The Trundler Turns 60 in Copenhagen

I wanted to celebrate my 60th birthday with a small adventure. A visit to a place I had never seen before, but one which was easy to reach and explore. Copenhagen turned out to be perfect. A beautiful, open, well-organized city, green, watery and welcoming. Even the flight was a delight, from Heathrow’s well designed Terminal 2, a bright, appealing … Read More

Barlaston to Bedstuy to Bloomsbury to Blaenau

A Trundle around Places Beginning with B A well-known Staffordshire village, a vibrant Brooklyn neighbourhood, an elegant district of London and a spectacular slate mining town in Snowdonia. Such different places, each with its own beauty. Each with a special significance for me. Each with a distinctive charm. My Trundle, which took place during the glorious month of May, began … Read More

Play at Heath Street

Art for All in Hampstead The Heath Street Baptist Church in Hampstead is an admirable example of how a church can enrich a community. With free classical concerts, Jacket potato ceilidh nights and and delightful singing and music sessions for children, it has an appeal which stretches far and wide. Hampstead feels more homely here, bohemian yet friendly. For the … Read More

England in May

A perfect field, a tree tinged with pink blossom, brilliant yellow gorse, a stately horsechestnut, bluebells washed with rain, creamy Hawthorne. All these I saw on a rapturous walk through the Staffordshire countryside in May my heart singing all the way.

Taulellets for Semana Santa in El Cabanyal

As I write this from my usually sun-filled office in Valencia, rain is lashing against the window and the big palm tree in the square below is blowing in the wind. This is British Bank Holiday weather, with no hint of Mediterranean warmth and light. I am feeling a bit cheated, particularly as Britain is basking in record-breaking sunshine. However, … Read More

Taulellets – a History of Tile Art in El Cabanyal

Anyone who has wandered around the Poblats Maritims area of Valencia will have noticed that many of the houses are covered with the most beautiful tiles, which enrich the charm and character of this entrancing neighborhood. Of the 700 protected houses, 300 have tiled facades whose spectacular designs range from traditional, delicate and pretty to wild, abstract and surreal. When … Read More

Migrants Making Magic in Marsala

My friend David Swift is a kind of magician. He can conjure up amazing images in a few captivating words, painting mental pictures which then become reality. Forty years ago, when I first met him, he convinced me to learn a mime routine, dress up as a clown and set off on a busking tour of Britain. Together with another … Read More

All Change – Home Swaps Make a Great Holiday

Exchange your Home and off you Roam If you’re short of cash or like the idea of living like a local, exchanging homes is a great option. You don’t have to pay for accommodation and you walk straight into someone else’s world. I didn’t want to rent out my flat in Valencia. It’s a delicate period piece, with original wooden … Read More