Our relationship with time, and our planet are as much the theme for Robert Macfarlane's latest book, "Underland" (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Books, 2019), as is the more literal exploration of underground spaces in a variety of places around the globe. Reading the book could not have come at a more opportune moment for me. I'm finding … Continue reading Underland – a deep time journey
I've just emerged from another Sunday morning appointment with the politicians on the TV, accompanied by my only real constant each week, a plate of the kippers that do get my vote (and maintain consistently his satisfaction levels). This week, we really are in the thick of it with the Tory leadership contest, the revelations … Continue reading Perfidious Albion
A curious railway company, running 'funeral trains' between its own terminus just off London Waterloo, and Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey provides the backdrop to a fantastically atmospheric detective story ["The Necropolis Railway", Andrew Martin (2005), London, Faber & Faber]. Brookwood was the largest cemetery in the world when it opened, and remains the largest in … Continue reading Necropolis Railway took me to a dramatic ultimate destination!
As with the main dynamic of this book, when reviews of “Lanny” by Max Porter first started appearing, it was as if I could hear this book talking to me, and I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed at all. A number of themes spoke to me. The first and over-riding … Continue reading Lanny
There hasn't been a review of a book appear round these parts in quite a while. It's not been for the want of investing energy in attacking the pile of 'must read' books by the side of my bed - hopefully I will get around to reviewing them soon. But as soon as I had … Continue reading Till the Cows Come Home
Psychogeography has been emerging as a dimension in my life for a good few years - a way of navigating and making sense of my own personal space, and a paradigm worthy of use interrogating professional, social and cultural evidence and ideas in research. I make these claims (I'd previously even started to try to … Continue reading Psychogeography is killer!
Over the last few months, I’ve had cause to concentrate my focus on the theory and practice of turning protest into power, to an extent that I probably haven’t done since the mid-90s. The campaigns-related side of public relations, and best ways of developing effective strategies are obviously things which have dominated my time as … Continue reading Resist!
My desire to sniff out 'the particular' drew me towards reading "The Perfumier and the Stinkhorn" by Richard Mabey (2011) [London: Profile Books]. It had long been on my 'books to read' list after I had discovered one of his previous books, 'Dreams of the Good Life' about Flora Thompson - the author behind 'Lark … Continue reading The Perfumier and the Stinkhorn
An obituary in the New York Times said that neurological conditions, and his patients’ experiences of them, were for Oliver Sacks, occasions “for eloquent meditations on consciousness and the human condition.” As someone with a rare neurological condition (Chiari Malformation, since you ask), I have long had a love affair with Sacks’ interest in the field, … Continue reading River of Consciousness
One of the questions I was most often asked as a lecturer was, "Can you recommend a good book about creativity?" I usually struggled, and more often than not, felt that the idea was a contradiction anyway. Then, last year, I heard a feature on a mid-morning show on BBC Radio 4 about this book … Continue reading How human creativity remakes the world