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Showing posts from May, 2024

New role... new blog!

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As you'll have perhaps seen from a post at the end of April, I'm going to be working as the Vice President: Education of the RGS  from June.  As with any major project that I get involved with, or new role, I've started a new blog. This will track my work over the coming years, and also publicise relevant RGS-IBG activity.  When I started out on my GA Presidential journey,  I started a blog which now has over 850 posts on it, and includes a biography of every GA President to date as well as much more on the history of the Association and its activities. No. 1 Kensington Gore is known as "the Home of Geography".  I've taken that as the name for my new blog, as I'll be visiting more regularly than I have for a few years. Lowther Lodge has been the home of the Royal Geographical Society for over 100 years.  You can visit the new blog here.  Please check back regularly over the months to come...

One Hundred Years of Solitude

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This is a classic book  and in the top ten books I have read if I was pushed. This is the edition I have in paperback. It was written in 1967 by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I first read this book 40 years ago, the year after the author won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I read most of his other books as well. Some people prefer a later work 'Love in the time of Cholera' but there is a great deal of geographical interest in this book as well as the author's characteristic "magic realism". There are some remarkable descriptive passages and memorable characters: notably the mysterious Melquiades. There are some particularly geographical scenes and stories peppered throughout the book, including an introduction to ice in the opening chapter which introduces the idea of 'magic realism'. I love the description of the rocks in the river bed of Macondo: like dinosaurs eggs. There is the invasion of the banana company who force their way into the jungle and fence off

Sean Henry at Ely Cathedral

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  It's important to check out any art in your local area, particularly when it's site-specific art. I'm fortunate to be able to visit Ely Cathedral regularly. At the moment, there is an exhibition of sculptures from Sean Henry.   I'm going to enjoy encountering these artworks numerous times over the coming months of the summer term. It's called 'Am I my brother's keeper?'. They are all figures of different scales made from a range of materials. Sean Henry says “I am very excited to be exhibiting my sculptures in and around the ancient space of Ely Cathedral and grateful for the opportunity. My sculptures, while often inspired by aspects of real people, are rarely portraits and not motivated by status as in much traditional figurative art. I am interested in what it is to be human and inspired by the felt sense of shared humanity. The excitement of exhibiting in Ely Cathedral is a sense of multi-generational history, of the lives both great and forgotten

Happy Star Wars Day

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  May the Fourth, and the Ordnance Survey has created a map of locations where Star Wars scenes were filmed...

A new role for me at the RGS-IBG

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  I've been connected with the RGS-IBG for quite a number of years in various ways. In 2007 I became a Fellow of the RGS and Chartered Geographer (Teacher) and have been ever since. In 2008, I was awarded their Ordnance Survey Award for excellence in Secondary Geography Teaching. This was a proud moment and came at the culmination (I thought) of my teaching career as I was joining the Geographical Association and stepping out of the classroom. I didn't realise I'd be back again within five years. I had also spoken at the RGS as part of a student day - with Alastair Owens actually - although I only found that out much later when digging through some old papers. It's a wonderful thing to stand on the stage in the Ondaatje Theatre where so many greats have stood before. We also took students there for a range of events, and I took part in an event representing the Guardian / DfE once as well. I ended up having lunch with Nicholas Crane and have bumped into all sorts of ex

Pat...again

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In 1982, I saw the Pat Metheny Group play live for the first time, on the 'First Circle' tour. In November this year I will see Pat for around the 12th time, playing solo in Barbican Hall for the London Jazz Festival.  Here's a few earlier tours of note: 'The Way Up' (2005) Song for Bilbao (2002)

Catan: New Energies

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A new version of the classic board game 'Catan' is coming out soon. Various websites give different dates. It can be pre-ordered from a number of places. I'm definitely interested in this... It’s the 21st Century and Catan is at a crossroads. Long gone is the agrarian society of the island’s Viking ancestors. Today’s Catanians need energy to keep society moving and growing, but pollution is wreaking havoc on the island. You must decide: Invest in clean energy resources or opt for cheaper fossil fuels, potentially causing disastrous effects for the island? CATAN – New Energies is a brand new standalone game that is rooted in classic CATAN mechanics of harvesting, trading, and building. New gameplay elements including power plants, energy tokens, and environmental events add new strategies and stories to a familiar foundation. Beautiful art by Ian O'Toole brings players from the age of the Vikings into the present day with a striking new rendering of the island of Catan.