My places writing is somewhat accidental. Important places tend to come up when I think i’m writing about something else. For example, Fredville is the partly accidental place that holds the oak Majesty. In my piece about suicide, the place that helps is a humble municpal common and an old reservoir. Walking in a park proves to be the the right choice for melancholy. Fear of being lost in suburban woods is a springboard to ecstacy. What starts as rational critique becomes lyrical enchantment on the island of Sark.

I’ve written about the spirit of place in the piece about suicide below, but it is worth reminding ourselves that such spirits are very powerful. The genius loci can imbue a place long after it has been ‘developed’ or otherwise ruined by human agency. Sometimes these spirits seem to wait until they can reclaim the land. As to what such spirits are… it is difficult to say without inviting ridicule. Sometimes a place becomes holy, perhaps because of location, more often through some lost historical meaning. But once a place has that aura, it is difficult to dislodge.

I hope you find this places writing interesting and maybe even useful. I have also written many pieces about psychology, politics, nature and music. There’s poetry too. They all speak of places in one way or another.

Meeting Majesty – an encounter with the Fredville Oak

Meeting ‘Majesty’ – a remarkable and ancient Kentish oak tree. A humbling testament to both resolute living and the support of others.

Suicide and survival – a personal reflection

How to avoid being literal about suicide: an imaginative guide to the confrontation with death. How to honour death without giving in to it.

In the woods – fear, love and the erotic

Becoming lost in unfamiliar woods gives me insight in how to connect with the instinctual self and manage fear, panic and anxiety,

Walking the walk – honouring melancholy

How to honour melancholy. A reflective walk through Battersea Park. This is a moment, an expression, not a recipe, and not a manic defence against sadness.

Sark and the Barclays – a psychological perspective

A psychological view of Sark politics and the actions of the Barclay brothers ends with a lyrical and ecstatic walk around Sark.