PebblesGreat sites, recommended authors, passionate people and interesting bits of flotsam and jetsam.

I’ve also included links from my books to help readers to follow up any specific areas of interest.

Think of it as beach-combing…

Sites Nick likes
Ex-monk Andy Puddicombe gives a great intro to mindfulness meditation
the marvellous Michael Leunig, cartoonist, poet and prophet
Glasgow artists test the six degrees of separation
Puppeteer Richard Medrington does poetry, theatre & Ivan the Slug
Stunning images from one of Scotland’s finest arts photographers
Fabulous Scots she-poet with a thing about flip-flops
Small-is-beautiful purveyor of fine tunes and prodigies
Kiwi novelist and playwright with a big heart
Where consumerism is warmly encouraged to eat itself

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Recommended reading fodder

Karen Armstrong – Ex-nun with crucial inter-faith understanding and brain the size of China. Start with The Spiral Staircase, her brilliant autobiography

Richard Holloway – The ex-bishop of Edinburgh and a champion of religionless ethics, his recent books include the excellent Leaving Alexandria and On Forgiveness

Michael Leunig – Ozzie cartoonist-poet who draws the very stuff of existence  Beautiful, funny, sad, life enhancing stuff. Try The Curly Pyjama Letters for some trademark strangeness.

Alastair McIntosh Soil and Soul, his genre-busting memoir-manifesto for a spiritual and sustainable society has won plaudits from Thom Yorke and George Monbiot.

Jonathan Raban – The king of travel writers, and a nautical type to boot. Try Old GloryCoasting or Passage to Juneau – or the recent Surveillance if you fancy a novel

Richard Rohr – Franciscan monk and social activist with a radical message of hope. An antidote to the US fundamentalist agenda. Falling Upward is a good place to start

And a few more for good measure: Rory Maclean and Jenny Diski for travel; Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg and Annie Dillard for writing advice; John O’Donahue, Alan Bennett, Douglas Coupland, John Gray, Pico Iyer, Jon Ronson.

*  *  *  *

For the spiritually peckish, but open minded…

Greenbelt Festival – long-running summer arts festival in Cheltenham

Centre for Action and Contemplation – Albuquerque’s Zen-Catholic trailblazers

The Wittenburg Door – The World’s Pretty Much Only Religious Satire Magazine

Resurgence Magazine – eco-friendly brain-stirring articles on soil and soul

Ship of Fools – an affectionate ogle at Christianity’s nuttier fringes

Third Way Magazine – straddling the gap between church and society

Iona Community – wonderful people with big hearts who get on with it

Harbour of Ourselves – blog by the Basil Fawlty of a Guernsey retreat centre


Nautical contacts from Nick’s Voyages

The Scottish Voyage

Edinburgh Canal Society
where it all began

Linlithgow Union Canal Society
take a ride on the Union

The Falkirk Wheel
space-age machinery on the Scottish canals

Glasgow Humane Society
the oldest lifeboat organisation

The Galgael Trust
a force for transformation in Govan

RIB training and wildlife on the Clyde

Save the Puffer
VIC32 is having a boiler transplant
All you need to know about Corryvreckan

Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group
builders of Colmcille

The Iona Community
continuing the legacy of St Columba

Sea Kayak Scotland
West Coast adventures afloat

The Underwater Centre
Fort William’s world class diving centre

Caley Cruisers
hire a boat on the Great Glen

The Loch Ness Project
Everything you need to know about monsters

The Findhorn Foundation
Open your mind in Moray

Northern Lighthouse Board
Info on Pharos and lighthouses

Fair Isle Bird Observatory
Rare species and budget accommodation

Roving Eye Enterprises
examine Scapa Flow wrecks by robot

Hall of Clestrain
campaign for boat museum in home of Dr John Rae

The Reaper
at Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther

Alastair McIntosh
Activist and academic

The Viracocha Voyage

The Kon-Tiki Museum
A wealth of information on the late Thor Heyerdahl

Easter Island Page
A compendium of useful sites on Rapa Nui and its culture
Nope, not the musical. Find out about other islands in the South Pacific

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