Rear view of woman shopping at a fruit and veg stall in a French market

Post-pandemic pleasure: the French recover the art of living

Posted Posted in People & Politics, Place & Travel

“We are going to get back to our ‘art de vivre’ and recover our taste for liberty,” President Macron told France on June 14. A month later, I took the train-under-the-water from London and found that, indeed, the Parisians are resuming their usual pleasures. Masks are worn widely on public transport and in shops, but a sense of […]

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. […]