(Originally published in 2006.)
We step through the doors (modern, efficient, out of place) and into Hexham Abbey…and the world goes silent.
Here’s a true story about how I nearly didn’t go to Austria a few weeks ago. It was a really close thing. 60 seconds. 5.30am Stumbling. Coffee. Cannot. Think. Things, fanned out on the floor in an order than made perfect sense last night – or more correctly, earlier this morning. Most of everything is already packed, but these are … Read More
York Minster (aka. York cathedral) dominates the city. Arguably, it is York, having been its social and geographical focus for over a thousand years. It’s a Gothic-style cathedral (the largest north of the Alps) of a scale and intricacy that will punch the breath right out of you at first sight – and it’s beautiful because of – rather than despite … Read More
For a change, I took the bus to work today. My daypack bulged with books: the Rough Guide to Cyprus, Colin Thubron’s Journey Into Cyprus, Tim Boatswain’s A Traveller’s History of Cyprus, and a number of careworn notebooks with “Cyprus” scrawled on their covers. The more observant among you may spot a common theme. But alas, no, I’m not off … Read More
“Excuse me,” says my new neighbour as I lock up, shivering in the night air. “Do you live here?” I squint through the glare of the front yard light while my mind explores what else I could possibly be, locking a front door behind me at 10pm. A very confused burglar? A very clever burglar?
Every year, either on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, I wrap up well and head outdoors, to listen to the absence of everyone. This year it was easy. Instead of going back to visit my Ma as is traditional, I’ve spent it in York. Her pipes are frozen (I mean that literally, not indelicately) and her house is on emergency … Read More
It’s AD 70, and the North is in revolt.