Category Archives: Human Geography

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

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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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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

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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All along the supple river: following the Ystwyth to the sea

  ystwyth (Welsh) adjective:  supple, flexible, pliable The harbour at Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales holds the confluence of two rivers. One of these, the Rheidol, is probably best known for the narrow-gauge steam railway that plies its … Continue reading

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San rock art – Drakensberg, South Africa

One of the highlights of my recent trip to South Africa was to see some really well-preserved rock art. The cave paintings were made by the San people, the hunter-gatherers who inhabited the Drakensberg mountain region in KwaZulu-Natal province close … Continue reading

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Great Yarmouth: the View from the Monument

The strangest place in the wide world Charles Dickens I wrote a post about Great Yarmouth’s Time and Tide Museum some time ago. The museum continues to be one of the town’s cultural highlights but for inquisitive visitors, especially those with … Continue reading

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Birmingham Edgelands Part 2

Edgelands are not necessarily always on the urban edge. Not physically anyway – the important thing is they are perceived as different from the zones that lay beyond. Neither strictly urban nor rural but an overlooked amalgam of the two … Continue reading

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Birmingham Edgelands Part 1

Some cities draw you straight in from their edges by dint of gravity or beckoning pathways – officially designated walking routes or desire roads shaped by regular footfall. Not so Birmingham: here the momentum at the city’s outer limits is … Continue reading

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Arslanbob – In Walnut Tree Shade

It had been almost eight years since I was last in Arslanbob, a tantalisingly spread-out settlement in Kyrgyzstan’s Jalal-Abad province. As before, I had arrived at the start of Ramadan – the moon was new, the mosque was full; a holiday … Continue reading

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