Monthly Archives: August 2011

The pelican in the park

My sit spot is in my local park, so I go there pretty much every day. I usually take my binoculars and enjoy 20 minutes or so watching the park wildlife. Even though I live in south London, our local park has … Continue reading

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Twyford Down

Although my chapter in ‘The Wanton Green’ tells of life on recent protest sites, the spirit of an older campaign hovers in the background like a ghost. Twyford Down was an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special … Continue reading

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Merleau-Ponty

This is the first of a series of posts that introduce thinkers who have been especially influential on my work. I begin with the French philosopher Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), who was a pioneer in the study of embodiment. Merleau-Ponty was fascinated by our ‘being-in-the-world’ – the way … Continue reading

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Bodymind and Earth

A video I posted recently discussed ‘What is the body?’  It starts with Mark Walsh saying that the body is ‘not a brain taxi’, but that’s pretty much how many people experience their embodiment. There are many reasons for this dislocation of ‘self’ … Continue reading

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Return to nature

Most of the photographs on this blog are mine, but I’ve chosen one of Wyn Bullock’s images to illustrate a beautiful quotation from him. “Whenever I have found myself stuck in the ways I relate to things, I return to nature. It is … Continue reading

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London’s burning

Ubuntu is an African word which can be inadequately translated as ‘humanness’. It may, in fact, be untranslatable, but the principle is expressed in the African saying: ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ – ‘A person is a person through other persons’. One of the most influential Western philosophers claimed that … Continue reading

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Nature and health

Back in March I discussed research showing that we’re happier in natural environments than in cities (Happy yet? Naturally!) I’ve now found lots of similar research related to health. Dr Roger Ulrich was interested in whether a natural view from … Continue reading

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What is the body?

What do somatic trainers talk about on a week-end get together? One hot topic was exploring what the body might be. We had a brainstorm on that topic one evening and selected our best one-liners for broadcast. This playful exercise suggests that there … Continue reading

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