Showing posts from October, 2015

Pico Iyer on the meaning of home

I have a few Pico Iyer books. They are interesting and well-written explorations of movement, and the edges of the world, and the pull of home. I enjoyed this Ted Talk where Pico starts with the simple question: "Where do you come from?"

Free 'Doing Cultural Geography'

Follow this link for a PDF of ' Doing Cultural Geography ', edited by Pamela Shurmer-Smith.

Fish and Chips

I've blogged many times before here and elsewhere about the cultural geography of food. This Telegraph article provides some useful background on the history of fish and chips, which many associate with being our national dish. Every village deserves to have a decent chippy, and I'm glad to say that we have one where I live. Image: Alan Parkinson - click for biggery...

Back in time...

Back in July  1985 , shortly after graduating (which makes me feel old), I went to Doncaster to visit my friend and contemporary Conor (now an award-winning author and Professor of Medieval History) and we went to the nearby cinema to see a movie about a character travelling backwards 30 years in time and then forward 30 years at the very end. His time machine was a de Lorean car, and the date that he travelled to in the future will be reached next week... Back to the Future day is October the 21st. A few teachers on Twitter have been considering what they might do to mark this in lessons. I'm not quite sure what to do yet, and may actually run out of time to plan anything other than wear a gilet.... which isn't too creative. That time is actually the very end of the school day, so I may just play the theme tune as students leave, or perhaps try to hide the flux capacitor into as many PPT slides as possible... or something else completely... Any geography-related id

We British - a poetic Shipping Forecast

Radio 4 A brief reimagining of the Shipping Forecast Thanks to Paula Owens for the tipoff...

RGS update piece on Changing Place, Changing Places

The Royal Geographical Society have produced a very useful topic update for the new 'A' level Geography Changing Place, Changing Places topic. It is written by Richard Phillips, Professor of Human Geography from Sheffield University, who was on the ALCAB (the 'A' level Content Advisory Board) and so was probably partly 'responsible' in some ways for the topic ending up on the new specification. It's also a topic that the awarding bodies have struggled to capture in a way that OFQUAL will accept is suitably rigorous. PDF download from the above link

David Matless book on the Norfolk Broads

Thanks to Sharon Witt for the tipoff to this book, which I have now ordered. It's about the Norfolk Broads, and offers a range of interesting short pieces on the nature of the landscape in that area. Written by David Matless. Scope for using the approach to explore other regions with students... The introduction discusses an injunction by Georges Perec to ‘see more flatly’ (wryly apt considering the landscape being seen), and the pieces do try to look beyond official accounts of place to draw on tiny concrete details, lived experience, historical perspective, technical boating matters, economics, and so on and so forth. Of course, unless you note  everything , the very act of selecting details unflattens them, making (to mix my spatial metaphors horribly) salient features out of what had been background trifles. Similarly, the alphabetical ordering of the pieces is a way of insisting on the ‘non-hierarchical’ approach; I think Matless wouldn’t object if you read them in a r