Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Egham Hythe Loop

This loop follows Devil's Lane through Egham Hythe to the Thorpe Hay Meadow Nature Reserve and onward to Thorpe.  It then crosses over the M5 Orbital to Highmoor Farm behind Great Foster's, where you have a great view of the Holloway Sanatorium.  It is called St. Ann's Heath Sanatorium on the old map from 1946 (see below).  From there you follow Stroude Road back, with its fantastic view of the Founder's Building, easy viewing this time of year before the leaves are back on the branch.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Royal Holloway Loop

This loop walk takes you from the Egham Train Station, through Egham's High Street, to Cooper's Hill, Royal Holloway's Founder's Building, then along to the Huntersdale Campus to Hollow Road.  From Hollow Road you have some stunning viewing looking down across Callow Hill to the main Royal Holloway campus.  After that you follow an old Roman road (an actual 'hollow way') down the hill.

The photos document my walking journey, with a lunch stop at the foot of the hill beneath the Holloway sanatorium building in Virginia Water and a wander through some mud near the end of the loop, not far from the P&G buildings below RHUL itself.  Wellies are recommended!

I followed this loop counter-clockwise

Wellies recommended!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

'Top Five' fiction writers

I was caught out in a contradiction when I told my wife I'd put the Valentine's Day card she'd given me in 'my favourite book.'  She had asked me where I had put the card, and I told her, picking up a copy of Orhan Pamuk's Museum of Innocence.  "But I thought that Japanese writer was your favourite," she said.  Well, that's true, I probably did say that at one point (depending on which Japanese writer she's talking about).  So I said, evasively, "top five."  Here they are, really in no particular order (and there are six):

Orhan Pamuk is one of my top five writers of fiction (in translation).  My favourites are Museum of Innocence and Snow.  Both changed my life (this is my criteria for 'top writer').

Haruki Murakami is another.  The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is absolutely amazing and wonderful. (Kenzaburo Oe is the other Japanese writer I admire immensely, especially Rise Up O Young Men of the New Age!)

Roberto Bolano.  The Savage Detectives is a really incredible novel, with an almost infinite cast of characters.

Peter Matthiessen.  Here we finally arrive at a writer who constructs his novels using the English language.  Shadow Country is a trilogy, and it is my favourite work of fiction in English.

Joseph Boyden and
Guy Vanderhaeghe:  these two Canadian writers are my favourites.  Boyden wrote Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce, both featuring Cree characters and northern Ontario landscapes.  Vanderhaeghe writes 'westerns' set in the 1800s in western Canada (see A Good Man)

Not that I've been reading fiction!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Top Ten Books of 2015

Here are the outstanding books of the year (featuring 2 Royal Holloway authors):

1 Dunlop, Catherine Tatiana.  2015.  Cartophilia: Maps and the Search for Identity in the French-German Borderland.  University of Chicago Press.

2 Brummett, Palmira.  2015.  Mapping the Ottomans: Sovereignty, Territory, and Identity in the Early Modern Mediterranean.  Cambridge University Press.

3 Yeazell, Ruth Bernard.  2015.  Picture Titles: How and Why Western Paintings Acquired Their Names.  Princeton University Press.

4 Wulf, Andrea.  2015. The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt. John Murray.

5 MacFarlane, Robert.  2015.  Landmarks.  Henry Holt.

6 Tomaszewski, Brian.  2015.  GIS for Disaster Management.  CRC Press.

7 Hu, Tung-Hui.  2015.  A Prehistory of the Cloud.  The MIT Press.

8 Hawkins, Harriet and Straughan Elizabeth. (eds.).  2015.  Geographical Aesthetics: Imagining Space, Staging Encounters.  Ashgate.

9 Keighren, Innes M.; Withers, Charles W.J.; and Bell, Bill.  2015.  Travels Into Print: Exploration, Writing, and Publishing With John Murray 1773-1859.  University of Chicago Press.

10 Harris, Alexandra.  2015.  Weatherland: Writers and Artists Under English Skies.  Thames and Hudson.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Brompton to Brixton (via John Sandoe Books/Chelsea)

I barely manage to post in November because of all the marking, but I'm fitting one in last minute today after a nice walk from Brompton to Brixton via Chelsea.

Lovely John Sandoe Books where I 'discovered' a novel by Iain Sinclair, the one where he 'tracks' John Clare out of Epping Forest (title: Edge of the Orison).  Moral of the story: I'll have to go back!

A sidewalk itinerary map inscribed near Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea

Chelsea Bridge

They're re-doing the stacks

Interesting 'sculpture' at Electric Avenue above Brixton Market

Home with a detour through Richmond and a movie at the Odeon (Carol, based on Patricia Highsmith's novel The Price of Salt (another I should've looked up at John Sandoe Books!))