The supermarket trip

Recently I can’t help but feel overwhelmed when I walk into a supermarket. Perhaps the lockdown has made me see more clearly. It has exposed, like it has exposed many things, deep contradictions in our food system. At once, we glimpsed, perhaps for the first time in our lives, the possibility of empty shelves. We … Continue reading The supermarket trip

Learning to be still

a poetic meander on noticing nature during quarantine   I have started noticing things. Started to breathe a little. Stichwort and celandine tumble through the hedgerows, as they always did, except now they have names, and an attentive audience of one. Abounding dandelion, brilliant and boisterous, “steep their petals for wine”. Angelic clustered stars of … Continue reading Learning to be still

Reflections on the pandemic: invincibility and vulnerability

I felt a great sadness this morning, walking to work on relatively deserted streets, opening a pub to very few customers - bar the die-hard St Paddy’s day celebrators. The escalation of coronavirus impacts, from tougher government measures to the cancellation of Glastonbury, has instilled in me a growing sense of disquiet and precarity. Undoubtedly the majority of us are feeling similarly on edge, anxious and confused.

Drug policy: harm reduction over abstinence

Through the pink door at Number 11 Brunswick Square, into a homely room filled with the everyday sounds of tea-making and gentle chatter about the weather. The staircase goes up and up, walls decorated with huge, beautiful batik murals and bold graphic posters in the vintage style of soviet propaganda. The posters host important messages: … Continue reading Drug policy: harm reduction over abstinence

This is not a forest

‘"Young, straight, faster-growing trees aren’t better than older, rotting trees?", "Better for us. Not for the forest. In fact, young, managed, homogenous stands can’t really be called forests."' - Richard Powers, The Overstory It struck me recently, walking through the fiercely managed forests of Bellever, Dartmoor, that my childhood experience of forests as rich, tangled, ancient … Continue reading This is not a forest

Humans / Nature

The definition of ‘nature’ is at once very familiar yet incredibly elusive, as the philosopher Kate Soper recognised. To the majority of Western societies, it is something that is spatially contained outside of us. It is managed, quantified, enjoyed in designated portions, conserved, destroyed, consumed… and disappearing, at a terrifying rate. However, the concept of nature … Continue reading Humans / Nature