To my psycho-geographical investigation into places small: ditches, hedge-rows, bus-stops, waiting rooms, offices; and places large: cities, mountains, oceans. This is a personal collection of stories and reflections centred around place. Less travel blog – more memory archive. Each article is accompanied by a map and a visit time. Click on ‘where’ to browse by country.

Painting Berlin

Berlin is a geometric concrete powerhouse, of triangles and squares. Stickers adorn every Soviet surface advertising grunge bands, art shows, quasi-philosophical and geopolitical ideas. I feel like I should be wearing some sort of double denim, listening to Bowie on a walkman, and stomping amongst the hypodermic needles and trash strewn streets in Doc Martins. But these are all things which the East Germans wouldn’t have had in the 1980s unless they bought them ‘under-the-counter’. I thought Berlin would feel rich and prosperous, but it didn’t. Yet, they’re obviously aware of just how ugly their city is, as you cannot take a picture without a crane in shot. Slowly, it seems, they are demolishing the agonies of the past and rebuilding in humble glory.

Underneath the Pljesivica Mountains

Deep beneath the hills of Plješivica, the Yugoslavian military dug like Tolkien’s dwarfs. They hollowed out the great mountain, creating mess-halls and assembly stations, aeroplane hangars and radar rooms, creating safety where none felt attainable. Željava airbase – codename ‘Objekat 505’, stretches over 3.5 kilometres underground, and it is into this dark place that I ventured.

We passed under the cliff which stood flat above us like some enormous forehead. Observed, the deep cracks that ran along its surface like the wrinkles on a perturbed mind. I wondered whether they’d crack and collapse onto our very heads as we passed beneath their scorn.

Slug Cheese & Peeled Almonds

The Dales were, for the first hour, swathes of green velvet, scrubby moorland peaks and granite mountain tops. It wasn’t quite the blistering wilds made famous by the Bronte sisters. Instead, it was tempered by a kind of human tenderness which transmuted the land from desolate to verdant. Before our eyes flashed farmsteads, drystone walls and chocolate box cottages; all lying in wait for the artist’s brush.