Tuesday, 14 April 2009


I have been reading the most incredible book for the last week or so. It is so good that my brain can barely comprehend what it is taking in. It's difficult to explain, as I can understand every word of what I am reading (which is rare), yet at the same time the book absolutely messes with my mental boundaries... It completely blows me away. This book is far too big for my head, but in no way is it overly intellectual. Quite the opposite in fact. It is so beautifully human that it pains me sometimes. It is saddening, enlightening, and thought provoking to say the least.

Check out 'A Field Guide To Getting Lost' by Rebecca Solnit if you want to go on an epic journey. I think I have read two or three chapters and I have already been to places that I didn't know existed.

My other recommendation is the song 'Lakes Of Canada' by Stephanie Dosen. All I can say is woah.

Goodnight people.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Let me just add...

this link

It almost follows on from what I was just saying. It's a good read.


Today I took a different approach to the headland. The very same route, just, a different approach. As petrol has gone back up AGAIN, and as I am soon to be out of work I decided to ride my bike to the location. I am slightly out of practice it must be said! The beauty of cycling is much like the beauty of walking. It exposes your senses to this new level of engagement that one can only achieve when out in the open air. There are many factors that are the same for both walking and cycling. Cycling is not as good however. It is still a bit quick... I suppose one could cycle slower, but where is the fun in that? Cycling also provides a slight detachment from the surface of the land. A barrier if you will. There is no barrier between you and the land when you are on foot, other than the soles of your shoes. No one says you have to wear shoes though...

On my bike I felt tired, but free. My legs ached, and my chest hurt, but was nice to feel free. It was nice to feel the sun, and the wind, and smell all the different smells that lingered in different places. I didn't really enjoy the smell of horse manure down the country lanes, but I suppose it's hit and miss as to whether you experience beautiful smells or ones you really could live without. My vision was flooded with new sights. You realise when you are travelling slower than usual that you actually miss so much. You are in a big car, travelling quickly through the landscape. You are concentrating on the road, trying not to crash in to other objects and people. There is no time to take things in. Besides, when you're in a car you are only exercising one sense when attempting to take things in. Seeing alone is not an experience. Seeing alone is boring...

I started reading 'Wanderlust' by Rebecca Solnit a couple of weeks ago now. I may have got distracted by another book or two that came through the post since then, (for your reference, these were 'A Field Guide To Getting Lost' by Rebecca Solnit too, and 'No One Belongs Here More Than You' by Miranda July) but after today gave me so much to think about I picked it up again. I think the whole purpose of this post is to share some of the quotes I have found with you. I have only read about six pages so far, but already I love this book, and get all giddy when I read something so very human, yet so very profound. I think 'Oh my, that is so simple, yet so completely brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?!'. I think I will post these in a reverse order of discovery.

When I think about driving my vehicle through places, this is the quote that seems most appropriate - 'Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors - home, car, gym, office, shops - disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.' She writes this after telling the story of a friend of hers who had her van stolen. Everyone they knew thought it was a disaster, except for the woman whose van it was. 'There was a joy, she said, to finding that her body was adequate to get her where she was going, and it was a gift to develop a more tangible, concrete relationship to her neighbourhood...'

Actually, I will leave both you, and myself with these thoughts. Why is it that we lose this sense of being able? Why do we forget how to walk as soon as we get a car? Why do we let ourselves feel as though what our body has to offer us can't complete the task at hand properly? We are a complacent bunch...