Philadelphia

There are parts of Philly that are familiar (I have been in and out of here since 1997) and attractive – for all the reasons you would expect them to be. Here the Declaration of Independence was signed, Benjamin Franklin and his cronies hung out and where the nations capital was seated for a period…

Crossing Paths Over Canada

An extremely disconcerting view from an aircraft window is the full frontal view of a 747 heading your way. In the freezing cold air over Canada, on the way from London to Chicago I was watching our contrail shadow creep across the forests and lakes and was somewhat mesmerised by it when I lifted my…

Heathrow

A clear spring day. Sunday morning and in this part of the hemisphere the sun has been up since before 5am. It now glances white light off the American Airlines 777 sitting beside us. It is a marked change to the inbound flight last week when the day was overcast and the feeling of depression…

Aldershot

In my early teens I devoured a series of books which followed the fortunes of a new infantry officer in the British Army as he joined his regiment and then found himself engaged in various scrapes in Europe. Boys Own stuff. I cannot remember who he was nor are the story lines at my fingertips.…

An Angelic Skirt Lifter

“The Cathedral” in Brussels is understood to be the cathedral in the Grand Place Square. It is covered in intricate statues and carvings, all in fantastic detail. Row upon row of carvings that make up hundreds of characters that adorn the façade. A couple of characters caught my eye. One looking demure, the other coyly…

Waterloo

The poppy flower brightens the trackside vegetation and livens up the borders of the wheat fields where the plough has not scarified them out of the ground. They blur past me as I gaze across gently rolling fields from the train taking me to Waterloo. The freshness of the red helps you understand how it…

Old St Catherine

How old is the church of St Catherine? Very old is my guess. In a town full of old things, its age stands out. Old enough to have the fine detail of its relief carvings weathered to rounded edges and their definition blurred. Angels and saints, soldiers and devils, Mary and child all returning to…

Belgians in Brussels

There is a roughness to the population which is quite striking. It almost verges on the skinhead look. Unkempt and dark. Not that there is any sense of threat. It is just the dress of the youth. Dark and oppressive. Aggressive even. But it seems this is the Soho of Brussels so I should not…