When I was doing my MA I wrote a lot about urban nature, partly on the basis of advice to write about what you know. I have lived in a city all my life, it is what I know, so urban nature seemed like the obvious thing to write about. It turns out I know very little about urban nature. This is partly because I have not been observant enough in the past and partly because the places where nature abounds in the city are the sort of places I tend not to go. The very thing I seek when I’m out in the countryside – to be alone – is the very same thing I avoid when I’m in the city. Continue readingAlong the Mersey
I’ve been reading Caught by the River a lot at the moment and I was quite taken with their Shadows & Reflections posts – brief reviews of the past year by various people – and decided it would be a good idea to do a similar thing on my own blog.
All in all I’d say 2011 was a good year. It was a year of travels and new places. On 1st January I was in a quiet corner of Maine and enjoyed more snow than I have probably ever seen before. I had the chance to go sledging with real sledges (as opposed to tea trays), but didn’t build any snow men. As if one trip to the US wasn’t enough I also had the chance to go over again later on in the year. On my second trip I saw Baltimore and Washington D.C. The White House was smaller than I expected, but the Lincoln Memorial was bigger. Continue readingGoodbye 2011
The Peregrine is written in the form of a diary that spans from October to April and purports to chart a single wintering season of the peregrines in a small corner of Essex. However, The Peregrine is in fact the culmination of 10 years of stalking and observing on the part of Baker. Baker is a monomaniac, he is obsessed and hypnotised by peregrines, and his level of dedication to them is what makes this book so intriguing and worth the read.
I was sceptical about how interesting a book about one man following a single species of bird could be, and to be honest it is a slow read, but then The Peregrine is a book that demands to be read slowly and savoured. Time and again I found myself re-reading sentences over and over, not because I kept getting distracted or because I didn’t understand them, but because of the beauty of Baker’s language and the clarity with which he portrays the life of the world around him. Continue readingReview: The Peregrine by J.A. Baker