Hadrian’s Wall

We walked from Brocotia to Limestone Corner. It was the rarest day for the North East, warm, bright and even the breeze was not bracing! This was my first time walking any part of Hadrian's Wall. Looking north towards Scotland, the Cheviots about forty miles away, rose gently in the background. The land rose and…

Winter Blues: I begin to discern the profile of my death

  Oliver Sacks has just revealed that he has terminal cancer. This sad news from the voice of humane medicine put me in mind of Marguerite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian, an account of the last days of a great man, looking back and forwards, in a letter to Marcus Aurelius.     The letter opens…

Café society

  At Caffé Nero, on Thursday mornings, there's a chance to see a slice of the world sit in varying poses, attired in the daytime frocks of winter. Today, two young men with their computers and headphones, a single woman dressed in black sipping her coffee, and a middle aged man reading Girl With a Dragon…