Places of Inspiration Part 6: The Saxon Mill, a Writer’s Delight by the Mill-Race on the River Avon Near Warwick

In each one of my places of inspiration I have found spirit of place : in India, at Ayers Rock/Uluru in Australia, in London, in the White Garden at Sissinghurst in Kent, and in Sydney Opera House.  But today, I return to a place very close to home – it’s the Saxon Mill on the River Avon, justContinue reading “Places of Inspiration Part 6: The Saxon Mill, a Writer’s Delight by the Mill-Race on the River Avon Near Warwick”

Places of Inspiration Part 4: The White Garden at Sissinghurst and the Flambuoyant Spirit of Vita Sackville-West

 Near Sevenoaks in Kent we find the house formerly owned and occupied by writer Vita Sackville West and her husband Harold Nicolson. Now handed over to the safekeeping and care of the National Trust (something Vita once swore she would never do!) this house and its much beloved White Garden is a place which has inspired many.Continue reading “Places of Inspiration Part 4: The White Garden at Sissinghurst and the Flambuoyant Spirit of Vita Sackville-West”

Places of Inspiration Part 3: Ayers Rock/Uluru, Evidence of Spirit Ancestors

Here is an image of a famous landmark: How do you think of Ayers Rock (aboriginal name Uluru)? Do you think of it as that rock in the middle of Australia, which presents a climbing challenge to all tourists? Or do you think of it as a place sacred to the aborigines, a jewel at theContinue reading “Places of Inspiration Part 3: Ayers Rock/Uluru, Evidence of Spirit Ancestors”

Places of Inspiration Part 2: The Heavenly City: A View of London

What is your view of the city? Is it a place you work in, and suffer all the stress of commuting? Or perhaps it’s a place you live in? In my novel Zoe emails her sister with these words: Hi, you in crowded, stressed old London from me in the peaceful, perfect Cotswolds… But thoseContinue reading “Places of Inspiration Part 2: The Heavenly City: A View of London”

Places of Inspiration Part 1: Exotic Marigolds, Mystical Mountains and Memories of India

I recently watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and found it a movie full of insight, humour and hope.  I vividly recalled my own arrival at Delhi Airport several years ago for a visit to Northern India, and the noise, the brilliant jewel-like saris, the garlands of marigolds placed around our necks. The images flooded in on me:  colour, chaos, beggingContinue reading “Places of Inspiration Part 1: Exotic Marigolds, Mystical Mountains and Memories of India”

The Psyche of a Cat and Emily Bronte’s School Essay

Cats both domestic and wild have been worshipped, adored, feared, coveted, persecuted, psychoanalysed, parodied,  wondered over, painted, written about, sculpted, photographed… and there is no sign of this fascination ever abating. Some of us find cats enchanting; others greatly prefer dogs. Personally, I love both; but admit that I’ve probably spent longer pondering the psyche of aContinue reading “The Psyche of a Cat and Emily Bronte’s School Essay”

The Archetypal Appeal of the Vista

These are two images of the Syon Vista – one of the three great vistas in Kew Gardens which together form a triangle between Pagoda, Palm House and riverside viewpoint. And as I stood there a few days ago, I was reminded of why we love a long, straight vista. The vista, or avenue, draws the spectatorContinue reading “The Archetypal Appeal of the Vista”

Our Picture of Heaven – Static and Changeless, or Wild and Dynamic?

What is your idea of heaven? If asked to draw an image of it, what would you come up with?  I’ve found that people may often be unwilling to either say exactly what they think heaven is like, or to create their own image of it. And then they seem held back by ideas ofContinue reading “Our Picture of Heaven – Static and Changeless, or Wild and Dynamic?”

Good Friday, The Magic of Believing, and Success and Failure

Once I tried to live by the magic of believing, in which positive thoughts always attract good circumstances into our lives – until I realised success and failure in this world cannot be understood in such a simplistic way. How straightforward life would be if that was so. The truth is none of us knowContinue reading “Good Friday, The Magic of Believing, and Success and Failure”

The Wailing Wall, Sacred Space and Topol

A recent 24/7 prayer weekend at church created a “sacred space” in a room, where people could come and reflect, and paint and write and draw, and meditate in a tent or tie a leaf to a tree or write their angst on a paper chain then break the chain and tear it to pieces andContinue reading “The Wailing Wall, Sacred Space and Topol”