Tag Archives: Summer

The ultimate StairMaster.

From the comfortable flatness of London, Alpine trekking evokes images of paths meandering towards isolated peaks and a soft mattress of pine needles covering a path running through the woods. Not in the mountains surrounding my hometown, though. Boulders make … Continue reading

Posted in Italy, Piemonte | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

For once, a good news story.

All things considered, the neighbourhood has adapted pretty well to this lockdown malarkey. Each day follows the previous one in a well-rehearsed pattern: mornings bring the pastoral visit of buzzing bumblebees and the high-speed patrol of our resident parakeets. Afternoons, … Continue reading

Posted in London, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

From dusk till dawn. Life in the Pamirs.

In my teens and early twenties this place would’ve been hell. Life in a tiny village where farm animals outnumber men by a wide margin. Where the main past-time is to sit down and watch the clouds move around Pyk … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

A Huck Finn state of mind.

What does it feel like to be floating on the mighty Mississippi with no worries but where to moor for the night? How does it feel to be absolutely unconstrained by timescales, worries or need-to? In a nutshell, what does it … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Mountains, alleys and oppression. A taste of what’s to come.

It’s been my hardest trip. It’s the one I’ve been the sickest, the loneliest, the most confused and bewildered. But it’s also been a source of endless grins, of unexpected solutions to sudden problems, of sweeping views and of deep, … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A fire in Balvanera and other stories: a brief glimpse into Buenos Aires.

Something is burning on Avenida Rivadavia. White smoke is rising in thick plumes from a shop on the south side of the road, cutting the perspective like a curtain hanging from the trees. Flames fan out intermittently and passers-by scatter, … Continue reading

Posted in Americas, Argentina | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Elegy for gentrification. Yes, you read it right.

There are a few words as laden with meanings, almost entirely of negative connotation, as gentrification. Say it and your mind will conjure images of invading toffs, an irresistible volkswanderung of genteel professionals with no fear but for white carbs, descending … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Of the intrinsic beauty and harmonious forms of Tuscan hills.

I come from a region where the land is alternatively very flat – filled with rice paddies, corn fields and factories – or very mountainous. There’s really not much of an alternative; it’s either flat as a ruler or climbs … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Italy, Toscana | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments