In this year of quarantine, I have been observing a DIY Lent. I thought it would be wonderful to get together (via Zoom of course) with one or two different friends each week. Both of us bring a poem, or piece of poetic prose, or art, or music to share and reflect on.
I went on an expedition today, all the way to Middlemoor roundabout, for a picnic lunch amidst the trees and daffodils.
There is a bi-i-ig difference between jigsaws and mosaics. Jigsaws have only one correct solution. Mosaic tiles can be pieced together in many different ways to create many different images.
My reflections during shared Lectio on the Gospel readings through October.
My reflections during shared Lectio on the Gospel readings through September.
My reflections during shared Lectio on the Gospel readings through August.
My reflections during shared Lectio on the Gospel readings through July.
This St Peter’s day on 29 June, Exeter Cathedral held a Psalmathon – reading all 150 Psalms in about 8 hours.
My reflections during shared Lectio on the Gospel readings through June.
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.
During the days between Ascension and Pentecost, I found myself ruminating about Exeter Cathedral as building and people, prompted by the lack of access of most people during the Coronavirus lockdown to the church buildings we know and love.
My reflections during shared Lectio on three Bible readings during the period of Thy Kingdom Come.
My reflections during shared Lectio on the Gospel readings through May.
My reflections during shared Lectio on the Gospel readings through April.
I haven’t been getting round to making art recently. Which isn’t to say I haven’t been creative.
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.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, with love and hope for 2020.
This weekend was NASA Space Apps Challenge 2019, and I joined the Time and Tide team to play with slow visualisations of rising sea levels, and make a patchwork of contours.
When do we want it? World without end!
For what are we shouting? With our voices? And with our actions that speak louder than words?
Many years ago I saw a TV segment exploring a china clay pit, and was struck by the infinite landscape and colours. I’d been wanting to see one with my own eyes ever since, and have finally had the chance.
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.
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?
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.
This morning in the Cathedral, I got out the mental glasses or hearing aids that I often use while following the readings. I looked and listened for the unnamed and unnoticed characters. My reflections here could be the second in what might turn into a series on ‘were I to have preached’.
Reflections on walking and talking and bouncing a tennis ball in the streets of Exeter.
As part of Working with Gold, I have been writing some nuggets about the area for the website. Here, then, are its Horrible histories, Ghastly geographies, Problematic politics, and Nasty numbers.
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!!
Sometimes on Sunday mornings in the Cathedral, during the sermon slot, I find myself thinking about what I might have said if I were up there in that pulpit. It might have been something the preacher said which sparked my train of thought. More often, it’s something I noticed in the readings.
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.
My ‘thoughts looking sidewards’ about travelling the D bus route in Exeter, from the vantage point of my home office.
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.
This is a slightly longer version of an article I wrote for Exeter Cathedral’s monthly magazine, the first in what is hoped to be a regular feature focusing on the prayer lives of members of the Cathedral community. There are as many different understandings and types of prayer as there are different people.
A bit of fun. Some of them are more favourite than others! Now with a second helping!
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.
If there is a problem with loading any of the code in the “Game of Life” blog, this is a companion blog of example videos.
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?
I had so much fun with generative poetry in 2017 that I wanted to continue with the coding, so I embarked on a FutureLearn course with Monash University. Here’s some outputs I did earlier.
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.
I’ve been having a play, and come up with a logo for “Working with Gold”, and I think a working design. Hope you like it!
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?”
“In this environment, the task of the prophet is not initially to lead a movement toward social renewal, but to lead the people in creative, artistic, public lament.” – Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination
Greenbelt is a festival of arts, faith and justice, held over the August Bank Holiday. The programme is huge, so to help me manage it I often choose a theme. This year I didn’t, consciously at any rate, but it became apparent as the weekend unfolded that I’d ringed quite a lot of talks relating to contemplation and action
Twas on the day of the autumn equinox that Diana and I decided to walk the Northbrook from mouth to source.
For Creationtide 2017, EcoChurch Southwest has produced a series of prayers and short reflections on the theme of ‘Inspiring Earth’. You can sign up to a daily email with ideas and resources each morning between the 1st September and the 4th October. I contributed one of the reflections.
I heard management guru Charles Handy speak at Greenbelt on the need for second, third fourth… curves to living a fulfilling life.
My ideas for an artist’s residency in St Loyes Exeter are gathering momentum. I’m close to putting in my first grant application, and on Friday 28 July Rosie King kindly joined me on a walk around the ward. It’s an area ripe for an artistic response!
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.
Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: Reflections on death, and that even in the darkest places and the fiercest storms, there is always 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?
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.
Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: Hope can come from unlikely sources… What would be the most unlikely and surprising source of all?
Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: Sometimes it’s easy to lose hope, but sometimes hope can come from unlikely sources.
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.
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”.
A series of things that interest me which have a TED or TEDx angle: The data and statistics that are being collected about us reflect our selves and the way we see the world.
Armageddon outta here…
A series of things that interest me which have a TED or TEDx angle: Reflections on Susan Cain’s TED talk “The Power of Introverts” and lessons from “Watership Down”.
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?
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.
A series of things that interest me which have a TED or TEDx angle: The benefits of collecting so many statistics on the number of times a talk is viewed and the related web pages are accessed.
A series of things that interest me which have a TED or TEDx angle: There are myriads of reasons why people watch TED and TEDx talks, and myriads of outcomes.
An anonymous note from ‘A concerned neighbour’ and my response.
A series of things that interest me which have a TED or TEDx angle. First up, Brexit and young people and how to get them to vote.
Free Art Friday is a worldwide movement that has existed for many years. I started Free Art Friday Exeter in July 2015, and collaborate with other artists in leaving pieces in public places to be discovered and taken for free.
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.
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: Even in football, it is possible to have dreams of community, to play as a team instead of individual starlets.
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: How we can help shape the place we live, through local government and at the grass roots.
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.
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: Some individuals have forgotten the songlines. They have become alienated from the land and cannot bear too much reality.
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: What is your dream? Are you willing to let it upend your reality?
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: In his dreams, Einstein imagines many possible worlds, set in the towns of his homeland, in the valleys of the Alps, on the banks of the River Aare
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: When you wish upon a star, you’re a few million lightyears late. That star is dead. Just like your dreams.
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: Tread softly because you might be treading on others’ dreams… or your own.
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: For Carl Jung, dreams were a window on the unconscious, enabling the dreamer to communicate with and come to know the unconscious, and tap into it as a source of creativity.
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: In the UK, the dream of suffrage has been succeeded by the dream of full equality for women.
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.”
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: An introduction to the series… Once upon a time, the Old English dream meant “joy, mirth, noisy merriment” or “music”.
Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: In 2016, we want to encapsulate the idea of movement… that grappling with humanity’s toughest questions requires first a vision, a dream, and then action.
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.
Written for TEDxExeter 2015 “Taking the Long View”: There’s an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Also a tribute to the wonderful TEDxExeter team.
Written for TEDxExeter 2015 “Taking the Long View”: From Clause 40 in Magna Carta to HIllary Clinton via the suffragists and suffragettes – the long struggle for women’s political rights, and a call to vote on 7 May [sigh].
Written for TEDxExeter 2015 “Taking the Long View”: The short-termism of deforestation, and some hopeful examples of the long view of reafforestation.
Written for TEDxExeter 2015 “Taking the Long View”: The Guardian’s campaign to keep fossil fuels in the ground, a Lenten Carbon Fast; and how I take the long view in my knitting and arts practice.
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.
Written for TEDxExeter 2015 “Taking the Long View”: Taking the literal view of the Long View, a smattering of quite interesting factoids about the origins of the telescope and its name; the transit of Venus and Cook’s voyages; and the Interplanetary Scintillation Array and other more modern telescopes.
Written for TEDxExeter 2015 “Taking the Long View”: The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta was the inspiration behind the 2015 theme. Why we chose that and not the 50th anniversary of the Sound of Music.
During Lent 2015, EcoChurch Southwest is promoting a Carbon Fast, focusing on water. You can sign up to daily emails containing an action, bible reading and reflection. I wrote about rain as a blessing for today’s reflection.
Particulart is all about knitting. It’s also all about the Exeter Incinerator, which was inaugurated on 16th October 2014, and about waste management strategy, and monitoring emissions, and the environment, and health, and transparency, and visual impact, and chemistry.
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?
I explore where our treasure lies in today’s world for the Bright Now Blog run by Operation Noah.
It’s difficult to choose my cultural highlight of 2014. It has been a good year so far, and it’s not over yet!
The complaint I made to the BBC for refusing to include the Green Party in the general election TV leader debates.
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…
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,
Many of my Facebook friends have changed their profile picture to the Arabic letter N. It stands for ‘Nazarene’, or Christian. ISIS is drawing it on the houses of Christians in Iraq, to indicate who to target.
When one hits mid-life, one is obligated to have a crisis, right?
Introducing the TEDxExeter 2015 theme of “Taking the Long View”: asking about the responsibilities the past places on us, and how taking the long view into the future can shape the way we live and the decisions we make.
Written for TEDxExeter 2014 “Ideas Without Frontiers”: Access to the World Wide Web, being overwhelmed, information security, and is Google making us stupid?
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
Written for TEDxExeter 2014 “Ideas Without Frontiers”: The value of focusing attention and how boundaries inspire creativity, as well as pushing the frontiers of knowledge and Interdisciplinary sparks.
Written for TEDxExeter 2014 “Ideas Without Frontiers”: More about the reality of some physical frontiers, while pollutants do not respect national boundaries.
Written for TEDxExeter 2014 “Ideas Without Frontiers”: More about pilgrims than immigrants, and how our planet is bounded whereas our imaginations aren’t.
Written for TEDxExeter 2014 “Ideas Without Frontiers”: Forex flows, international debt, tax avoidance, respiratory illness metaphors, and where there is a frontier that needs dismantling.
“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.”
Yesterday was the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the environment. So it’s appropriate that I spent the afternoon walking with Phil Mythogeography Smith in search of sacred and pseudo-sacred spaces.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is 70 years old. Here’s my version reflecting the hierarchy in the UK and US.
A list of the Twitter accounts of Devon County Councillors in Exeter wards.
I have been impressed in recent weeks at the usefulness of Twitter in engaging with councillors and other movers and shakers in and around Exeter City Council. Within limits, though, as you’ll be able to see from my list arranged by political party.
Look up post boxes on the internet, and you stumble into a strange and fascinating place.
Finally, on 3 September I received a letter dated 21 August in response to mine of 2 August. But I have some comments…
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: Just a bit of humour…
I have a dream of a mix of local retail, local business, charities and social entrepreneurs, artists’ studios and housing.
I’ve not yet received a direct response from Hugo Swire MP to my letter about the family from Clyst St George needing to walk 11 miles to Exeter Foodbank and back.
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.
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.
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.
Last year, I did the first half of a walk down the 1800s route of Woodwater Lane. I managed the western half as far as the Retail Park, before giving up due to the rain. Exactly one year later, I completed the journey.
OrganicARTS, based at West Town Farm near Ide, has done a lot of work with pottery using clay from the Farm, natural materials and dyes, and it has been an ambition to encourage writers too.
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…
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 🙂
In the 3 May edition of the Church Times, Bishop Anthony Priddis wrote an article extolling thorium: “Thorium: it’s green, nuclear, safe”. I have just sent a Letter to the editor in response, questioning his underlying assumptions.
My electricity monitor usefully shows how much I’m using, without me having to dig out the key in order to read the outdoor meter. I also want to know how I best I can use my lovely solar electricity.
It’s impossible and unhealthy to live with heightened anxiety over a long period of time. And scaring people and making them feel guilty are rubbish motivators of behavioural change.
Blackbird perched precariously in pyracantha, picking at plentiful berries. #ventriloquismforbeginners
There are several possible origins for the word ‘religion’ and its modern senses. None of these need imply certainty and rule out doubt. I want to go back to the etymological origins of ‘religion’, and ask a few questions. In the spirit of the TEDxExeter 2013 theme of Living the Questions, I’m not expecting to answer them.
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: Self-explanatory, really.
Like many, one of my most vivid memories of infant school was the ritual of drinking our morning third-pint of milk.
I intended to spend the morning re-reading Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, but instead spent the morning reading around it. So after lunch, I allowed the sun to call me out for a walk down by my very own Tinker Creek that is the Northbrook.
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: Stop trying to solve negative things, and work with positive things instead.
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: “The neurotic is a person who worries about something that did not happen in the past. He’s [sic] not like us normal people who worry about things that will not happen in the future.”
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: Throw away your satnav, experiment with deliberate lostness and reconnect with where you are.
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: You’ll just have to read it.
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: OK, actually about climate change: why Doha was so important, how it has been forgotten, and what you can do.
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: Inequality – estimated, actual, and ideal – and what we can do about it.
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: Allowing Paul Gauguin to ask the questions, and invite contemplation of the meaning of life.
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: Quite possibly one of the world’s best musicians on the street corner, or a myriad other things.
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: Moving from Rayleigh scattering to why children keep asking why, and why many adults stop.
Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: Trying not to define myself by my job or any roles, the labels the world would like to slap on me, or any of my mind, emotions or body in isolation from the rest.
Today is the feast day of St John of the Cross, Spanish mystic and poet. Here’s an English version of his poem “Tras de un amoroso lance”, which beautifully captures a number of types of hope.
The Parkology group is posting (mostly) daily during Advent, focusing on ‘What gives you hope?’ Here is what I posted for #Advent 3.
The Women Bishops Measure was lost in the House of Laity, by six votes. It might not be a rejection of women bishops, just the enabling legislation, but it sure feels like a rejection to me.
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.
Blog Action Day falls within Congo Week, and “The Power of We” is beautifully exemplified by the Congo Calling campaign.
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.”
There’s a rowan tree planted beside the bus stop on Grecian Way, and this autumn it’s laden with bright red berries.
In honour of Silent Spring, I spent two hours wandering around my neighbourhood and listening. Listening not just for birds, but for everything, including all those sounds we usually tune out.
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.
Today was the first time ever, at least for years, that I’ve seen another deliberate blackberrier in Ludwell Valley Park.
It was late afternoon when I walked down to Ludwell Valley Park to pick blackberries. I’d just started, around a kink in the hedge and mostly hidden from the gate, when I heard lads’ voices.
A response to Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost and the BBC programme A History of Art in Three Colours, Blue.
The house martins were gathering and sporting on the wing, prior to departure for warmer climes, and Mark Lane from Wilderness Guide kindly popped over to see what plants we could find in Woodwater Lane in September.
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.
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.
A response to Phil Smith Mythogeography: a Guide to Walking Sideways.
Sometimes the mystery and the not-knowing are more satisfying and enjoyable than solution.
I’ve always had a problem with buses. Mythogeography tells me to get on a random bus, and see where it takes me for a set number of stops. But I’m able to end up here there and everywhere, even when I’m just trying to get home.
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.
Much of the stone used to build St Loyes Chapel looks as though it came from Heavitree Quarry, but there were many other types of stone there.
When did the Heavitree quarries stop being worked? The old maps provide some evidence.
Maybe I just wanted to be a mythogeographer when I grew up.
Seeing the stone in St Loyes Chapel made me want to walk back up Quarry Lane and look for evidence of the quarry.
It’s a pleasant little segment in Rifford Road, set in a garden surrounded with metal railings. There is a bus-stop in front, and it is very ease to miss St Loyes Chapel altogether if you don’t know it is there.
Once upon a time I saw a very old OS map of Exeter in the Treasures of the British Library exhibition. Now through the miracle of Google, I know that it was the Drawing for the first edition Ordnance Survey map of Exeter. 1801 Maps OSD 40.(3).
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.
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.
I found this marvellous book from 1892 in the Westcountry Studies Library, now Devon Archives and Local Studies.
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.
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.
It was a happy accident that the house I bought when I moved to Exeter is very close to Ludwell Valley Park. It is my slice of countryside in the city, where I can wander down enclosed lanes, through fields of nodding purple grasses.
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.
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.
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.
My post responding to Andy Robertson’s TEDxExeter talk was cut off. Here’s what I can remember of the rest.
At TEDxExeter the talk I found the most difficult was Andy Robertson about “Sustainable Perspectives on Video Games”. But for that reason, it was the talk I thought I most had to re-watch and engage with.
Narnia is by no means a fairy fantasy land. CS Lewis’ stories include powerful myth, in the sense of narrative telling a deeper truth. Totnes is the cradle of the Transition movement, another powerful story.
“We need to be able to see the cause of our problems in the landscapes of our lives”, because “it’s pictures that helps stories come alive”.
Last night, I heard Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter, speak about “The Church and Civil Partnerships”. He prefaced his talk with some science. But people don’t believe what they believe because of the science.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Ten challenges, which if you accomplish them, would help make Exeter a more sustainable city.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Volunteer your time to help some-one else get online and discover the web.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: “Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer”, and here are some tips…
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Crowd-funding targeted at community energy.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Crowd-funding, or the ‘big society’ in action.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Signing up to lending and borrowing within a local network.
On the day that the government lost its Feed-In Tariff appeal in the Court of Appeal, the guys from Sungift Solar started to install PVs on my house.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Neighbourhood sharing networks, enabling lending and borrowing of everyday objects, skills and spaces.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Why not share your journey to TEDxExeter, and share your hopes for the day on the way there, and what most uplifted you on the way back?
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Another website that connects people who have a desire to act.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: More and more websites are being developed that are enabling people to share and work together. And the best are bringing people together in real life too.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Exeter’s history is threaded through with interconnections, from local to international.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: There are some great community growing projects in and around Exeter.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Connecting people who want to grow food but have no land with people who have land to share.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: How Local Exchange Trading Schemes can help you simplify your lifestyle, while connecting with your neighbours and local community.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: More and more websites are being developed that are enabling people to connect with each other. And the best are bringing people together in real life too.
Evening meal; lunchtime walk around the Exminster Marshes, and the Exe Canal and Estuary around the Turf Hotel and Topsham
Expectation can be good; having high expectations of students can lead them to do better. People in general tend to live up to or down to expectations. The problem is when the expectations are unrealistic.
What it means to be the people of God, and the Occupy camp on Exeter Cathedral Green.
The monastic practice of lectio divina allows us to open ourselves to God’s word. It can be loosely translated as ‘spiritual reading’, but does not just involve reading.
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.
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.
The Tories dropped the Big Society into their 2010 Manifesto, but have never explained satisfactorily what they meant. Here are some possible interpretations…
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?
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.
An interactive map of renewables capacity registered under the Feed-in Tariffs scheme between 1 April 2010 and 30 September 2011, aggregated over Local Authority area.
It will probably be about things that interest me, related to my ponderings on where next… research? consultancy? kitchen gardening? writing? web design?
A poem inspired by Iona, and commended in Earthing Faith’s “Inspired by Creation” competition, October 2010.
An experiment in a geo-located poem, August 2010.
Poem published in Poetry Scotland, Late Spring 2010.
The stories coming out of Copenhagen and its aftermath led me to grieve business as usual, and start to imagine a new world.