Category Archives: music

151. Our secret space – Epsom and Ashtead Common

When the worrying starts to hurt
And the world feels like graves of dirt
Just close your eyes until
You can imagine this place – yeah
Our secret space, at will
Snow Patrol – May 2006

New job. New town. New colleagues. New commute.

Less time to write. More time to worry.

It’s a sunny week in early June, when Epsom hosts the Derby. The biggest event in the flat-racing calendar. The original article, the horse race founded by Lord Derby, after which so many imitations are named, all around the globe.

A few weeks have passed, and it may be summer at last, but here in Epsom a new and unfamiliar mould is pressing all around me. The sun is high outside, and today I need to escape the stuffy office, the grim shopping mall and the choking traffic, and to remind myself of who I am. Just for an hour, I need to run.

On this day, of all days, I turn my back on the ladies in posh hats and the dusty punters with their champagne-soaked shoes and shredded betting tickets. I head out of Epsom the other way.

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147. Eurydice – from this blackened earth

eurydice-by-steve-w-flickrcomSometimes the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.

Walking from Waterloo Station to the City of London, you can read this entire poem along the underpass.

Eurydice, by Sue Hubbard

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139. Snow patrol – Holmenkollen, Oslo

oslo-winter-morning-2.jpgShut your eyes and think of somewhere
Somewhere cold and caked in snow

Snow Patrol – May 2006

All of winter, and all in one day.

It’s mid-morning on a snowy Thursday, but as troublesome journeys to work might go, I really can’t complain.

Guildford’s white and black night is far behind me, and just a few hours later the snow is screaming past the train as we speed towards Oslo at 200 km/h. No Norwegian dogsled ever made such progress.

oslo-theatre-2.jpgArriving early at my meeting, I’ve a moment to survey the scene.

From the office window, the muffled view stretches out silently into the distance, Oslo peering shyly back at me through the white mist of intermittent wintry showers.

The view down to the railway tracks offers a camera angle perfect for any latterday remake of Anna Karenina, the architecture of this place even more impressive for the white curtain draping all around it.
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137. Otro día más sin verte: a return to Spain

2007_01_almeria-011.jpgIs it possible to fall in love with a whole country, with her people and landscapes and lifestyle, and to do that again every single time you visit?

Yes, it is. Si.

I know that an account of a mere running race can’t possibly begin to explain it. Or even pictures of a city, her mountains, a desert and sky.

But that’s what I’m going to try to do. And I know it’ll take me a while.

So for now, until I’m complete, here it all is, in music. Hasta que puedo volver.

Play: Otro día más sin verte — Jon Secada

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133. Tomorrow – Avril Lavigne and global warming

2006 is over, and it’s more than high time that I penned an update to my articles from 2004 and 2005 on global warming and the energy crisis.

Science content is a key component of this site, and I may yet return to write that article, but in truth I’ve been struggling with it all week.

As I ran today, my iPod was set on shuffle, taking me to places that I rarely go. And finally it struck me that instead of writing, I should just leave you with this simple message, delivered directly and emotionally by one young singer-songwriter.

It sounds like a conversation on the environment, from my daughter’s generation to mine.

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128. October is a summer month

And the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear
What do I care ?

Words and music by U2, October 1981.


A lot can change in just twentyfive years. And this year, the trees aren’t bare, or even brown.

This October is different, because all the trees are green.

independent_31oct2006.jpgWho knows what the world will be like in another twentyfive years ?

But we know that answer already: October will be just another summer month.

As it already is in England, right now. Today.

emissions.jpg temperature.jpg sea-level.jpg

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