Dictionary of the Numinous

    Isn’t it incredible how sometimes beautiful-sounding words happen to mean something even more wondrous? Think of ‘sublunary’, ‘sublime’ and ‘crepuscular’. The one that’s caught my attention most recently is the word ‘numinous’. But when I looked it up, for utmost clarity, on the Oxford dictionary, I found something disappointingly antagonising. The definition, according…

Destinations Made Sacred By Literature

    “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Ernest Hemingway, The Moveable Feast             “India, the new myth–a collective fiction in which anything was possible, a fable rivalled…

The Best of Travel Fiction

    Before getting into the literature first a little justification I feel necessary. Few of us can explain, in any profound manner, why it is that the travel bug bit them. To be fair, it’s not something that needs explaining – it’s a happy accident and no one grumbles much about it. But I…

Are Writers Hardcore?

“A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.” Ernest Hemingway knew a thing or two about the life of a hawk. His life is renowned for being a…

Why I Write About Happiness Not Terrorism

    “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” Ernest Hemingway   As artists and reflective human beings we have to find our place in the world. For some its easy. If you’re Nadine Gordimer you will naturally write about apartheid South Africa. If you’re Khaled Hosseini Afghanistan will make you. If…

Paris est une fête

  In early 19th century Greece and Athens were occupied by the thankfully-extinct Ottoman Empire. In March 1821 the Greeks revolted against their Turkish oppressors and Athens fell into their hands without a fight. The entire Turkish garrison of the city retreated up the Acropolis hill and barricaded themselves within the most important temple of Western…

Valencia Streetscapes

Walking, strolling, exploring the urban Barrios of Valencia one discovers a homely city ready to claim anyone’s inspiration. It was said of Buenos Aires that there are fairies dwelling in the streets called Duende that cast a spell on you and ensure you always return. Valencia has its own Duende fairies and they hover and…