Sidmouth, Devon, England
Happiness … a folk festival set in a patchwork bowl beside the sea.
Early August means FolkWeek when Sidmouth, in Devon, ties bells below her knees, plumps her seafront with craft stalls, and flies a few tunes up her hillsides.
The docks in Liverpool, England
My first real visit to Liverpool was on foot this summer. I didn’t walk all the way but I did do five miles through the outskirts to the cathedral as part of a fundraising walk on a hot, sunny Sunday.
It was only afterwards that I learned about the tension – that the city’s world heritage status was on the gangplank, and that Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was about to decide whether or not to give Liverpool the final shove.
Tom Benyon OBE, founder of the charity ZANE, outside the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool
It’s the final day of the 2017 ZANE fundraising walk. Already Tom and Jane Benyon have walked well over a hundred miles in just twelve days.
We find the couple in a pub – not slumped, but slightly crumpled… nine-miles-on-hot-pavement crumpled.
We are fresh from the car and springy. This does not last long.
Trafalgar Square, London
A week ago the United Kingdom was full of hope and politics. Now, after the general election result, the politics goes on but there’s one big question: how do we get out of this?
We knew there would be a muddle, but I don’t think we ever imagined it would be quite so complicated.
The United Kingdom is on its way … but where to? The future looks complicated, and the present is far more serious than we would like it to be.
‘The Sultan’s Elephant’ by Royal de Luxe, produced in London in 2006 by Artichoke. Photo copyright Sophie Laslett.
It all began on one of those long weekends when no-one was looking. To start with it was just an ordinary, empty day – too busy to see.
Then, suddenly, people started to hear things, they started to wonder … because … wasn’t that … did they really hear an elephant in London?