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Showing posts from January, 2018

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

In the mid-2000s I had read parts of Robert Macfarlane’s book Mountains of the Mind for a Masters Degree assignment on Percy Shelley’s ‘Mont Blanc’. I must admit, until he appeared on my Twitter feed with his ‘Words of the Day’ tweets having been retweeted by someone else, I’d almost forgotten how knowledgeable he is. 
How does this all link to a book by a completely different author? Well, Macfarlane and writer Julia Bird, decided that over the festive period they would run a Twitter-based, read-along reading group based around Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising.

The #DarkisReading and #ArtisRising hashtags were born.
The story, despite being written for a younger audience, is full of rich descriptions of landscapes and nature. Furthermore, Cooper seems particularly adept at recreating the otherworldliness of the snow-bound countryside: “The strange white world lay stroked by silence. No birds sang. The garden was no longer there, in this forested land. Nor were the out-buildings nor …

The Soundtrack to My 2017

Over the latter half of 2016 I had enjoyed curating a short playlist of songs that evoked a particular memory of a place or feeling at the time. The process itself was so interesting (never truly knowing which songs would still be melting my iPhone headphones many months later) that I thought I would repeat the process all over again in 2017, adding, deleting and re-adding to my Apple Music playlist over the course of the entire year.

As before, the criteria for inclusion was simple: the songs had to have spent a substantial amount of time getting played on my Apple Music account over the previous 12 months, whether they are from 2017 or not.
As for 2017, it was a lot less weird for me on a personal and professional level, but completely eclipsed 2016 in terms of bizarreness at times.

Right Stuff by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

I feel that over the two years, not only have I been guilty of neglecting Noel Gallagher’s solo material, but I feel there has been a bit of a tendency b…