A Walk In The New Forest

The other side of this sign warns WATCH OUT Day and Night and it’s just where five donkeys came out of the darkness into our headlights as we arrived the night before. We saw the donkeys but didn’t see the sign. But that’s not why I took the photograph. I was curious about the holly, at first sight it’s a tree but then higher up it’s more like a vine reaching for the branches of the oak tree. High risk root. Continue reading “A Walk In The New Forest”

Frames of reference

Waterlog

Waterlog is a short documentary which tells the story of writer Joe Minihane and his battle with anxiety. Finding an antidote in the form of wild swimming Joe sets out to retrace the route of environmentalist Roger Deakin’s nature writing classic, Waterlog. In a journey that takes him to every corner of the UK he eventually finds relief, not just in the cold waters he swims in, but by being open and honest about his mental health.

Thanks to Robert Macfarlane for the recommendation. More here at Waterlog Reswum.

Frames of reference

Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey From City To Sea

An imaginary journey swimming from city to sea, inspired by Roger Deakin’s wonderful wild swimming book, Waterlog. If you haven’t read it, I would urge you to buy a copy here. The text to the film is all quoted from Waterlog:

“A swimming journey would give me access to that part of our world which, like darkness, mist, woods or high mountains, still retains most mystery. It would afford me a different perspective on the rest of landlocked humanity.”

This was filmed, on one glorious, hot June day, at six different locations heading south from London down to the sea, which lies just an hour from the city on the train.

Alastair Humphreys, August 2017

Please also see the earlier blogpost – For Roger Deakin.

Frames of reference

A Walk In The Woods

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A Walk In The Woods

There’s a lovely and surprising exhibition by Jelly Green at the Alde Valley Spring Festival, and there’s not a single cow in sight! She’s abandoned her usual subject matter and gone for a walk in the woods, and lost herself in the green and tangled delights of the trees, and found herself there. Continue reading “A Walk In The Woods”

Frames of reference

Holloway The Movie

A short trailer for the forthcoming Holloway film by Adam Scovell, inspired by the book of the same name by Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood & Dan Richards, in which they go in search of an ancient Dorset holloway – previously visited by Macfarlane with Roger Deakin. They were looking for the hide where the hero of Geoffrey Household’s novel ‘Rogue Male’ went to ground.

Read more about the project on Adam Scovell’s website – Celluloid Wicker Man – and there’s another link on Frames Of ReferenceHolloway.

Frames of reference

A River Sutra

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I was looking on the bookshelves for a book that wasn’t there. I searched high and low only to find it had disappeared, but as I searched I was distracted by an old favourite. I took A River Sutra from the shelf and briefly considered immersing myself in its healing waters, but I went on looking. Next I saw Minnow On The Say and then it just happened, wherever I looked there were more tributaries, and so I stitched together a river of waterborne books. Continue reading “A River Sutra”

Frames of reference

The Sky At Snape

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SNAP HQ, a cor-ten steel shed at Snape Maltings, nerve centre of the SNAP visual arts programme for this year’s Aldeburgh Festival, directing our gaze towards the great Suffolk sky. Continue reading “The Sky At Snape”

Frames of reference

For Roger Deakin

Seeing Mary’s painting yesterday of swimming in the River Barle at Simonsbath brought to mind Roger Deakin’s wonderful book Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain. I first chanced upon a copy at the Book & Comic Exchange, a second-hand bookshop in Notting Hill Gate, part of the Record & Tape Exchange empire, where I used to spend too much time looking for obscure musical and literary delights. I’d not heard of him before but I was attracted by ‘Deakin has written an aquatic Songlines‘ and ‘A delightfully eccentric masterpiece’. It opens with a heavy midsummer downpour and Deakin taking shelter in the moat: Continue reading “For Roger Deakin”

Frames of reference

Holloway

One of the many highlights of our recent trip to Cornwall was one that I took with me. Just a couple of days before we left London I received a copy of Holloway, a book by Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood & Dan Richards. I kept it unopened in its Jiffy bag with Dan’s handwritten label and best wishes until we arrived, so that it became a part of our holiday. Inside, when I finally opened it, was a beautifully printed and illustrated book that told of the search for an ancient Dorset holloway, previously visited by Macfarlane with Roger Deakin. They were looking for the hide where the hero of Geoffrey Household’s novel Rogue Male went to ground. I’m not sure which I knew first, Household’s book or the film with Peter O’Toole. The abiding feeling was not so much of threat but of the safe harbour to be found beneath trees. Continue reading “Holloway”

Frames of reference

Frenchman’s Creek

We crossed the river by ferry from Helford Passage to Helford Village. The Shipwrights Arms was tempting but we passed by determined to return there at the end of our circular walk. The pub had recently fallen on hard times and been threatened with closure until a consortium of anonymous locals from around the Lizard Peninsula bought it from the liquidators. It is presently being run by volunteers. We wish them every success. Continue reading “Frenchman’s Creek”

Frames of reference