Looking back on three years… and forward to elsewhere

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Three years ago the first post on Under a Grey Sky was published, reflecting on a year of travels and explorations that took Katrin and I to familiar corners of north Wales and Spain, as well as new experiences not only on the road but also within our home city of Berlin. Under a Grey Sky was always intended to reflect on the fact that you don’t need to travel long haul to find fascination (although you can), and that there are plenty of adventures to be found just beyond the front door.

Looking back on those three years and the writing and photography we have published here, from friends old and new, and our own explorations both here in Germany and beyond, Under a Grey Sky has been not only a great place to reflect on what we have experienced but has also served as a motivation to get out of the house, even on the gloomiest of February days. It has become such a fundamental part of our life, even if the frequency of new articles has tailed off a little in the past eighteen months, and we are always on the lookout for what to write about or photograph next.

At the same time, the project has also connected me with likeminded people – such as the wonderful community around Caught by the River – as well as making many new friends along the way, many of whom are fantastic and inspiring writers, even if I have never met them face to face. It has also informed the writing and other activities with Slow Travel Berlin, included the creation and launch of our series of guided walks and the publication of a book, Mauerweg, with STB-founder and great friend, Paul Sullivan.

That book was also tied to Traces of a Border, another “spin-off” project from Under a Grey Sky, exploring the 160 kilometre length of the Berlin Wall Trail. With the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall in November 2014 and the publication of the book, there has been a little break from Traces of a Border, but that project won’t stop because there are still many more stories to tell.

So as Under a Grey Sky moves into its fourth year I am very proud not only of the website, but of the change in my own writing (and indeed approach to life) that the project has very much been central to inspiring. I have walked, talked, written and read more… and it has led, eventually, to another new project that some of you may already know about. In 2015, along with another good friend and incredibly talented designer Julia Stone, we will launch a quarterly print journal of place. Julia and I had long spoken about a project together, and during the course of 2014 we developed the idea that you can read about on the Elsewhere website.

I am really excited and nervous about this step, but my experiences over the past three years since I sat down to write that very first post on Under a Grey Sky convince me that we have a good chance to make it work. I hope some of you will come along for the ride.

See you in 2015,

Paul Scraton

3 thoughts on “Looking back on three years… and forward to elsewhere

  1. Phil Scraton

    … and rightly proud of the site, Paul, and all else that has followed, not least Traces of a Border. Yesterday’s walking tour was excellent and all who were there thoroughly enjoyed listening to the depth of your knowledge. Three hours passed in a flash. Mauerweg captures place and time in fine observational writing and photographs – congratulations to you and to Paul Sullivan … and we are really looking forward to Elsewhere. Phil, Deena and the Belfast/ Merseyside Collectives!!!! xx

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