Ecosophy Reading Group: second meeting

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This week’s meeting focused on two chapters, one from John Newling’s book An Essential Disorientation and one from Lucy Sargisson’s book Fool’s Gold. The Newling chapter is about the disorientation we feel when we enter a new space, and he talks specifically about the disorientation created by works of art. The Sargisson chapter is about intentional communicaties, such as the Findhorn Foundation based in Scotland, and it argues that these communities are attempts to establish a kind of utopia. Continue readingEcosophy Reading Group: second meeting

Ecosophy Reading Group: first meeting

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I signed up to an Ecosophy Reading Group, organised by the same people who delivered the talk I recently attended about the Nottingham Wasteland project. For the first meeting we read two articles: Ecophilosophy, Ecosophy and the Deep Ecology Movement by Alan Drengson, which provides an overview of deep ecology and what deep ecologists believe, and Social Ecology versus Deep Ecology: A Challenge for the Ecology Movement, which is a refutation of deep ecology from a social ecologist called Murray Bookchin. Continue readingEcosophy Reading Group: first meeting

Lies in nonfiction/truth in fiction

The beaten track...
The beaten track…

We’ve taken to listening to the radio when we eat dinner and usually the only channel that will tune in properly is BBC Radio 3. It tends to be classical music, but one Sunday a few weeks ago my attention was caught by the programme that was on – Way off the Beaten Track, presented by Stephen Smith. During the show Smith examined a number of writers who have play fast and loose with the truth and asks – does it really matter? Continue readingLies in nonfiction/truth in fiction

Review: Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss

Names for the Sea recounts the year that Sarah Moss, her husband, and their two young sons spent living in Iceland. Fortuitously – or not, depending on how you look at it – they arrived during an interesting time for Iceland, with the result of the banking collapse still being felt and the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull – a word I still don’t know how to pronounce. In fact, I’m sure I was probably misreading the Icelandic words throughout the book. Continue readingReview: Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss

A potted history of Nottingham’s Eastland Island wasteland

Yesterday I attended a seminar called ‘The Eastside Island: Creativity, Capital and Commons in Contemporary City Space’. Despite the rather long-winded title it was actually very interesting. The talk was about a patch of wasteland in Nottingham city centre known as the Island and how capitalism is trying to appropriate creativity in order to redefine the space. Continue readingA potted history of Nottingham’s Eastland Island wasteland

Ways of Looking at Winter: A Walk in the Snow

We shall go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure…

— Henry David Thoreau

In the spirit of undying adventure we set off into a beautiful day.

It snowed yesterday and was overcast all day, but today the sky is brilliant blue  and dotted with the suggestions of clouds. The sun is out and the snow looks like it is sparkling. I didn’t think to bring sunglasses with me in December.

Snowy meadow

Continue readingWays of Looking at Winter: A Walk in the Snow

Ways of Looking at Winter: Solstice

Sunlight through pine trees

This might be our last day on earth and it is raining as though the clouds believe it. We spend most of the morning and the afternoon sitting around reading and watching the wind and rain outside.

Then just as suddenly, it’s gone, the sky starts to clear and we decide to make the most of the remaining light. Not that there is much light to be had. Not only is it the last day of the world but it is also the winter solstice. The shortest day of the year. Half way to the light. Half way through the dark. Continue readingWays of Looking at Winter: Solstice

Ways of Looking at Winter: Ice Skating Birds

Ducks stood on the ice
Ducks stood on the ice

I’ve had a bit of a copy flow issue with the blog at the moment and I think the problem is that I haven’t been getting out enough. I’ve had two fairly inactive weekends in a row and all my week days are spent in an office.

When I first started working at the University of Nottingham’s University Park Campus I imagined myself going for nice strolls around the campus’s lake during my lunch break, but that hasn’t really happened. However, when I heard that the lake had frozen over I decided I had to go and have a look. Continue readingWays of Looking at Winter: Ice Skating Birds