posted on 5th January 2015
When I started this virtual journey I set out from the mulberry bush which grows here at HMP Wakefield and immediately headed for the Chantry Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin which stands half way across the medieval bridge over the River Calder. There are just four of these chapels left in Britain and, after eight months and 360 miles of running, riding and rowing, I have reached the second such bridge chapel.
It’s true, I am now in Rotherham, just 20 miles from my starting point, and I could have taken a much faster and more direct route, but my tour of Yorkshire has been a full one. I’ve seen sites of local legend, places that inspired works of great art and literature, and even locations of spectacular natural beauty. And now, as I cross the bridge and pass the chapel here in Rotherham, the Yorkshire leg of my journey all but comes to an end.
I will take Rotherham as a place to rest up for the next month or so, but when I restart my journey I will be heading south, out of Yorkshire, and into Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire, for the second leg. From there on…Who knows?!
Please stay with my virtual travels, and please also remember that I am open to suggestions for places I should visit. Especially if they relate either to crime and punishment or to the arts and literature. Your support and donations over these past months are greatly appreciated and I look forward to resuming my travels soon.
Travels of a Virtual Nomad
Posted on 1st April 2014
Being in prison since I was a kid, there are a lot of places that I’ve always wanted to see but, because of my situation, I’ve never had a chance to visit. What’s worse, the longer I spend in jail, the less I feel like I have a real ‘home’ somewhere out there. It’s got to the point where I feel like I’ve virtually become a nomad with nowhere to call my own. The arts helped me overcome all that. They gave me a creative outlet where I could explore countless places of infinite possibilities. But a change in Ministry of Justice policy has brought prison arts under threat.
Charities such as The Koestler Trust aim to encourage prisoners to continue in their pursuit of the arts. However, funding is scarce and resources even scarcer. For that reason, I’ve decided to try to raise some money for them and set out on a sponsored journey around the country, and perhaps even the world.
I’ll be following a route around some of the places that I wish I could visit. But I won’t have any end date or finish line, so I could potentially keep going forever. The thing is, I’m still in prison. So my journey will be a virtual one. I’ll be running, riding and rowing my route on the treadmill, exercise bike, and rowing machine in the prison gym. And I’ll be keeping a diary of my virtual travels too, publishing it here, with photos of my virtual stopping places and updates on my progress.
Anyone who wants to sponsor me can do so via Just Giving. All proceeds go direct to The Koestler Trust for them to use in their work with the arts in prison.
And you can help in other ways too. I’m always interested in finding out about new and interesting places, so it you know of anywhere that you think I should include on my virtual route around the world, please let me know. You can email me or write by snail mail to the address on the right. All suggestions are gratefully accepted, not to mention donations!
So why not follow my journey? Why not join me in the travels of a virtual nomad?