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

Advertisements

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

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

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

A Difficult Exit: leaving Palestine

Palestine and Israel have been prominent in the news again lately and I've been reflecting on how stories are reported, the language used, and of my last visit. At the end of May I left northern Palestine through a checkpoint that I hadn't been through before. I was with my Scottish friend Jane. We were … Continue reading A Difficult Exit: leaving Palestine

Watching The Bees: on meditation retreat in Dartmoor

Recently I spent a week at the High Heathercombe Centre in Dartmoor. I camped overlooking a tor, alongside huge trees; ate deliciously healthy food, and practised old and new meditation techniques. It was a mainly silent seven days, to allow for stillness and insight to more readily arise. Reading and writing were discouraged. Apart from … Continue reading Watching The Bees: on meditation retreat in Dartmoor

A Long Day: waking up in Israel, going to bed in Palestine 

One Friday morning recently I woke up in my friend Tomer's apartment in a town outside Tel Aviv. I had arrived from London the evening before and Tomer, who I had met picking olives the previous autumn in Palestine, had kindly picked me up from the airport. One of the first things he told me … Continue reading A Long Day: waking up in Israel, going to bed in Palestine 

Cycling Towards The Sea: freedom of movement

My plan is to post this piece on Thursday 11th May. I'm lucky enough to be going for a bike ride on that day with a friend who's recently returned to London after a few months overseas. Cycling is one of the things we like doing together. We plan a route, briefly disagree about what … Continue reading Cycling Towards The Sea: freedom of movement

Art Imitating Life: tourism starts acting up in Palestine

I've had a few conversations with friends about how great it would be if more tourists found their way to Palestine: an old land full of ancient places with familiar names; rotund olive trees grown wonderfully gnarled with time; and fabulously warm hospitality. Sadly, though, Palestine isn't normally associated with these things, and the culture is seen … Continue reading Art Imitating Life: tourism starts acting up in Palestine