Foraging for Poems

A little over 20 years ago we lived in Norway. I remember arriving in January 1996 and how blue the sky was here after close to ten years in the Middle East. That first weekend we ventured out with the children who stared open-mouthed at the icicles that had become crystal stalactites there on the … More Foraging for Poems

Eight weeks in and it is definitely time for a retreat

The first few weeks in a new country are always a whirlwind of overwhelm. Not only do banks, doctors, local registration, public transport cards bikes, car and somewhere to live need to be organised … but for us, this time, back in The Hague since March, there’s more… One: transit accommodation. Being officially just Ian … More Eight weeks in and it is definitely time for a retreat

Finding my homeland

“Some places make you feel more full than others,” said Palestinian author, Nathalie Handal at last weekend’s third Georgetown Literary Festival in Penang. The theme of the weekend was irresistible to me – Hiraeth – a Welsh word that means longing for a homeland that is no longer there. Undoubtedly, this island is a place … More Finding my homeland

The art of sitting

I’ve never been much good at doing nothing but I know it’s good for me. Nevertheless, the older I’ve got, and the wiser (!), the more I recognise the value of mindfulness. But it’s harder than ever these days since the SmartPhone. Whereas I once would have sat in a waiting room in contemplation, it … More The art of sitting