The Return of Catraz April 8th 2021

The Bristol rapper, who was a regular on Bristol’s live music scene in the 2000s, returns after retiring over 10 years ago. When I call Catraz on a Tuesday morning, he’s just finished doing his early shift as a Sainsbury’s delivery driver. ‘Sorry if I seem a bit out of it – I woke up…

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Initiative to combat Covid vaccine hesitancy launched within Bristol’s Somali community March 4th 2021

An initiative to address fears about the new Covid vaccine has been launched to try to encourage members of Bristol’s Somali community to get vaccinated. Workers at the Bristol Somali Resource Centre (BSRC) started the information campaign in January to persuade members within the community who might be unsure about coming forward for the vaccine.…

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Walking around The Lizard in our Covid Summer is a refreshing homegrown adventure November 17th 2020

I wake up just after 5 and already it is getting light, the sky a purplish blue overhead. I am in my sleeping bag looking at the base of an ancient dry stone wall only 2 feet away from me as I come to and remember my strange sleeping arrangements for the previous night. As…

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Headteacher warns how government guidance on self-isolating will disrupt school life in September. August 10th 2020.

The head teacher of one of Somerset’s biggest Secondary schools has warned about how difficult it will be to cope with the prospect of one or two pupils becoming infected with Covid-19 according to the present guidance from Public Health England (PHE). Mark Woodlock, Headteacher at The Blue School in Wells, is contingency planning for…

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With most of us now confined to our homes, gardens and ‘near world’ it’s time to make the most of walking from home. April 17th 2020.

For most of my adult life I haven’t thought twice about jumping in the car from my cottage in Somerset and driving to the coast for a walk along one of the many beautiful beaches or stretches of coastline that we’re blessed with in this country. What I recently took for granted is now impossible…

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Walking the South West Coast Path in Cornwall in February can be a reviving break. March 26th 2020.

5 minutes after starting my walk, I was heading into a strong Westerly wind while raindrops made a ‘tock-tocking’ sound on the hood of my waterproof. I had only just started my exploration of this section of the South West Coast Path (SWCP) in Cornwall and I was already feeling the conditions. Walking the SWCP…

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‘Underland’ – Robert Macfarlane Book Review. March 23rd 2020.

This book starts enticingly with the line ‘The way into the underland is through the riven trunk of an old ash tree’. And so begins a journey underground through various epochs both past and future. It is in the author’s words ‘A deep time journey.’ Having started writing about Mountains (‘Mountains of the Mind’) Robert…

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For teenagers living in difficult circumstances, going to school can be a huge challenge. February 20th 2020.

For teenagers living in difficult circumstances, going to school can be a huge challenge. Over the last year I have home tutored a 15 year old boy in Bristol. Initially, my tuition agency was contacted by his school because the school wanted a tutor to help a boy who they said was falling behind in…

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Travel Article on Sibiu, Romania. April 7th 2019

My first morning in Sibiu I flung my door to the courtyard open to see a pigeon drinking grey water from an oil drum. Ah, Romania. My ‘traditional Transylvanian’ boudoir was just that: a creaky dark wood bed, covered with a single duvet and a colourful handmade rug. Other rugs hung on the wall, one…

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