Stanfords on the Move

Given my penchant for travel and my fascination with how it was in an earlier age, it should come as no surprise that my favourite London shop is Stanfords, the long-established travel bookshop.  Its current home is in Long Acre in Covent Garden but it is poised to journey just around the corner to Mercer... Continue Reading →

Reading Maps

Running alongside my love of reading are a passion for maps and a desire to travel – a real combination of my parents’ interests and all encouraged by them as I was growing up. For a long time my actual travel was very limited but my dreams and my interest never have been, with the... Continue Reading →

A New Chapter

Last week I discovered that my job had become a victim of budget savings.  In common with councils across the country, Moray finds itself in the position of having to save millions and so my job with its wonderful Libraries Service will end soon. I'm sad about this obviously.  It really is the best Libraries... Continue Reading →

A Life of Crime

I can’t remember why and I can’t remember when, but a couple of years or so ago I took it into my head to read the novels of Dorothy L Sayers. I’ve always known that they exist and I was vaguely aware that they were about Lord Peter Wimsey and (as I thought) Harriet Vane. ... Continue Reading →

A Long Hot Summer

The last time Scotland sweltered for so long under a relentlessly sunny sky was a significant summer in my life.  I was eight and my little world changed dramatically.  For three years we had lived in Dumfries, the Queen of the South straddling the River Nith.  I have partial memories of living elsewhere but the... Continue Reading →

Read Me Eat Me

It's not just pictures of places that hold memories.  This is my fiftieth birthday cake.  I may have become rather over-excited about celebrating my half century, a state only intensified by a brief flirtation at death's door the previous year.  Whatever the reason, I was determined to embrace my age and share my birthday with... Continue Reading →

A Short Stay in Skagen

At the tip of Denmark, nestled between two seas, is the beautiful town of Skagen. Once home to artists, it exudes charm and history. On my summer visit the historic buildings drowsed in sunshine. Had the Krøyers appeared, strolling on the beach at Grenen, I should not have been surprised.

A Day in the Sun

The day didn’t so much start as continue. As Wednesday rolled into Thursday, I was gazing at sunlight reflected off sea. I knew I was tired and should go to bed but the passing scenery distracted me. The appropriately named MS Midnatsol was gliding inexorably on towards the northernmost point of continental Europe and I... Continue Reading →


Home, they say, is where the heart is. But what if your heart can’t decide? Places are very important to me and I have a tendency to become dramatically attached to them. There are many that have grabbed my heart but only three where I have left it. At forty I went on a journey... Continue Reading →

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