Inward journey, out to Iona.

We have just got back from Iona … a wonderful, profound trip.

Arctic Summer – “Up in the Northlands Again”.

“Up in the northlands again” – thoughts from a month lecturing on Arctic cruises.

Paradoxical Pleasure & Pain – the puzzle of place.

Paradoxical Pleasure & Pain – the puzzle of place.


My wife was only yesterday sticking needles in me, for the second time this week. Be re-assured: this is not anything reprehensible:  I allowed her, nay, encouraged her, for she has no evil intent. Far from it: I have benefited from what she does before, and this time the crisis was a back so badly pulled that I had difficulty sitting or lying or driving and yelped involuntarily when I had to move unexpectedly. Her acupuncture – she is a very skilled and experienced acupuncturist – has helped many people over many years, and I first experienced its effects when in a matter of hours she cleared up a troublesome tickly cough that had bothered me for weeks.

Spring Morning, Paris

It is still early. A clean morning: a walk along the canal de St Martin to the Gare de Lyon appeals much more than taking the Metro, and meets only minimal, even token, resistance from My Lady Of The Needles. For it is one of those late winter mornings which promises delight to all the senses, touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight, a morning when the senses play a polyphony of experience into consciousness, greater than the sum of the parts. The play of light on streets wet from last night’s heavy rain…the smell of coffee… a gull crying the call of my coastal childhood…  this is a morning, a light, the Impressionists would have enjoyed.