It is a bright winter’s day when I cycle north from Danbury Hill. There is old snow by the side of the road, more in the air. I climb a stile overlooking the sheep-dotted parkland at Riffhams Manor and scan the sky in arcs, trying to think like a peregrine as Baker instructed. Nothing of course, I haven’t yet earned this bird. Baker cycled out from Chelmsford in all weathers. In my job as an ecologist, I too am out in the countryside in all weathers but rarely watching nature for the sake of it. I am always doing, surveying trees, inspecting farmland; the wildlife has become a backdrop. … [Read more...] about Essex rediscovered: ghosts and falcons on a rural ride
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The attraction of The Peregrine to a film-maker is obvious: the pristinated vision, the sudden rapid pull shots (a stooping lens), the immense field of vision, the swivelling eye. The attraction to Herzog is clear, too, compelled as he has been in so many films by obsession, extremity and wildness (Fitzcarraldo, Grizzly Man, The Ends of the Earth). The puzzle to me, for years, was why Herzog had not yet filmed The Peregrine. In 2015, I wrote to ask if he was planning to do so. “If anyone can, it should be you,” I said. I sent him a photograph of my local peregrine perched on a church spire, part-gargoyle. Herzog replied within a few hours, generous about my own writing on Baker, but adamant about the book’s adaptability: “A feature film would be very wrong. There are texts that should never be touched. Georg Büchner’s Lenz is one of these cases. In fact, whoever tries to make a feature film of The Peregrine should be shot without trial.” Oh! … [Read more...] about Violent spring: The nature book that predicted the future
SIX MORE CABINS IN ENGLAND BoatShack, Cambridgeshire This 1945 oak-and-larch fishing trawler has been converted into a cosy kingsize bedroom with a porthole-style door – and there’s an adjoining shack housing a kitchen and a walk-in shower. The characterful cabin sits in a private 1.2-hectare (three-acre) forest on a smallholding in the Fens, near Ely. It’s an off-grid property, powered by solar panels and has a woodburner fashioned from the boat’s engine. Overlooking the countryside there is a deck made from reclaimed sleepers with table and chairs, a fire pit and a rolltop bath.• From £140 a night, sleeps two, hostunusual.com … [Read more...] about ‘I want to dance with joy’: a beach cabin escape on Kent’s Isle of Sheppey
At Weston-super-Mare hospital, North Somerset At two GP surgeries in Enfield, North London At three meat factories in Cleckheaton West Yorkshire, and Anglesey and Wrexham in North Wales When different clusters are found to be linked, this is defined as an outbreak. … [Read more...] about Coronavirus: How will local lockdowns work?
The protesters are trying to dismantle racism in Belgium in 2020, and feel they have no choice but to confront the past. “I couldn’t have missed this moment,” said Dalilla Hermans, a writer and activist who overcame her initial health fears about attending a mass gathering. “Now you can really feel that this was everyday black people who had had enough.” … [Read more...] about Belgium forced to reckon with Léopold’s legacy and its colonial past