Is nature writing a form of escapism?

It’s been unbearably warm all day – too warm to go outside – so I have been sat by an open window, reading and moving as little as possible. We decided, once it started to cool down in the evening, to go for a cycle ride to Attenborough – down to the river.

There is something romantic about summer evenings and the idea of going down to the water. Perhaps because of a youth spent listening to Bruce Springsteen sing plaintively about a river. I sang that song to myself as we cycled along, cooling off in the evening air. Continue readingIs nature writing a form of escapism?

Cycle adventures in Nottingham

Despite resolving to spend the Bank Holiday weekend writing short stories, the weather was too nice to stay indoors all day, staring at a screen.

On Saturday it was late afternoon before my boyfriend and I could motivate ourselves to leave the couch, so we weren’t up for anything too adventurous, but we still fancied doing something different. Our usual fall back is a cycle ride round Attenborough Nature Reserve, but when we’re looking for a change we get out the map.

2013-05-27 12.54.25 Continue readingCycle adventures in Nottingham

Should you do a Nature Writing MA?

Me and my fellow MA course mates on our graduation day.
Me and my fellow MA course mates on our graduation day.

I did an MA in Writing, Nature and Place at the University of Exeter and I’ve been asked about it a few times now by people considering doing either a similar MA or one in Creative Writing. I know when I was deciding whether to do my MA I had a lot of questions and doubts. So I thought I’d come up with a list of some of the things I gained from doing a Writing MA, in the hope that others might find it useful. Continue readingShould you do a Nature Writing MA?

A rainy afternoon at Attenborough

Not quite the sunny afternoon I was hoping for.
Not quite the sunny afternoon I was hoping for.

Yesterday, I woke up at 5am to listen to the dawn chorus. It wasn’t quite as impressive as I’d hoped. I could have done with getting up a bit earlier and I did just stick my head out of the window, rather than going for a walk in a wooded area. The noises of traffic and cooing wood pigeons also drowned it out somewhat. But as the sky grew lighter I did notice the different birds gradually dropping off. After about half an hour I went back to bed ’til 8. Continue readingA rainy afternoon at Attenborough

I’m still here, not drowning but waving

A foggy day at Highfield Park
A foggy day at Highfield Park

I never wanted to be one of those bloggers who gets too busy to blog, disappears for months and then pops up again with a ‘I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in a while’ post. I set myself the target of doing one blog post a week and I’ve managed it so far, but this week has been particularly busy and I honestly just haven’t felt inspired to write. I worry when that happens, what if this is it and I never write another word? Continue readingI’m still here, not drowning but waving

The University of Nottingham’s not so dusty digitised collections

Bear plunging into the sea, from Ross's 'Voyage of discovery', 1819
Bear plunging into the sea, from Ross’s ‘Voyage of discovery’, 1819

The University of Nottingham’s Manuscripts and and Special Collections have digitised parts of their collections, including a selection of beautiful, mostly 19th century natural history images and documents. You can see the full collection here, but I thought I’d pick out a few of my favourites from the collection. Continue readingThe University of Nottingham’s not so dusty digitised collections