1 an emotion excited by what is unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable, esp. surprise mingled with admiration or curiosity etc. 2 a strange or remarkable person or thing, specimen, event etc. 3 having marvellous or amazing properties etc. OED

Friday, 11 June 2010

Narroways, St Werburghs 11th June 2010
Walking with friend and artist Natasha Machin we stop to exchange breath with the other-than-human life around us.

Once upon a time the people resisted the proposal by a developer to build houses and roadways to a much loved and rare green space in the city.
Here today I breathe in the air infused with hedgerow trees, grasses, wild flowers, pee, cow parsley and memories that are not mine - of people who resisted schemes of road building.
The scent gives me a treat, one I could access everyday if I was disciplined or even create ways that I experience virile growth to be in my world. I see this action to breathe air that competes with the car culture of Bristol and the business flights, I see it has a privilege and I ask how can I pass this on? Simple not to those whose minds are occupied daily with the struggle to find a place to call home. And I am happy to acknowledge that I can access this because of the actions of the people from the past - a sure relationship between people and nature. I ask what is nature? Is it outside us or are we part of it?
Natasha Machin

Ants carry aphids their own size effortlessly up the red earth mound.

Translucent greenflies cling in a regular pattern on the underside of a sycamore leaf - the sun highlighting the print.

Grey brown old bramble stalks lay across one another in a scribble. A lizzard? A mouse? A shrew? A slow worm? Slithers through the gaps.

The hawthorn berries are hard green pellets, shiny in the light, the hope of pink around their edges.
Eve Houston


  1. I share the sense of privilege of being able to enjoy the spaces you speak of - those on the edge of our consciousness when we are consumed by the need to grow grow grow our industry at the risk of shrink shrink shrinking our contentment. Also share the sense of humility and thanks to those - more courageous than me - who fought for what we enjoy.

  2. I like the gritty interface between nature and
    Bristol's industrial past and present. You realise that nature's not in retreat, but waiting to take over as soon as it gets half a chance!