Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wastelands to Wonderlands

There's an exhibition on at the British Library which I plan to visit over the next month or so.
Wastelands to Wonderlands explores the different ways that Britain has been represented in fiction over the years, and contains many manuscripts and other materials.
There's plenty here that's relevant to teaching about landscapes, and the way they are represented.

I'm grateful to Angus Willson for the loan of the exhibition catalogue in advance of my visit.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mission:Explore Food

Just reading the rather splendid e-book version of Mission:Explore Food on my iPad...
This will shortly be available to purchase at a special low price, to whet your appetite for the print version, which is coming in September.

We have our launch party for the book on Saturday.
We'll also be around at Latitude in the Kid's field, so come and say hello if you're at the festival.

Mission:Explore could also be the antidote to stories like THIS.


"Probably the only book I will ever recommend to my undergrads, buy for my kids, and use as a plate."
Professor Ian Cook, University of Exeter

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ice Age 4

Pick the Geography out of that !

Saturday, June 16, 2012

500 up...

Just passed the 500 post point on this blog. Thanks to all those folks who have been joining me, and reading the blog. I hope you find it useful....

Glastonbury After Hours

You have another chance tomorrow (Sunday) on BBC4 to see Julien Temple's film 'Glastonbury After Hours' which looks at the places that some of the festival-goers never see.... It's reviewed HERE.
There's life beyond the Pyramid Stage...
Watch the programme on iPlayer HERE for the next six days too.

I went to Glastonbury with the Geography Collective in 2010 to work with Mission:Explore, and spent five days at the hottest festival yet... unbroken sunshine and blazing temperatures.
As someone who never thought I'd ever go, to find myself amongst over a hundred thousand other people was an amazing experience. Glastonbury has a very definite 'sense of place'.
My pictures from the festival are embedded below...


I blogged extensively at the time about my experiences. We were staying in a tent right behind a dance stage which went on until about 3.30am.... not conducive to getting any sleep.
This meant that, as I couldn't get to sleep, each night I spent a good few hours between midnight and 3 or 4am wandering the festival exploring and experiencing some amazing sights and sounds. Julien Temple's film explored some of those places that I visited too...

There was the amazing show in Arcadia, the weirdness of the Unfair Ground and Shangri La, wandering along the old railway line, up to the stones and the letters... It was a remarkable experience.

It's a reminder that there is plenty of interest to be found around the edges...
When planning a curriculum or lesson sequence, it's important to go right to the edge... there are some interesting discoveries to be made there...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Richard Long

Always been a fan of Richard Long's work, and the way that it links to landscape.
He also went to St. Martin's like my wife :)

There's an exhibition of his work on in Wakefield, which I shall try to get to the next time I am up in Yorkshire.
This article describes hos career and work.


"The landscapes that I have chosen to work in are the landscapes that still cover most of this earth; the world is still basically an empty place."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's not all about the width...

Thanks to Jenny Watts for the tipoff to this article in 'Nature'.
It is about the importance of geography in affecting the cultural diversity of a country, and suggests that a country that is oriented more on a north-south axis like Chile will apparently have a better potential for cultural diversity than one that runs east-west.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Week at the Airport

For geographers, airports are interesting places.
In fact they have also been called non-places.
Marc Auge coined the phrase to refer to places of transience, where people were just 'passing through'. (Some other interesting non-places would include supermarkets, hotel rooms or even escalators in tube stations....)
Preview some of Auge's book on Google Books here. Read p.77 onwards for some interesting provocations on non-places.

A while back, Alain de Botton spent a week living and working at Heathrow's new Terminal 5 building. He spent time talking to people who worked there, or who were just passing through.

I was intrigued to see the book, which was handed out to people who used the airport, and last weekend I managed to get a second hand copy from the bookshop in Cley-next-the-Sea.

It's an interesting and brief read, accompanied by some good images. 
I'll be back at an airport next week for a flight to Dublin...

UK Landscape and Literature at the British Library

Listen to Simon Armitage in particular in this clip, which relates to the British Library exhibition on landscape and literature. It's on my list of things to do in the next few months when I'm in London.



There are other clips too, which I discovered via the excellent SOME LANDSCAPES blog, which is a very useful bookmark for anyone interested in culture and landscape....

World Oceans Day

Today is World Oceans Day.

Don't forget the wonderful Frozen Oceans packs on the Digital Explorer Oceans website which I contributed to. Plenty of interest there to get you thinking about the value of the oceans, and the threat of ocean acidification.

Also think about entering a contribution on the theme of the Oceans to the 2nd issue of the Geographical Times.


Also check out the #worldoceansday tweets...
Plenty of interesting people to follow...


Image: Alan Parkinson - fishing boat launching from Weybourne beach, Norfolk earlier this week...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dull and Boring

I liked the news that the pairing of Dull in Perthshire, Scotland and Boring in Oregon, USA which was mentioned a while back is going to go ahead...
Check the FACEBOOK page too.
Can you suggest some other possible pairings of places which would make good combinations ??


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tourism is for the Brave

The new Pixar film BRAVE will be with us in a few months...
I follow the Twitter feed of Pixar, and it always contains something of interest, including some excellent quotes which I have used on many occasions.

Visit Scotland is involved in a co-ordinated project with Disney/Pixar to promote Scotland across the world. Alex Salmond is heading for the States....


Mr Salmond will also attend the world premiere of the animated film Brave, which has a mythical Scottish setting.
The Scottish government estimates that the Disney/Pixar film, which is due to open at the Los Angeles Film Festival, could boost the Scottish economy by £140m.
The premiere will bring together Disney/Pixar and tourism agency VisitScotland, who are collaborating on a global marketing campaign to showcase Scotland across the world.
Earlier in the year, a project that I was involved in launched as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
DiscoverExplore was developed and written by members of the Geography Collective.

An interesting related article in The Guardian describes the bits of Scottish life that were missed out of the film...