And we’re off! Up In Arms began their exploration of the way people long for meaning in the south west now with a return to green and pleasant Wiltshire, visiting Devizes, Durrington, Harnham, Bowerchalke, West Grimstead, Tidworth, Ludgershall, Marlborough and Calne in a whirlwind tour. The landscape rolled by as we drove through it, like a particularly beautiful Sigur Ros song (though we, of course, were listening to Fleetwood Mac).
We had conversations with teachers, students, village-dwellers, and people in recovery from serious mental health issues, discussing everything from the welfare trap to church attendance to the challenge of raising young people’s expectations in an often lonely and isolated landscape. In the next month, we’ll be visiting Havant and Oxford to expand our research.