Book Review: Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham

 

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Packham, C. (2016) Fingers in the Sparkle Jar Ebury Press ISBN976 1 785 03348 3

Chris Packham is a naturalist, nature photographer and author, best known for his television work, in this lyrical and raw memoir, he reveals the life-events that shaped him.

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Unofficial Countryside – Urban Pond: Part of my portable ‘Life Museum’?

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Keri Smith in her book ‘How to be an Explorer of the World’ uses the term ‘Portable Life Museum’ to describe the ‘cabinet of curios’ (the experiences, memories, and strategies) we carry with us that can be used to enrich our daily lives.

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Book Review: Living Locally by Erica Van Horn

Robert Walser quoted in the opening pages of Living Locally:

“What I saw was as small and poor as it was large and significant, as modest as it was charming, as near as it was good, and as delightful as it was warm.”

Artist, writer, printer, and bookmaker Erica Van Horn’s Living Locally is a celebration of simplicity, sense of place, savouring and seasonality.

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Book Review: Nightwalk ‘A Journey to the Heart of Nature’ by Chris Yates

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Yates, C. (2012) NIGHTWALK A Journey to the Heart of Nature William Collins ISBN: 978-0007415540

‘The hope, the expectation, gives a sense of purpose and after a mile or two a vision begins to form in my head, like the imaginary fish, but more obscure, more primal … and so every walk becomes a hunt …’

Chris Yates is best known as one of Britain’s most celebrated fishermen, and is a prolific writer about the pleasures of fishing. In Nightwalk he digresses, and shares his experience of an overnight walk in the English countryside around the summer solstice.

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Unoffocial Countryside – Urban Pond: Pomatoes?!?

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Potato leaves, yep definitely a potato plant, but is that a green cherry tomato growing from it???

There’s an allotment next to the Urban Pond, and so an occasional ‘exotic’ finds it’s way over the hedge and into the margins. Potatoes in particular seem to flourish in the outlying greenery. Were they thrown there as ‘chitting spuds’? However they achieved their great escape from the allotment now they’ve arrived they’re proving resistant to being cleared out again, and despite our best efforts a number sprout every season.

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Book Review: The Moor by William Atkins

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Atkins, W. (2014) The Moor, Lives – Landscape – Literature Faber ISBN 978 0 571 29004 8

“Atkins may be a solitary wanderer across these vast expanses, but his journey is full of encounters, busy with the voices of the moors, past and present: murderers and monks, smugglers and priests, gamekeepers and ramblers, miners and poets, developers and environmentalists. As he travels, he shows us that the fierce landscapes we associate with Wuthering Heights and The Hound of the Baskervilles are far from being untouched wildernesses. Daunting and defiant, the moors echo with tales of a country and the people who live in it – a mighty, age-old landscape standing steadfast against the passage of time.”

Faber & Faber – publicity blurb…

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Book Review: Journey Through Britain by John Hillaby

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Hillaby, J. (1970) Journey through Britain Paladin Books ISBN 0 586 08019 8

An account of an eleven hundred mile walk from Lands End to John O-Groats, this book (with it’s winning combination of anecdote, close observation, poetic metaphor and local history) was groundbreaking in it’s way and cut the path that led to the flowering of modern English landscape writing today.

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