Harrison Birtwistle – Harrison’s Clocks

There was a fashion for John Harrison around the turn of the century, following the riveting book by Dava Sobel which dominated the best-seller lists and resulted in the magisterial Michael Gambon on top form in the BBC drama.  Co-incidentally or not, John Harrison’s clocks was also the inspiration for Harrison Birtwistle’s exacting piano pieces, … More Harrison Birtwistle – Harrison’s Clocks

Castle Howe, Kendal

Castle Howe is on the opposite side of the river from Kendal Castle.  A constrained site, it is now hemmed in by twentieth century development, a quiet and unassuming cranny, almost forgotten, neglected by the tourist trail.  When I first visit, it’s just me and a trio of teenagers with their BMXs and cans of … More Castle Howe, Kendal

London Stone

Following the Trojan War the participants were scattered across the known world.  Aeneas ended up in Italy and started a family.  He was told during the pregnancy of his second son that the child would outshine him in glory.  So the soothsayer was killed, the mother would die in childbirth and the baby was banished.  … More London Stone

The Huskisson Memorial, St James’ Gardens, Liverpool

My first ever visit to the Huskisson Memorial was in 2008.  I can establish this because my first port of call was to the tourist office to ask here the memorial and Gladstone’s birthplace where and no one had any idea.  No one seemed to know who either of them were.  But they could tell … More The Huskisson Memorial, St James’ Gardens, Liverpool


Finding my way to Longplayer through a warren of flyovers and wetlands is not the most romantic of London strolls.  Arriving, it doesn’t feel as remote as I was thought it was going to be.  It’s up opposite the Millennium Dome, looking out over the cable car and next to an American 50s diner.  Nevertheless, … More Longplayer