Turning space into place: why we love exploring forbidden places.

A closed-door represents a wealth of temptation. It is a barrier between two separate spaces and can represent a change between any numbers of dualistic properties. For example, private and public space, exterior and interior, as well as the segregation of people for any number of socio-political reasons. But unlike a wall, a door is imbued with the potential for movement, and the process of opening it can eradicate the certainty between extremes. Doors create grey areas – moral uncertainties: they make some people very uncomfortable.

Marrakesh: The Mint Tea is Delicious

I was on the plane. My row didn’t have a window so I looked across the aisle and observed, through the nodding heads of a family of three, how clouds bubbled at the edge of the atmosphere – producing premonitions of sandy cities, citadels, square roofed buildings, terraces, spires and domes. This dream city slowly transmuted and sunk – grew and stretched out of the blueness that underlay it like a deep ocean lapping at its confines. It told stories beyond the scope of my life, until it too sank, like the gifted mirage it was, into oblivion, and the true coast of Africa, glittered on the horizon.

The Art of Being Lost

The idea of being lost is one that is difficult to define – it seems initially to be totally removed from ideas of mapping or physical geography and to be a purely animalistic experience; one akin to a state of confusion. It is perhaps an idea more about interaction with others than on individuality; an idea based on a local scale rather than about vast open spaces.

Sandringham: On Forests

His forest filled my imagination. Permeating all corners like a thick fog, filling in every crevice, creating borders and salients, building battlements and forts – keeping the riot of real life out of the lucid bounty of my imagination. The forest grew monstrous in my mind.

Cambridge: Yesterday & Today

Cambridge started like most British cities. Way back, when the Egyptians were busy building pyramids, we raised some lowly farmsteads in the swamps. The Romans appear afterwards and build some roads (handy) and then the Saxon and the Vikings did various medieval things, after which William the Conqueror assumed control. Then, the tumble of the next millennia created the anthropocene that we lament today. Curiously, the village of Cambridge, used to be called Granta-Bridge (or some middle English variant) it then changed to Cambridge at some point – and according to my dubious sources at Wikipedia – the river name was changed because the city had, not the other way around.