Hanging umbrellas

Working title: “The application of weather forecasting techniques to health forecasting”

In a past working life I conducted a thought experiment, looking at the different aspects of numerical weather prediction and weather forecasting at the Met Office, and asking whether these techniques might have an analogue in health forecasting. At the time, I thought there might be a paper in it. It never came to be written, so this is how I am keeping the idea alive.

Stockholm Library. Photo credit: Susan Yin on Unsplash.

Why do I read?

To be entertained by a cracking yarn. To comfort me in illness or sadness. To experience the thrill of a new beginning, and the potential that I hold in my hand for unfurling life or explosive change.

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3D printed nodding donkey

Nodding donkeys

The nodding donkey is a grotesque distortion of circular natural seasonal fecundity into linear exploitative extraction. The donkeys are nodding to capitalism’s exponential growth message, always looking down even when their head is high, never looking up to reality or the future.

Clouds. Photo credit: phtorxp on Pixabay.

Breaking SAD – Springwatch

Things feel bad. Spring comes, the days get longer and the weather improves. But things still feel bad. So the feeling of badness is not just because it’s winter. The feeling of badness is yours.

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Xray of lungs. Photo credit: Adam Ciesielski on FreeImages.

Migration can kill

Since my wander around St Loyes with Rosie King, I’ve been continuing to think about migration patterns. The daily migration of workers on Sowton Industrial Estate became particular obvious to me during “The Birds of Sowton Industrial Estate” as it emptied of cars at the end of the working day. How do we make this migration pattern less harmful? How can we persuade people out of their cars and onto their bikes/feet?

Kite flying. Photo credit: Sandra Morais on FreeImages.

Catching the wind

Mucknell Abbey, Worcestershire, 10 March 2011 – The anticyclonic frost and cold of the beginning of March has become cyclonic bluster and low cloud. I take advantage of the force 5-ish sou’westerlies, and reach for my kite.

Star field. Photo credit: Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.

“Star Spangled Kyrangle: Winter Star Lore”

The two events of the Star Spangled Kyrangle were opportunities to bring people together, and encourage them to be attentive to their place, surroundings and nature. The night sky holds many myths and stories in its depths. It has spoken to humanity since our earliest times. We too can step outside and look up, and gaze at the beauty of the night sky, and wonder.

NASA Space Apps 2018

1D, 2D, 3D, Go!

This weekend I was back at the Met Office for the NASA Space Apps Challenge, and joined the 3D Earthlings team to play with visualisation of data on a 3D representation of the Earth. Historic meteorite landings… BOOM!!

"Listening to Silent Spring"

“Listening to Silent Spring” audio

“Listening to Silent Spring” is a piece of sound art, based on a listening walk around east Exeter on the 50th anniversary of publication of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. The sounds I noted became the script for the piece. The work is mostly silence, which allows the listener to become aware of their own ambient soundtrack.

Give blood at blood.co.uk

25 pints

Recently I received through the post a small package from the Blood service: a letter, certificate and badge to mark my 25th blood donation. I didn’t expect to feel so honoured and proud.

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H bus on Woodwater Lane

D-Tour

My ‘thoughts looking sidewards’ about travelling the D bus route in Exeter, from the vantage point of my home office.

Emerging mushroom. Photo credit: ekamelev on Pixabay.

Breaking SAD

There are times for everything under the sun. Times for sleeping, times for waking, times for planting, times for reaping, times for getting stuff done, times for taking a step back.

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Axe. Photo credit: Markus Spiske on StockSnap.

Axe-grinding and the morally compromised

The sound of axes being ground is deafening, whether it’s the right-wing press incensed that the UK spends any money on overseas aid, or the UK government seeking to undermine an effective advocacy organisation. UPDATE: If you would like to help the people who Oxfam helps, see the comment for points you can make to your MP.

Game of Life in greyscale

Game of Life

The Game of Life is a pretty standard coding exercise. But what if Life is no longer seen in black and white, and instead in shades of grey? Update: Or in technicolor? And what happens if we tweak the rules?

Cycling along the shore. Photo credit: Peter J on FreeImages.

Clare goes for a bike ride

Clare is seduced by the sunshine symbol on her weather forecast app into going for a bike ride around Exeter. She plans to drop in on the FLOW tree planting on Exe Mill Field and the Ziggurat painting on Paris St to see how they are getting on.

Antiphon ...and the Greatest of these is Love. Im age credit: Willowhayne Records.

“…and the Greatest of these is Love”

In their second album, Antiphon presents world premiere recordings of three choral works by Michael Walsh: an unaccompanied Mass of the Holy Trinity; a full-scale Requiem Mass; and The Way of Love, a setting of five love poems by Rupert Brooke. We recorded it in July 2017 in the crossing and Lady Chapel in Exeter Cathedral.

Economic forecasting. Photo credit: geralt on Pixabay.

Nudge nudge

Question: “Is it easier to forecast the weather, which obeys the laws of physics, or the economy, in which the actors are swayed by the forecasts?”

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Fishing Boats with Eye of Horus (KNOW MALTA) by Peter Grima from MALTA - FISHING BOATS, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57478646

Second Curve

I heard management guru Charles Handy speak at Greenbelt on the need for second, third fourth… curves to living a fulfilling life.

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Labels on little boxes. Photo credit: Sanwal Deen on Stocksnap.

Label-free

Clare Bryden. Label-free. The Porch Magazine, May/June 2017.
Who am I? I can and do slap any number of labels on myself. I am not alone. Other people slap labels on themselves. We slap labels on each other. Then the labels I give myself and others affect how I see myself, how I see others, how I expect them to see me, and how I interact with them.

Boscastle-Tintagel on Open Street Map

Safety net

My map is a comfort blanket. Its grid lines are a safety net that give me the confidence to stride out. It gives me a sense of being in control.

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TEDxExeter 2017 HOPE. Design by Dacors.

Imaging HOPE

Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: Images are extraordinarily powerful. Those able to see, see before we learn to read, and orient our world by sight. They can convey truth, and they can manipulate, so should we be hopeful or despairing?

TEDxExeter 2017 HOPE. Design by Dacors.

A fortnight of HOPEful responses

Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: During 82 seconds on Wednesday 22 March, Briton Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing and injuring more than 50 people; fatally stabbed an unarmed police officer in New Palace Yard; and was shot and killed by an armed police officer. Over the next fortnight, these were some of the responses.

TEDxExeter 2017 HOPE. Design by Dacors.

Voices of HOPE

Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: Music has played an important role in many social movements, bringing hope to millions, fostering community, and encouraging perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

TEDxExeter 2017 HOPE. Design by Dacors.

HOPE and Joy

Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu got together for a week to talk about the challenges of living a joyful life. The result was “The Book of Joy”.

Star field. Photo credit: Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.

Wiggle Room in the Universe

Clare Bryden. Wiggle room in the universe. The Porch Magazine, October 2016.
“Suppose you had the revolution you are talking and dreaming about. Suppose your side had won, and you had the kind of society that you wanted. How would you live, you personally, in that society? Start living that way now!” – Paul Goodman. Clare Bryden embraces Rebecca Solnit’s vision of Hope in the Dark.

TEDxExeter 2017 HOPE. Design by Dacors.

A new HOPE

Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: What was the last line we saw Carrie Fisher (albeit a CGI-reconstructed ever-youthful Carrie Fisher) deliver in a movie before she died?

"Artist Toys", Berlin 2016. Image credit: Rekha Sameer and contributing artists.

“Little colouring book: Winter Blues” in the “Artist Toys” exhibition

The idea for the “Little colouring books” originated partly in the games I made for my “Particulart: Up in the Air” show. It seemed a natural progession to create more playful engagement with climate change. Although the maps are of the UK, they can be applied elsewhere, and I am very happy that they have made their way to other lands.

Clare at the Particulart Knit-Your-Own Carbon Dioxide workshop

What is Art?

Clare Bryden. Particulart: the art of knitting, chemistry, and gentle protest. Average Art Magazine, “What is Art?” issue, 1 December 2016.

Both side of the Soul Cube

World Origami Day

In modern times, origami has been used as a beacon of hope. I created the origami “Soul Cube” to help me get past that powerful critical voice in my head and access the deeper nurturing wise voice that speaks words I need to hear.

Let’s Explore…

I’ve been doing some work for TEDxExeter on a new learning initiative, a series of education pods based around themed TEDxExeter talks. We’re calling it Let’s Explore… and so far have covered Happiness (ie mental health) and Nature.

Detail from one of the Green|Blue images

God’s eye view

I’ve been working on a set of 21 images of flood risk around the south coast of England, from Sussex to Bristol. What has emerged is a beautiful forest of sometimes fragile, sometimes twisted trees.

TEDxExeter 2016 Dreams to Reality. Design by Dacors.

I have a dream

Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: Martin Luther King dreamed of a better world, and he had been to the mountaintop. And yet it wasn’t about the mountain, but about the view over the mountain to what lies ahead.

A hymn to bees, written for Third Way magazine

A hymn to bees

Clare Bryden. A hymn to bees. Third Way Magazine, March 2016.
As the first shoots and blooms appear, Clare Bryden welcomes the returning buzz of bees, and takes a year-round look at the complex threats to these and other pollinators so necessary to the interconnected web of creation.

TEDxExeter 2016 Dreams to Reality. Design by Dacors.

First a dream

Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: “All we need to begin with is a dream that we can do better than before. All we need to have is faith, and that dream will come true. All we need to do is act, and the time for action is now.”

Antiphon O My People, recorded August 2015 in the Lady Chapel, Exeter Cathedral

“O My People”

Antiphon’s “O My People” is “A collection of sublime 20th and 21st century a cappella choral music, including several world première recordings.” We recorded it in August 2015 in the magnificent acoustic of the Lady Chapel in Exeter Cathedral.

Bad hair on landing from a tandem skydive. Worse things have happened, I suppose!

The day I jumped out of an aeroplane

Hospiscare does amazing work in caring for terminally ill people and providing respite for their carers, and relies on the generosity of many people to continue this work. I have had a surprising number of connections with them, through friends, family friends, work, church, and singing. So I wanted to do something to help.

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Didcot Power Station - where else with those cooling towers? Photo credit: Forester2009 CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

“Energy infrastructures inhabit our interior landscapes” for Power Culture blog

I am almost certain that Didcot Power Station’s looming bulk sparked my interest in energy and shaped my environmental interests and career. But I am not the only person which it has sensitised. Many regard it as a blot on the landscape, many others have seen its sculptural appeal. A guest blog for Regen SW.

The cooling towers of Didcot Power Station. Photo credit: zootalures CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Didcot Power Station, art installation

Didcot Power Station dominated the landscape of my childhood. I am fairly sure that its looming bulk sparked my interest in energy, and possibly shaped my environmental interests and career. It has also generated a surprising level of artistic response.

Was the Feast of Candlemas linked to a volcanic eruption?

Candlemas-ology

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Christ at the Temple, otherwise known as Candlemas. Was establishment of the Feast linked to a volcanic eruption?

BBC Bias

The complaint I made to the BBC for refusing to include the Green Party in the general election TV leader debates.

Eating pie and ruminating on economic inequality

#BAD14 #Inequality

Today is Blog Action Day, and in 2014 the theme is Inequality. I’m afraid I’m going to cheat, and post stuff I’ve written earlier. Some is a bit dated (anyone remember Michael Gove?), but I think the core message is still relevant…

What the frack?

Clare Bryden. What the frack? Third Way Magazine, October 2014.
Depending who you ask, hydraulic fracturing – fracking – is either a panacea for our energy crisis or an environmental apocalypse in waiting. Clare Bryden drills through the propaganda in search of some answers.

BP has been found "grossly negligent" in the lead-up to Deepwater Horizon. Credit: skeeze on Pixabay

Petroleum

BP has been found “grossly negligent” in the lead-up to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I wrote a series of haikus in response to the original event, and other oil-related events past and imagined,

Free world. Photo credit: Lucía Pizarro Coma on Free Images.

#AnonymousCompanies

Those of you who are avid consumers of all things TED will know that the main TED conference took place last week. One of the many outstanding talks was given by Charmian Gooch, the recipient of the 2014 TED Prize. Gooch founded the organisation Global Witness in 1993 with two friends, one of whom happens … Read more

What apocalypse lies behind frosted glass?

Zombie Apocalypse

“I would ask you to take a walk on your own (where and at what time of day is up to you) for at least half an hour. I would like you to walk ‘as’ the last human survivor of a zombie apocalypse.”

Blood red telephone. Photo credit: igorovsyannykov on Pixabay.

Ethics on hold?

Clare Bryden. Ethics on hold? Third Way Magazine, November 2013.
Is the smartphone in your pocket fuelling violence on the other side of the world? Clare Bryden asks some uncomfortable questions about our complex relationship with gadgets – and investigates new ways to connect more ethically.

Yes, it's a pic of books in a library. Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash.

Exeter Library Square

How we name our streets and public buildings is a reflection of the values of history and our values today. It subconsciously and subtly affects our self-worth.

Food sorting. Photo snaffled from Exeter Foodbank website.

Letter to Hugo Swire MP

How is it that in a country as wealthy as the UK, more than 500,000 people are reliant on food parcels? Please represent your constituents, and do something to address food poverty, injustice and inequality.

View of St Michael's Mount from the top of James Turrells' Tewlwolow Kernow at Tremenheere Sculpture Parl

Tewlwolow Kernow

It was a hot bright day during the 2013 summer heatwave. I approached from below through the gardens recently planted with exotics from even hotter climes. I passed through a circular seating space, an antechamber, through a narrow door into a low and dark space stoppered by light in front and behind, and opened out suddenly into bright height.

Forget-me-nots on the verge of Ludwell Valley Park... now wantonly strimmed!

Wildflower whispers!

Now is the time when we most need our pollinators, and our pollinators need wildflowers to thrive. So I have been feeling sad over the last few days about the acres of wildflowers in the verges in Exeter that are being strimmed, and took it upon myself to protest a little…

Digging where we stand. Photo credit: goiwara on Pixabay.

Digging where we stand

Clare Bryden. Digging where we stand. Third Way Magazine, June 2013.
Driven by restless searching, our modern world often seems to undermine the very community we crave. But Clare Bryden believes that’s an invitation to dig deeper for the roots that truly sustain us.

Blackbird singing. Photo credit: Alexander Wallnöfer via Free Images.

Must. Not. Get. Sarcastic. Ach failed again.

Oh dear, I was writing about Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, then I was writing about modern criticism of the book, then I was writing about environmental regulation vs economic freedom, then I was quoting George Osborne, and it all went downhill from there. But I enjoyed the rant 🙂

Counterpoint Gaudete, recorded 2012 in St Michael's Church Mount Dinham

“Gaudete”

Counterpoint choir has just released a new CD of music as ancient and deep as time itself: the most beautiful expressions of the joys and sorrows of the Christmas narrative and Incarnation.

-den means pasture, usually for pigs. Photo credit: Fran Linden on Free Images.

Surname migration

The Great Britain Family Names website allows you to find out where your surname comes from, and how many people share it. Bryden isn’t that common, but what interests me is the geographical spread.

Ploughed field in Ludwell Valley Park

Buy this

Brueggemann: “the yearning for land is always a serious historical enterprise concerned with historical power and belonging. Such a dimension is clearly played upon by the suburban and exurban real estate ads that appeal to that rapacious hunger.”

Blackbird singing. Photo credit: Alexander Wallnöfer via Free Images.

Silent Spring

Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. In its honour, I am spending a couple of hours walking around my neighbourhood listening for bird song. In the meantime, here are three short posts I wrote a year and a half ago, reflecting on the book.

Malbork Castle. Photo credit: Pawe³ Windys via Free Images.

Counter-tourism memories

Malbork Castle in Poland, built in the mediaeval period by the Teutonic Knights, is the largest castle in the world by surface area, and the largest brick building in Europe. I visited with a friend in 1992.

Blackberries. Photo credit: Benjamin Stangland via Free Images.

Smash and grab

I cycled to the dog-walkers’ field above Ludwell Valley Park. I found blackberries. I picked blackberries. I cycled home. I made blackberry water ice.

Blackberries. Photo credit: Benjamin Stangland via Free Images.

Summer fruits

I was away from Exeter for a couple of weeks, and when I returned (though I returned) I remained absent. It was several days before I remembered it was ‘high summer’ and there was free fruit to be had in Ludwell Valley Park and along the suburban margins.

Old Heavitree Quarry face on Quarry Lane

Heavitree quarries

When did the Heavitree quarries stop being worked? The old maps provide some evidence.

Cat in a box. Photo credit: Giane Portal via Free Images.

Schrödinger’s Lazarus

In Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment, there is no way of knowing the state of the system without opening the box. Hence to the outside observer the cat is both living and dead, smeared out in equal parts.

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Woodwater Lane by night

Woodwater by night

I spent a day immured in the office at the computer, feeling wintry-cold while it rained and rained. By night-time, I was completely frowstie at being stuck indoors. As the rain had pretty much dried up, I decided on some mythogeography. Going for walks at odd times, like 10.30pm, follows mythogeographical principles, after all.

Digby Water Tower on a Woodwater wander

Woodwater wander

As a birthday treat, I promised myself a walk down Woodwater Lane, from home to water to wood to home again. A satisfying experimentation in exploring the present day.

Local explorations triggered by a corn cockle

From wood to water

Yesterday, cycling down a section of Woodwater Lane, I noticed a corn cockle in the bank. It struck me that I have cycled down the lane many a time, walked down it occasionally, picked blackberries at that time of year, but I have never really paid attention to it.

Flags around the world. Photo credit: Tibor Fazakas on Free Images.

Dear Reader

I find writing a blog slightly weird. Well, not so much writing it, as thinking about who’s reading it. Something strikes me, I write a post and publish it. I’m just writing about stuff that interests me. It’s weird to think that this might interest other people as well.

Sonic branding and the Daily Office

I’ve been watching some of the highlights of the Euro2012 football tournament. The online clips, at least on the BBC website, all start with the flowery Euro2012 logo and a burst of five notes ba-da-ba-bup-ba.

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A common house martin in the nest. Photo credit: HTO under GFDL licence via Wikimedia Commons.

The migrants’ return

This week I am happy because “my” house martins have returned. It happened on Tuesday. As I was sitting at my desk, suddenly there was a rush of gurgling and chuckling, and I looked out of my window to see madcap aerobatics.

Yes, it's a pic of books in a library. Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash.

Reading to know we are not alone, part 1

I am pretty well read, in theory. In practice, I remember very little of what I’ve read. I read quite quickly, but even if I read slowly I still wouldn’t remember what I’ve read. Which means that I often get the pleasure of reading a good book twice, and I can appreciate the journey again.

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On speed

On 29 September, Phil Hammond, the then Transport Secretary, proposed increasing the speed limit on motorways to 80mph. We may as well, mayn’t we? After all, Department for Transport figures show that as many as 49% of drivers currently flout the current 70mph limit.

I have the same dream. Photo credit: Jerónimo Bernot on Unsplash.

Values going viral

People don’t make decisions based on rational assessment of facts; they make decisions according to how they fit with their values and identity. Psychologists classify values as either extrinsic, which concern status and success, or intrinsic, which concern relationships and benevolence. How can we make intrinsic values go viral?

A pile of fresh vegetables. Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash.

Food #BAD11

Thoughts around the L of the LOAF principles – Local, Animal friendly, Organic, Fairtrade – and how you apply these principles when confronted by a bewildering array of choices.

The world is my ostrich. Photo credit: cocoparisienne on Pixabay.

Welcome to my new blog

It will probably be about things that interest me, related to my ponderings on where next… research? consultancy? kitchen gardening? writing? web design?