Filed under open spaces

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City BBC4

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City BBC4

This documentary featured the pioneering journalism and activism of Jane Jacobs who led the battle to stop the wholesale replacement of cities and their vibrant communities with freeways and tower blocksin New York City. Her main opponent was Robert Moses who became a local hero for promoting open spaces and building public parks, but after … Continue reading

A Child Genius

A Child Genius

I recently saw a young girl calling out “Old man! old man!” to an elderly person shuffling with a jerky gait across the road from us. He didn’t hear or purposely ignored her, so she turned to me, anxious for clarification even though her father was nearby. “Do you know him?” She asked. “No, Why?” … Continue reading

Barnard Castle Market House

Barnard Castle Market House

This the first round market house I’ve found with a second storey, which makes it rather special. It has been used as a prison, court house and of course for markets. It is at a busy intersection so you risk limb though probably not life in visiting it. I am told it sometimes causes accidents … Continue reading

Inside St Peter’s Bristol

Inside St Peter’s Bristol

When we were campaigning to save Bristol’s Castle Park, we were repeatedly told this mediaeval church was at risk of falling inwards, weakened by the fire that destroyed it in The Blitz. But it’s still standing and now volunteers have access to it to help maintain the adjoining garden. It’s misnamed the Physic Garden, but … Continue reading

The Eagle Huntress

The Eagle Huntress

This film follows 13 year old Aishoplan as she becomes the first female eagle hunter in Kazakh history. We see her with her family, helping with the family farm work, and staying in town where she and her siblings are at school through the week. She comes from a long line of eagle hunters, but … Continue reading

Imprisoning the Mentally ill

This is from Patrick Cockburn, award winning war correspondent with the i paper. It seems a far cry from his usual topic, but not really. The criminalisation of the mentally iill is one of the cruellest and most easily avoidable tragedies of our era. He discusses a number of cases of impending executions for the … Continue reading

Walking and Talking

Walking and Talking

This is a subject that is of increasing concern to me as communities across Britain battle to preserve open spaces. In Cardiff the Central square is now a huge building site. It feels threatening, the metal monsters rising where once was windswept bus shelters and skateboarders and people able to catch sight of the sky. … Continue reading

John Gibson – A British Sculptor in Rome

John Gibson – A British Sculptor in Rome

I knew many British people did the Grand Tour to widen their education, but had no idea some artists lived and worked there. Gibson (1790-1866) was born in Conwy, Wales but settled in Rome in 1817 where he studied with Antonio Canova and set up his own studio which itself became a tourist attraction for … Continue reading

Leprosy in Red Squirrels

Here’s an odd story from last week’s i paper: “Red squirrels in the UK and Ireland carry strains of leprosy similar to those that have afflicted disability and disfigurement on humans for centuries, a study has shown. Experts stress the chances of catching the disease from a squirrel are extremely low. Scientists tested DNA samples … Continue reading