Somewhere Nowhere Blog

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Showing articles in category "lake district blog"

02/11/2017

The Pace of Life: Slowing Down and Creating Legacies

A reflection on the projects of 2017, legacies for the future, and lots of walking ...

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28/06/2017

Taking the Long View

We have spent two years with seven remarkably ordinary trees so it feels wonderful to share them through The Long View book and the exhibition at Grizedale Forest in Cumbria.

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29/06/2016

Creativity and nature - why does it matter when the country's in a state of disarray?

Following the UK vote to leave the EU, in the midst of political confusion and financial uncertainty, does paying attention to nature really matter?

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23/05/2016

One simple line

Isn't it great when art causes debate ? Here's our reflection on how a single line of cloth got people talking about the impact of humans on the environment ...

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24/04/2016

Putting a little bit back

We hadn't guessed that it might feel good to cut down trees ... but recently discovered why it can be very beneficial in Hardknott Forest in Cumbria's Duddon Valley.

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23/02/2016

Getting to know the trees

It is beginning. We both felt it, but didn't talk about it until after we had come out of the valley. We walked back from the Langstrath Birch long after the sun had set and the moon had sunk below the horizon, picking our way along the stony footpath by the light of our head torches.

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01/02/2016

5, 5 & 5 on the 555

A journey on the 555 bus to the road block between Grasmere and Thirlmere, and back again, via five pubs ... an unusual kind of a journey.

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24/01/2016

Three dawns in one day

The five of us began our walk in the thickness of night. The sky was the darkest of blues - perhaps the colour of ocean depths.

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11/01/2016

Reflections on a year gone and a year to come

To mark the beginning of a new year we thought we'd take a moment to reflect on somewhere-nowhere's year in 2015 and to look forwards. If you've missed any of the highlights (mountains, meadows, wandering poems, mavericks ...), or want to find out more about what's coming up, read on. There are exciting times ahead.

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04/12/2015

What's in a raindrop?

What do you see in a raindrop?

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05/11/2015

Being Restored

When we turned up I wasn't quite sure how it was going to work. One wall gap of about eight metres in length, and around twenty five people, many of us complete novices. Was mending this wall - in fact building it up all the way from its footings - going to be all fingers and thumbs and confusion?

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29/10/2015

Seasons change

The rain is lashing down on what anyone, in a cynical frame of mind, might call a ‘typical’ October day in Cumbria. But in truth, most of October has been sunny and warm, and we were treated to a string of bright days in September that did, in some way, make up for the wet summer months.

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25/09/2015

Still, after London

The wind has dropped and I can hear the scraping of an insect in the grass at my feet. The evening sun is a gold orb in the black mirror of the tarn. Stillness. Here is silence, a commodity that is, as far as I know, impossible to find in the city.

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03/09/2015

Words coming and going

Showing sheep in the Lake District can be a competitive business – never so competitive that it overrules friendships, but the reputation of a farmer and his flock is boosted by success. Quality matters. Writing a poem to adorn the champion rosettes was not something to be taken lightly.

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17/07/2015

Watching bees and other things

This particular bee is flying heavily from one clover to the next. It seems to take a random zig-zag path, led on by scent, but maybe there is a plan that I, as a non-bee, can have no idea about. Above its pollen-laden body, meadow grasses sway, sorrel shimmers red-green, oxeye daisies turn to the sun, and the fells climb green to the skyline. There’s constant birdcall echoing through the valley, and the river’s gentle song is like breath, always there.

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15/06/2015

Way more than fifty shades of green

Our eyes are drawn by the colour: bright gems of pink, purple, blue, yellow. Buttercups, cranesbill, speedwell, campion, clover. It's hard not to focus on them, to marvel at their vibrancy. It's a major delight of this time of year when roadside verges, meadows and woodland floors sing with these flashes of brilliance.But what about the greens?

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01/06/2015

Stopping to Wonder


The pulse of sound that rose like a cross between a muffled donkey's bray and a bassoon stopped me in my tracks. I stopped breathing. If I could physically open my ears, as I would widen my eyes, I would have. And there it was again, a sound I heard with my belly and my bones more than anything else - low, dense and strange.

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15/04/2015

The Shepherd's Life

If you haven’t already got a copy of The Shepherd’s Life, by James Rebanks, then I advise you to find one, settle down, and start reading. Since its release last week it has caused his twitter following to rise by more than twelve thousand, and its reading on BBC Radio 4 as book of the week has certainly got people talking.

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11/03/2015

Open Ears

The sound of the curlew’s song looping in the cool air was a cause for celebration last week. And then the sight of its familiar inverted ‘W’, wings in mirrored arches led by a curved beak, added to our joy.

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27/02/2015

The Other Borrowdale

Encounter with place is often enriched when there is a purpose – the eye becomes keener, all the senses perk up, and you take in the sense of place with more intensity than if you were just passing through.
So it was today when Rob and I went to the Borrowdale Valley, just north of Kendal, walking into the heart of the valley for the first time. Our purpose was to take a look at a place I’ll be getting to know more intimately during the summer months when it dances with meadow flowers

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22/02/2015

Time for Walking

From the first step of a walk time is redefined. It passes in glimpses: shards of grass, bare winter trees, limp burnished bracken, sky. Its pulse is the rhythm of footfall, the come-and-go of breeze nudged in from the sea, our breath. We walk through the present, and the sun follows its usual arc through the sky, but Greenwich Mean Time is from another world where counting and figures follow rigid laws ...

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21/09/2014

Walking, thinking

I go out into the land to leave behind the lines and squares and glares of inside living, of walls and rooms, computers and information exchange and jagged edged thinking. I heard today another was beheaded; a body was found in the woods; two murdered on a dream holiday; and another child in adult's frame raises her voice to sing the refrain of one abused.

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27/03/2014

Unplugged, light as air

It doesn't take long. I am, overnight, disconnected from the mainframe of technology. Signal-less, no WiFi, no television, no radio. No emails to draw me in, no texts, no messages to log and reply to. Finally, I have found a pause from a near ceaseless state of alert - and my nervous system has found another frequency. My head relaxes.

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10/02/2014

Land Keepers Exhibition

Well, after two years of research, photographing, dark room alchemy, writing and days out on the fells and in the yards of farmers, we have finally brought together a selection of material for the Land Keepers exhibition, which is looking pretty nice at the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere.

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17/12/2013

That single tree

That single tree that greets us, and is greeted by us, every morning, holds the morning against its winter silhouette. The sky behind shifts from pink to white to grey to blue, from dry to wet to blown to still. Each evening its skeletal shape fades into dark as dusk is pulled over the land - except with a strong moon, like last night, when every branch and nest became an etching on the deep blue infinity of the cold night sky.

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25/10/2013

The Invisible Third

Last month Rob and I went to the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal to hear and see presentations from a number of artists who opened their studios for C-Art. Each artist showed 20 slides, each for 20 seconds, using just 20 words per slide to describe what they were showing. And we began to think about the invisible third.

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08/10/2013

Just to get out of the house ...

In Kathleen Jamie's book Sightlines she writes about the way that her unstoppable urge simply to get out of the house when she was younger laid the path for her deepening relationship with the natural world. It gave her close encounters with plants and weather, it became a refuge for her eager, explorative self and it probably had a lot to do with her eventual maturation into an outdoor wanderer and a superb writer.

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02/09/2013

Blackberries: A Homage to Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney’s Blackberry Picking has been lodged in my mind from around the age of thirteen. When I read it now I can taste and smell blackberries and the quickening breeze bringing Autumn in from the north, I can feel the tingle of stingers on my feet (still bravely wearing sandals) and I can hear the urgent calls of swallows preparing for a long southward journey.

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15/07/2013

Where is the Wild?

I feel as if the wild has been teased out and pushed away. It’s as if it dwells over the other side of the hillock rising to the east, in the Howgills and beyond; it dwells in the higher reaches of the Lakeland fells where gradient, rock, course grasses and weather determine the choice of man to hand it back to nature.

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21/04/2013

Changing Seasons, New Beginnings

It comes at a raging rush, and it comes in waves. As I stand on the stony shelf the surge rolls towards my feet every second or two. It is pulsing while it is flowing. A few weeks ago I walked up the pale slabs of this river bed, I knelt beneath ten-foot icicles and peered through ice sheets, hearing only a gentle trickle of water and the echoes of bird song.

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28/03/2013

Night Walking

Five stars, irregular points of an imaginary shape, shine on the velvet sky, then fade. A slice of high cloud has snuffed their light, and brushes the crescent moon so that it shifts from bright white to a cool silver haze. And then it passes, revealing the stars once again.

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