British-based writer with a passion for sport and travel, music and photography. Proud dad, exploring the world anew through the eyes of a forthright toddler.
In the shadow of Stalin
A Soviet fighter jet launches itself from the stand over the away team’s bench. Players warm up amid heavy artillery. Tanks patrol the car park and, legend has it, there’s a top secret metro line to the Kremlin down below. Amid the rusting military hardware there’s an eerie hum from a PA system long out of use. Welcome to Moscow’s forgotten stadium.
Hebburn Town's transformation
When Hebburn Town run out at Wembley on Monday in the FA Vase Final, it will be the latest memorable moment in a remarkable sporting turnaround. Less than five years ago, the Tyneside club was on the brink of collapse and the future seemed bleak.
Christmas with a conscience
The High Street is dead, right? A combination of COVID, online shopping and out-of-town retail parks has killed our town centres. It’s time to move on without waxing nostalgic over the days when granny did her shopping in a collection of local, specialist stores where she knew every shopkeeper by name.
Walking away, walking back again
It starts with me walking away from my family for a few hours. It finishes with us walking together on a journey that – hopefully – lasts much longer.
Falling from the heights
It used to be the highest football field in England. That’s the claim. The remote County Durham village of Wearhead, up in the North Pennines, was home to Wearhead United. For more than a century the team, resplendent in Red-and-White, competed on its memorably uneven pitch. The players rarely hit any great heights; this isn’t a tale of stirring cup runs and improbable title triumphs. But, at 1,017 feet above sea level, the team was proud of its geographical claim to fame.
How to make a future from the past
Looking through a fragmented window frame at a glorious view of the Browney Valley, it’s easy to see why Beaurepaire was built. Once this was a monastic manor house, a retreat for the monks at Durham Cathedral. Set in a vast hunting estate, it was a medieval resort: back to nature, a place to set aside the manuscripts and relax the discipline of the great monastery on the hill. On occasion, it was a place to entertain kings; at other times the idyll was shattered by conflict.
Ice hockey action returns to Britain this weekend after being frozen out for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with England back in lockdown and fans forbidden, the first steps are cautious as clubs look to find out whether playing behind closed doors is feasible.
Parties to save the planet
Children’s birthdays might not be the first place to start saving the world – but for Planet Friendly Parties, there’s no reason why sustainability can’t still be fun.