Great AukIslands and Lifelines traces a series of richly enjoyable ventures to some of the most dramatic and fascinating coastal locations in Britain and Ireland. It explores the special landscapes, communities and wildlife of Orkney, Shetland, the Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Northumberland, County Clare, Derry and Wexford.
Neolithic historyHistory features strongly – especially the emerging understanding of our Neolithic ancestors, the telling landscapes, the hardships visited upon Ireland and Scotland, and unsung heroism of crises and in wartime. The book also touches on more recent, contentious issues, including the new peace in Ireland and the challenges of climate change.
Accompanied on each of these journeys by important friends from across four decades, together they reflected on some common themes; their childhoods, schooling, and the unique good fortune of the post war generation - and how it has played its hand. Some compelling individual life stories emerge.
Politics in IrelandLike most journeys the book moves between light and shade, funny and deadly serious, mundane and inspirational. Much was pre-planned but the delights often came through chance encounters and happenings. A peaceful strand runs through it in the joys of observing wildlife and in browsing very slowly along isolated beaches. The elemental beauty of the islands, the awesome power of the weather, and wild jagged seascapes colour the whole story. Written to celebrate a series of happy, fulfilling journeys but it also offering food for thought, it is a call to relish our own home islands, to travel thoughtfully and simply, to search out some dreams and make them happen.