Let Me Take You There

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01Alan Hollinghurst20200504Where can we escape to at times when we are cooped up, locked down, trapped indoors? Some people recall a real location - a favoured corner to which they return again and again, what the Swedes call a "wild strawberry place"; others find a refuge deep in the imagination.

In these exceptional times, Radio 3 has specially commissioned five major writers to share their special place, and each night of the week, one of them offers to take us there and share it with us.

For Alan Hollinghurst, who has lived in London for the past 40 years, it is a plantation of poplars in the Gloucestershire countryside, near to the house where he grew up: In these dark times, as spring advances outside his urban window, he says: "I think of myself ducking and threading my way through the wood and into the great nave of trees as it bursts into life."

Producer: Beaty Rubens

Leading writers share the secrets of their internal places of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

Leading writers share the secrets of their internal places of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

02Inua Ellams20200505Where can we escape to at times when we are cooped up, locked down, trapped indoors? Some people recall a a real location - a favoured corner to which they return again and again, such as the Swedes call a "wild strawberry place"; others find a refuge deep in the imagination.

In these exceptional times, Radio 3 has specially commissioned five major writers to share their special place, and each night of the week, one of them offers to take us there and share it with us.

The playwright Inua Ellams chooses a place no longer there, - the Grand Hall of Battersea Arts Centre in South London, which once, long ago, before it was burned down, offered him refuge at a time when he believed all was lost for him and his family. He takes us back to that place and time, and to a small cat, Pluto, who brought him new hope - hope that was soon to be fulfilled.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

Leading writers share the secrets of their internal places of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

03Tahmima Anam20200506Where can we escape to at times when we are cooped up, locked down, trapped indoors? Some people recall a a real location - a favoured corner to which they return again and again, what the Swedes call a "wild strawberry place"; others find a refuge deep in the imagination.

In these exceptional times, Radio 3 has specially commissioned five major writers to share their special place, and each night of the week, one of them offers to take us there and share it with us.

Tahmima Anam was born in Bangladesh but her place of refuge is an empty plot of land which she and her American husband own in rural New Hampshire. They have long hoped to build a house there, but now she plans it for real, and pictures herself and her family there - her husband as minister for education, herself a capable homesteader who grows her own vegetables, , bakes, taps maple syrup and has been transformed into the sort of super-fastidious person she has always wanted to be - "the kind who labels everything and always knows where the scissors are kept". She concludes with the kind of scene we all need at present, an image of a courtyard house where "the trees will rustle and cast patterned shadows over us as we sit on the porch with our iced teas."

Producer: Beaty Rubens

Leading writers share the secrets of an internal place of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

Leading writers share the secrets of an internal place of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

04Tessa Hadley20200507Where can we escape to at times when we are cooped up, locked down, trapped indoors? Some people recall a real location - a favoured corner to which they return again and again, what the Swedes call a "wild strawberry place"; others find a refuge deep in the imagination.

In these exceptional times, Radio 3 has specially commissioned five major writers to share their special place, and each night of the week, one of them offers to take us there and share it with us.

Tessa Hadley evokes the unromantic basement flat in Bristol where she grew up, with memories of parents long gone and a young girl on the cusp of becoming herself.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

Leading writers share the secret of their internal place of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

Leading writers share the secret of their internal place of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

07Evie Wyld20200519Where can we escape to at times when we are cooped up, locked down, trapped indoors? Some people recall a real location - a favoured corner to which they return again and again, such as the Swedes call a "wild strawberry place"; others find a refuge deep in the imagination.

In these exceptional times, Radio 3 has specially commissioned major writers to share their special place, and each night of the week, one of them offers to take us there and share it with us.

Evie Wyld has spent most of adult life in Peckham, South London, but she grew up on her grandparents' sugar cane farm in New South Wales, Australia. She recalls it here.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

Leading writers share the secrets of their internal places of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

08Michael Morpurgo20200520Where can we escape to at times when we are cooped up, locked down, trapped indoors? Some people recall a a real location, others find a refuge deep in the imagination.

In these exceptional times, Radio 3 has commissioned major writers to share their special place.

8. The much-loved writer for children, Michael Morpurgo, recalls escaping bombed-out London for the Essex coast, when his family moved to an old Tudor house in Bradwell-on-Sea. There, he, his brother and their beloved dog, Prynne, were free to roam:

"There were often larks rising over the fields, and house martins and swallows flying so low overhead, so close I thought they might get caught in my hair. We’d haul our bikes up onto the sea wall and would sometimes have to walk then, because the wind from the heaving brown North Sea gusted so hard that we’d be bound to fall off if we ever got on. We leant over the handles of our bikes into that wild wind as we walked along the sea wall, and it blew our breath away."

But this pre-Lapsarian existence came to an abrupt end when they were sent away to school. Returning for the holidays, the local children refused to play with them, Prynne had been given away, and there were plans afoot for a nuclear power station down on the creek.

Michael has returned there, though, not only in his imagination but also in reality:

"In 2018 the whole family went back to celebrate what would have been my mother’s 100th birthday. All of us there, we looked over the wall into the garden of New Hall, walked out past the school and where the American air force base had been, and went out to St Peter’s chapel. We sat in the sun for a while, our backs against the sun-warmed stone, each of us deep in our own memories."

Producer Beaty Rubens

Leading writers share the secrets of an internal place of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

10Aida Edemariam20200522Where can we go when we feel cooped up, shut in, locked down? To mark and alleviate these strange times, Radio 3 has commissioned leading writers to share the secrets of a place of refuge, real or imaginary, to which they escape in times of crisis.

10. Aida Edemariam's father is Ethiopian, her mother Canadian and she lives now in the Oxford, but it is to Addis Ababa that she returns at the start of an evocative celebration of swimming and water;

"A honeycomb of rooms, filled with steam. Tiled steps up to long low baths that in their gracious lines still held remnants of luxury and ease. Stripping, wallowing in water that arrived so hot out of the ground the main job was to cool it, splashing, shouting, setting off echoes. Here where nearly a hundred years before an empress had pitched her tent on a lush plain and turning to her rheumatic husband asked, may I build a house, here? Another, there, under that mimosa tree? And a palace, too? Bathing, here where the city began, because while there was plenty of rain, and the hot springs seeped from the earth as they always had, in the taps in our houses there was no water."

Producer: Beaty Rubens

Leading writers share the secret of an internal place of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

Leading writers share the secret of an internal place of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

05Alice Oswald20200508Where can we escape to at times when we are cooped up, locked down, trapped indoors? Some people recall a a real location - a favoured corner to which they return again and again, what the Swedes call a "wild strawberry place"; others find a refuge deep in the imagination.

In these exceptional times, Radio 3 has specially commissioned five major writers to share their special place, and each night of the week, one of them offers to take us there and share it with us.

Alice Oswald takes us deep into the miniature world of lepidopterology: on the eve of the lockdown, she became the proud owner of a moth-trap, and now imagines herself sharing the lives of these tiny nocturnal insects in the darkness of their temporary home.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

Leading writers share the secrets of an internal place of refuge in times of crisis.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

06David Almond20200518Leading writers share the secrets of an internal places of refuge in times of crisis

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

Where can we escape to at times when we are cooped up, locked down, trapped indoors? Some people recall a real location - a favoured corner to which they return again and again, what the Swedes call a "wild strawberry place"; others find a refuge deep in the imagination.

In these exceptional times, Radio 3 has specially commissioned major writers to share their special place, and each night of the week, one of them offers to take us there and share it with us.

6. David Almond wonders in his imagination back to a field outside the mining town of Felling, near Newcastle upon Tyne, where he grew up to become an award-winning writer for children and young people. He starts by packing a bottle of water and a jam sandwich;

Mam would have made them.

“Raspberry or blackcurrant?” she'd have asked.

And she'd have smiled as she wrapped them in greaseproof paper and sent me on my way.

“Off you go, son. Don't get lost.”

“You,” she'd have said.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

09David Constantine20200521Leading writers share the secret of their internal place of refuge in times of crisis

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond.

Where can we escape to at times when we are cooped up, locked down, trapped indoors? Some people recall a real location - a favoured corner to which they return again and again, what the Swedes call a "wild strawberry place"; others find a refuge deep in the imagination.

In these exceptional times, Radio 3 has specially commissioned major writers to share their special place, and each night of the week, one of them offers to take us there and share it with us.

9. The award-winning poet, translator and short-story writer, David Constantine, travels back to his childhood:

"The beginning was a stream that ran past the front door of an end-terrace house we rented for our summer holidays. A narrow alley bordered this water as far as our step and there became a footpath and went on through a kissing gate. We were there for a week or a fortnight one summer after another, but only three or four in all, around the year of the coronation. Just across the stream was an ancient church, St Mary's, with a sailing ship on its tower as a weathervane. The water ran quick and crystal clear. It sparkled in the sunshine of a child's summer holidays. My younger brother and I sailed a small boat on it. One of us let her go, the other caught her some yards further down."

Producer: Beaty Rubens