Author Archives: East of Elveden

About East of Elveden

Hidden places, secret histories and unsung geography from the east of England and beyond

Beneath a Concrete Sky – to Gravelly Hill Interchange by canal

Where’s Birmingham river? Sunk. Which river was it? Two. More or Less.  Birmingham River Roy Fisher The idea was to follow the Birmingham canal system north to Spaghetti Junction. I had already traversed the city by means of the Grand … Continue reading

Posted in Cities, Human Geography, Midlands, Walking, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Shores of Loch Bee

An island. A loch. An island — South Uist — that forms a link in an archipelago that lies off a much larger island, which in turn lies to the northwest of the world’s largest continental landmass. If the world … Continue reading

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The Tyranny of the Horizon by Laurence Mitchell

Originally posted on BURNING HOUSE PRESS:
“A frontier region… the resort of brigands and bandits” – Sir Clifford Darby, from The Medieval Fenland Two summers ago I walked coast to coast across England and Wales, from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk…

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Landfall – absence and dislocation on the Forth shore

It began with a dislocation. A couple of weeks’ residence north of the border in the house of friends who had chosen to trade the Scottish late winter for the Antipodean summer. It was an opportunity for some writing time … Continue reading

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Kyrgyzstan railway wagons

Kyrgyzstan does not have much of a railway system. A branch line from Moscow extends down from Kazakhstan to Bishkek, the Kyrgyzstan capital; another offers an excruciatingly slow service to Balykchy on Lake Issyk-Kul. Another line extends from Jalal-Abad in … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Human Geography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Shirley Collins and the fall of Eden

In 1969 an album was released entitled Anthems in Eden. Its creators were sisters Shirley and Dolly Collins, folk musicians who hailed from Sussex in southern England. Released on the newly created Harvest label, and much lauded by the likes … Continue reading

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The Bridge to Nowhere and the Bays Road

Just three main roads radiate out of Stornoway, the capital of the Isle of Lewis. One heads across mountains towards Tarbet and Harris to the south; another goes east past the island’s airport and along the Eye Peninsula to come … Continue reading

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Callanish

“a place appointed for worship in the time of heathenism” Martin Martin A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland circa 1695 Someone once said that the wonder evoked by historical sites is inversely proportional to the number of eyes … Continue reading

Posted in History, Islands, Scotland, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Shape on the Map — South Lochs, Isle of Lewis

Eleven miles east of the main road, six from the nearest shop (closed on the Sabbath), two miles from the open sea as the raven flies. Glen Gravir – a slender thread of houses stretching up a glen, just four … Continue reading

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Under the Greenwood Tree – Forest Bathing in the Deep, Deep Woods of Coed Felinrhyd

The Japanese have an expression – shirin-yoku (‘forest bathing’) — which refers to time spent in a wood or forest for purposes of health and relaxation. Scientific field studies have demonstrated that spending even a short time among trees promotes … Continue reading

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