Believing in Holidays: A Conversation with Elizabeth Slade


Published on Dark Mountain’s Online Edition to accompany the release of SANCTUM, a special issue on ‘the sacred’. Extract from ‘The God-Shaped Hole’ by Elizabeth Slade We sit on cushions in a circle, about 25 of us surrounding one lit candle. Each of us is invited to place a personal object in the middle. Some put jewellery, a hat, a piece of quartz. I stay still, very conscious...

Three Seasons With CEMUS


Published in The CEMUS Diaries, a series to mark the 25th anniversary of the Centre for Environment & Development Studies at Uppsala University. It’s early spring. I’m taking a language course for immigrants with a higher education. Eight years is the average time it takes before an immigrant to Sweden gets to work in a job that matches their professional qualifications: this course was...

Pockets: A Story for Alan Garner


There was a jigsaw we had when I was five, a map of Britain with illustrations of the places that matter. Two of these lodged in my imagination: the limestone wonder of the Cheddar Gorge, and the great dish of the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank. 'We know the people who live next to Jodrell Bank,' my mum told me, and this seemed a magical proposition. It was.

The Limits to Measurement: A Conversation With Christopher Brewster


These days, people talk a lot about ‘the art of hosting’, but that is only one half of the dance of hospitality: there is an art of guesting, too. I can say this with conviction, because I have been a lousy guest, in my time, and lately I’ve had the luck to live with someone who teaches me to notice the things that make a person easy to have around: the moments at which an artful guest steps...