Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Scotlands Places

Scotlands Places has some excellent resources on the country.

Monday, 21 December 2009

A changing landscape...

Pieter Bruegel: Hunters in the Snow (1565)

One of the really rapid changes that can happen in a landscape is a fall of snow... In a few hours, the landscape can be changed utterly and made magical... This is what happened in West Norfolk over the weekend and the snow is still here...
Below are some images I took yesterday in and around my village...


Melting snow is also the unveiling of the old landscape, and sometimes with slush, it looks quite drab after the sparkle of snow...

BORDER CHANGES on the border between Switzerland and Italy are part of this melting and its impact on the landscape.

See you in the New Year with more supporting material for "Look at it this Way"....

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Very flat, Norfolk

Just got my RGS-IBG Bulletin for Spring 2010.
Some good events coming up, and discovered that I'm featured on p. 20...
This is my lecture at the Norfolk GA branch in March, when I'm exploring ideas of PLACE in the context of Norfolk...

I'll be using a few articles from the Autumn 2008 issue of GEOGRAPHY.
Remember that if you're a GA member, you can download the last 5 years issues of the journal(s) you subscribe to.

I'll be trailing some elements of the lecture over at the LOOK AT LANDSCAPES blog in the next few months. Also plan to write the lecture up and produce a resource that other colleagues can use on the meaning of "place"...

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Guardian Country Diary

Image by Alan Parkinson

A great source of writing about the landscape and our relationship with it can be found daily in the Guardian's COUNTRY DIARY column, which has been going for over 100 years.
These are also available in an ONLINE ARCHIVE, which has over 3000 entries.

As a taster for how good these are, I read a small section of some recent entries at the Suffolk Literacy session I have blogged about earlier on this blog.
There are 2 recent entries: one on the Lake District by Tony Greenbank, and one on Wenlock Edge by Paul Evans, which were written at the time of the Cumbrian floods.
The Paul Evans diary entry has a wonderful description to start it off:

"It's raining.
There's a saturation point where the soil can't hold any more water and turns to gravy.
We're past that.
There's a point where boots and jackets that were once waterproof let you know they are no longer.
We're past that.
There's a kind of equilibrium, where the amount of water in the environment seems equal to the amount of water in your own body.
We're past that tipping point too....."

Wonderful writing...


Tweeting the Urban Landscape

Dan Raven Ellison has launched a new project URBAN TWEET DAY.

URBAN TWEET DAY is a side project of URBAN EARTH.

The idea is to record our perspective on our urban lives and habitat through an online stream of tweets that describe urban events and experiences as they happen.

By the end of the urban day we will have created a collaborative narrative - a descriptive portrait of urban life..

To take part all you need is:
1. The ability to Tweet (
www.twitter.com)
2. To be in an urban area on Saturday 9th January 2010
3. To include
#utday in each of your related tweets

We'll then be able to search the tweets to reveal our story.

Please do spread the word around, the more of us the better.. and leading up to the day, add the
URBAN TWEET DAY Twibbon to your Twitter profile picture. If you don't already, you can follow us on Twitter here.

Any questions, thoughts or ideas?

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Writing about Landscapes...

Are you sitting comfortably ? ... then I'll begin this post...

One dark morning, a middle aged man got up at 6am so that he could set off to drive 80 miles south to the Suffolk coast and arrive in plenty of time to work with some teachers from the county. He was going to spend the first 90 minutes of a Geography conference to talk to 40 colleagues about Literacy in Geography and Geography through Literacy...."

Was there a happy ending ? Read on to find out...

The presentation that I used on the day is available from SLIDESHARE, and is embedded below...
View more presentations from GeoBlogs.
Thanks to James Woolven for adding the various resources to the Suffolk Geography page of the Suffolk Learning Hub....

On the day, I also gave an update on GA projects. There was a range of other sessions: Colin Breeze presented a session on the work he had been doing on the flooding of 2007, and shared a comprehensive range of activities on the theme of flooding.
Also heard a useful phrase from the Suffolk Advisor for Humanities: Dale Banham.
He used the phrase "iceberg questions" - will come back to those in a later post...

For the same session, I asked my Twitter network to tell me about a book which they thought had excellent descriptions of LANDSCAPE. These were the results of the consultation....
Tynemouth – Thomas Hardy's "Return of the Native" – Egdon Heath

Isle of Islay – Iain Banks' "Espedair Street", Ferguslie Park, Paisley

London – "Bone People" – Kerry Hulme

Bedfordshire – "Waterland" – Graham Swift - description of the Fens

Newcastle – Wainwright’s Guides to SW Lakes

Portsmouth – "Touching the Void" – Joe Simpson – mountain landscapes

Sheffield – "Jamaica Inn" – Daphne du Maurier – moorland in Cornwall

W. Midlands – "Sunset Song" – Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Brighton – Sebastian Faulks – "Birdsong" and "Charlotte Gray"

Ipswich – "Around Ireland with a Fridge"

Ashford, Kent – Paul Theroux – "The Great Railway Bazaar"

Scotland - "The Lord of the Rings"

On the same morning, David Rogers was using John Davitt's Learning Event Generator to work with students on the Copenhagen Climage change conference, and challenged them to create some Army chats, which he then shared through Twitpic...


Thanks to Dale Banham and all the delegates and presenters for their work on the day.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Changing Landscapes

William Least Heat Moon is the author of a number of travel books. One of those: Prairyerth is described as a "deep geography", and is a resource I've used many times.

This CNN INTERVIEW provides a range of nice insights on how the landscape of the United States has changed during the time that he has been travelling.
I have ordered his latest book as part of my Christmas treat.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Glaciers

Lessons 9 and 10 of the book are on the theme of glacial landscapes around Milford Sound in New Zealand.
One useful supporting resource is contained in the recently launched DISCOVERING THE ARCTIC resource from the RGS.
This has a range of interactives including a useful one on managing the movement of glaciers by changing levels of heat and snow. Worth visiting the site !

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

On the bestsellers lists...

"Look at it this Way" is the 4th best selling title in the GA Publications list since September 2009, and it only became available in November 2009...