All back to Asselega’s place

Is it possible to be haunted by a place? I think that I may be. In this case it is Ashley Vale in Bristol – an exceptional urban oasis caught between the tracks, containing allotments, woods, hilltops and a pub next door to a farm.

Wind-whirled in West Dulwich

Yesterday, the St Jude storm sent me on something of a dérive within a small area of Lambeth. There were no trains due to the winds, so instead of standing on Tulse Hill’s platform 1, I made for Brixton, but wanting to avoid the main roads, headed up a road I’d never walked along before.

Into the Narroways – a landscape of words

Landscapes, imagined and remembered, have always played a central role in literature.

The fascinating relationship between writers and the British landscape is currently explored in a new exhibition at The British Library: Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands. Here are some thoughts it inspired.

The Narroways

In you went on foot, down two tight lanes,

ambling, sloping through the allotments,

each earth pocket nailed down like a promise,

with bramble and beanstalk to mark the bounds:

A hundred little empires of roll-ups and potatoes.