Month: May 2016


A visceral experience in Juniper Wood

We were walking through Juniper Wood when we saw these outgrowths gleaming on the ground like some rare and improbable fungi. ’Gralloch,’ one of my companions said, and then, ‘Poachers’. Gralloch is a word derived from the Scottish Gaelic grealach, ‘entrails’.

St James Shere

An anchoress in Shere

Early in the summer of 1329, Christine Carpenter, a young woman living in the village of Shere in Surrey, petitioned the Bishop of Winchester, seeking permission to become an anchoress. Several men of the village, including Christine’s father, William (a carpenter by trade), were asked to vouch for her devoutness and virginity.

Crabble Ground Dover

A National League game in Dover

The Dour runs through it and Dover is a dour kind of place, a seaside town that makes few concessions to the popular traditions of the English seaside. It’s a practical, workaday place, leaving Kentish amusements to the likes of Margate and Broadstairs.

Egyptian Avenue Highgate

An avenue in Highgate

Highgate Cemetery opened in 1839, one of seven new cemeteries established during the early Victorian period, in what were then outer suburbs of London. Its architect, Stephen Geary, placed the astonishing Egyptian Avenue at the heart of the new cemetery.

Birmingham prophet

A prophet in Birmingham

The dull days after Christmas, with the store sales in flood tide, may not have been the most propitious time for a prophet. Commodity idols distracting the attention, hawkers and muzak assailing the ears, credit card bills gnawing at the conscience.