period between 25th December and 1st January often feels quiet, feels peaceful; and pregnant with the … Continue reading Brand New Day