Somewhere and everywhere.


Annabelle and I have been incredibly lucky to be included in the travels of some hugely inspiring young people recently.  Some come via our children and others from political searching – using ‘political’ in the sense of questioning, discussing, sharing, lobbying…. rather than the limited Political Party sense.

Recently there has been a common thread in hearing the different approaches many have in seeking depth or breadth…. or moving along this spectrum.  In some cases this has meant aiming to have studied widely across a whole area of interest – in others to really engage deeply with one aspect.  Often  discussion has touched on the pros and cons of settling somewhere and having relatively few very important relationships – or having huge numbers of contacts everywhere (usually through social media) and often all over the world.

Personally, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have found ways to spend enough time in Frome to develop the somewhere, while retaining links and work in the wider world – though the latter half of this balance is fading as I have given it less attention and my past skills become less relevant.

My bedtime reading is Wendell Berry who returned to the land his great great grandparents first settled on, to revel in knowing that land in a deeply personal way, finding joy in simplicity.  His pleasure is light years away from the mountains of Christmas presents and their wrapping that are already shuffling towards the landfill and oceans.  A mass of stuff briefly touched and quickly forgotten.

My hope is that by developing and tending the relationships we have with these travellers on the Somewhere/Everywhere Spectrum, Annabelle and I can share and provide some solidity in what the Quakers call ‘turbulent times’ …. while we can also feed on the inspiration and new perspectives that their hunting and gathering in the wider world harvests.

About the author

Peter Macfadyen

Social activist, ex Mayor and Leader of Frome Town Council, author, public speaker, undertaker, grandfather.

One Comment

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  • Hi Peter

    Its good to hear your news from Frome which remains a sparkling gem in the political world. Since we worked on the Neighbourhood Plan Peter I have been working with South Hams District Council in Totnes on Community Housing. We were fortunate to get a £2m grant from Teresa May and set up around 12 new housing projects with local Parish and Town Councils. Would be good to share some thoughts.

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