Palestinian men queuing behind bars at Bethlehem checkpoint

Biblical imagery and Palestinian reality in Bethlehem

Posted Posted in People & Politics, Place & Travel, Religion & Spirituality

Every year, at some point during Advent, I remember. Having re-established itself in my mind, the thought recurs throughout the Christmas season before fading away as the festivities come to an end. The thought goes something along these lines: ‘It was not like this.’ Or: ‘That’s not right. The reality is different.’ What I’m experiencing is […]

Compostela for the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage

Certifiable? Another pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago gets her compostela

Posted Posted in Place & Travel, Religion & Spirituality

I’ve finally fulfilled a long-held desire to be a pilgrim and got my compostela (official certificate) for having completed a section of the Spanish pilgrimage route the Camino de Santiago. I’ve long wanted to do the Camino, a contemporary form of pilgrimage which is undergoing a resurgence, attracting 21st-century pilgrims of all faiths and none. […]

Libraries and the sense of place

Posted Posted in People & Politics, Place & Travel

With National Libraries Day and the Speak Up For Libraries parliamentary lobbying day upon us again, I’ve been thinking about a little-recognised aspect of public libraries and what they do for us, in housing resources that contribute to our sense of place. Google ‘library’ and ‘local studies’ or ‘local history’, and you’re likely to find […]