One Year Later

I want to tell you about the light. It is nearly five o’clock in the morning when we emerge, blinking, into the grey pre-dawn of St Petersburg. We push through the crowds milling outside the bars and clubs and turn East towards the promise of the rising sun. Ahead of us is the Cathedral on … More One Year Later

An Ode to June

June. My final month in Innsbruck. I would like to invite you on a jaunt through June. On the first Sunday of this fine, summer’s month, after a night spent in a mountain hut, I was a long way above sea level, battling my way through Mother Nature’s fury with Serena (half-Swedish half-Austrian and passionate … More An Ode to June

Two Hundred Days

I saw the sea again, today. I heard the roar of the waves, tasted the salt on my tongue, felt the wind in my hair. It had been over two hundred days. The crash of waves on the beach; the cold, salty water that fills your nose and stings your eyes and tangles your hair … More Two Hundred Days


What has roots as nobody sees, Is taller than trees, Up, up it goes, And yet never grows? Gollum in ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R.Tolkien They are still there. They are always there. Only when the clouds come down are they temporarily lost from sight, and you could be forgiven for thinking that Innsbruck is just … More Innsbruck

Only a game

The child looks up at me, wide-eyed. Never before have I considered myself to be quite so terrifying, but now I find I have to do my best to counter-act this rather unwelcome character trait: I crouch down, take off my sunglasses and introduce myself. ‘What’s your name?’ I ask. A small, somewhat muffled voice … More Only a game


Are you looking forward to going home? I can’t count the number of times I was asked this question before leaving Russia, and every time I wondered whether to give the easy, non-committal answer or to explain the whole story. I inevitably encountered surprise when I said that I wasn’t going home for another seven … More Home?