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  1. Bluebells

    There is a small wood near where I live, close by my town, which is steeped in history. At the northern edge of the wood, there's a walk along an earthen dyke, which formed part of the pre-Roman defence system. A few hundred yards to the east there is a barrow, a large mound of earth, housing the remains of some long-forgotten Bronze Age Chieftain.

    I may well be wrong, but it feels like this small piece of woodland is a remnant of the ancient forests that covered most of Britain at ...
  2. Isolation Diary

    To do my bit, I’ve decided to go into full voluntary isolation. Yesterday was the first day and it started so well. I let all my friends and colleagues know on social media that they wouldn’t be seeing me for 12 weeks. I was overwhelmed with the support. There were smiley emojis, clap hands emojis and several urged me not to feel constrained by 12 weeks. It’s so good to be part of a supportive community.

    I started the day by spending two hours thoroughly researching the problem. Two ...
  3. Storn Dennis hits the UK


    Asmy eardrums bend under the tumultuous cacophony of the wind, as the windowpanes sag against the relentless, machine gun rattle of the driven rain, as thenearby river roars ominously, pluming high against its piers, I lie, tossingand turning, tormented by the thought ...who called it Dennis?Before the 24hr news cycle demanded drama from the everyday,it would just have been the bad weather you can expect in winter.

    But if you’re going to assign a name to the awesome power ...
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  4. New Year's Eve in the Arctic Circle

    We’re staying in a beautifullog cabin, which is part of a resort complex, about an hour’s drive from Tromso.One of the activities they offer is a dogsledding experience. I did this someyears ago and my wife has always been keen to give it a go, so we booked.

    It was cancelled twice due to weatherconditions but, at 3.00pm on New Years eve, they told us they’d run anothertrip. This was a bit of a surprise. At 3.00pm, in these parts, night fell anhour ago. It is pitch black, snowing quite ...
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  5. The Youth of Today

    I went into London yesterday, for a meal with my son and his girlfriend, and to attend a debate at the Royal Geographic Society. I was pretty grumpy about the prospect, but it turned out both enjoyable and to have some good life lessons. Most things do if you let them.

    The event was a debate of the motion “To Stop Climate Collapse, We Must End Capitalism.” Proposing were George Monbiot (a left wing journalist and author) and Farman Yamuna (an environmental lawyer and leading light in ...
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  6. Infinity Pool Africa Style

    So here it is, the golden decade has finally arrived. The mortgage is history and I’m entitled to a bus pass and free prescriptions. Everything still works and, with a bit of luck, should do so for at least another 10 years. The pension, of course, is something of a disappointment but, with bit of care, there is enough cash to keep the wolf from the door for a while. The leaving do was a success, the final handover complete and a lifetime of meetings, reports, demanding bosses and lengthy commutes ...
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  7. Dogsledding in the Arctic

    I went on a dog sledding trip to the Arctic 12 years ago that was definitely a “food for the soul” experience. I have many photographs of it but didn't make a diary at the time and the memories are starting to dim. My recent, New Years Eve, dogsledding experience has brought them all flooding back and made me realise I need to capture them before they've gone completely. As well as the facts, I've tried hard to recreate some of the emotional experience.

    A school friend of mine, who ...
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