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My Quiet London Love Affair

“Shall we walk home through the city?” Beverley and I had been out for lunch on a sunny Sunday in London’s Southbank, treating ourselves to burgers and beers beside a window that curious tourists kept peering into. After wiping up the last of the ketchup with our remaining sweet potato fries we headed outside to […]

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Thoughts From the Window Seat

It’s finally springtime in London. Joggers and dog walkers are multiplying; people walk down the pavement with sunglasses and smiling faces. This morning I am sitting at a desk in the new house I recently moved to, with the green spines of my flatmate’s aloe vera plant snaking towards my laptop screen. I am writing – more […]

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A Whirlwind 24 Hours with Ten Italians in Medieval Tuscany

“The coffee is different in Campania…” Marianna winces slightly as she sips her espresso. I’m sitting around a cluster of narrow wooden tables with a group of Italians, all who hail from different regions of Italy – and all of whom seem very concentrated on the coffee cups in front of them. They’ve spent the […]

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A Burst of Birds in the British Countryside

“Ooh, look! A partridge!” “… A pheasant, you mean?” Gill looked at me quizzically from the driver’s seat. On the grassy kerb beside my window, the long-tail-feathered bird twitched his bright red head once, twice, and hopped ungainly into the bushes to disappear from view. “You really are a city girl, aren’t you!” She said, […]

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The Day I Walked to the End of the World

Arriving in Santiago didn’t feel the way I expected. The Spaniards I had been walking with for the last seven days had tears in their eyes as we walked through the city’s winding streets and emerged in the central plaza. The famous cathedral towered above us, its facade draped in netting and scaffolds. My friends began […]

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From Syria to Calais: Nine Years of Changing Perspectives

In the summer of 2007 I travelled to Syria. Our group were on a trip around the Middle East when we crossed over the Jordanian border to arrive in the ancient walled city of Damascus. A collection of women from England, Australia, Canada and the US, we walked past palm trees and half ruined architecture above multi-coloured parasols. My […]

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Clearing My Head in the Winds of Whitstable

“Are there any good pubs in Whitstable?” The train conductor mutters something indecipherable as he hands a ticket back to the man asking questions. I’ve spent the last half hour trying my best to ignore the loud conversation of this questioner and his girlfriend from the safety of my seat a few rows back, but […]

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The Refugee Crisis: Why Come to the Calais Camps?

I was nervous. Standing awkwardly on a patch of sloping mud below a grassy sand dune, I stared down at my hefty walking boots half covered by waterproof trousers. Opposite me stood dozens of men in a quiet line, many of their faces turned to me with vague interest. I had no idea what I […]

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The Refugee Crisis: Volunteering in the Calais Warehouse

The Refugee Crisis: Volunteering in the Calais Warehouse

There is French dirt from the Calais camps coating my clothes. Dust from the warehouse blurring the lenses of my glasses. The cracks in my hands are sore and dried out, and each finger has too many smudges of permanent marker to count. In seven days, I’ve become obsessed with packing cardboard boxes full of donated […]

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Kindness and Community on the Camino

Kindness and Community on the Camino

They say the Camino brings out the best in people. I didn’t believe them at first, but it’s true. Becoming a pilgrim means talking to, befriending and helping out others just for the sake of it. Walking the Camino turns individual people from strangers into a community – and a special one, at that. Where else would you […]

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