Baleen

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WORDS: Gary Budden LOCATION: Kent There was all the stuff you’d expect; heart lungs liver kidneys etc. Baleen thick and numerous like bristles on an old paint-brush. But nothing in the gut, half-digested and smelling of pricey French perfume. Empty

On the Trail of the Green Man: An interview with Nina Lyon

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WORDS: Gary Budden I spoke to author Nina Lyon about her latest book Uprooted: On the Trail of the Green Man (Faber, 2016), a brilliant piece of creative non-fiction about our attitude to nature and the environment, the resonance of

Heaven is a marsh in Winter

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LOCATION: Essex WORDS: Gary Budden PICTURES: Maxim Griffin The book I chose to take deep into Essex’s marshland (from a choice of many) was The Hamlyn Guide to Birds, revised edition, published 1987. It’s been with me as long as I

Common Ground: Rob Cowen on Edgeland Literature, Psychogeography & Nature Writing

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WORDS: Gary Budden interviews Rob Cowen I recently spoke to Rob Cowen, author of the excellent Common Ground, about his new book, edgeland literature and psychogeography, the debates around what does and does not constitute ‘nature writing’ and the importance

Landscape Punk to Supermarket Car Parks: Unofficial Britain Live in Stoke Newington

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  Unofficial Britain was honoured to host an event at Influx Press’s day at The Stoke Newington Literary Festival, 6th June 2015. Below is a recording of that event. Thanks to Influx Press for their support, Meghna Gupta for the photo and

Election Night in Aberystwyth with Niall Griffiths

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LOCATION: West Wales WORDS: Gary Budden  ‘It’s hard to paraphrase; if I could paraphrase all this stuff then I wouldn’t have been arsed to write a whole book about it.’ It’s Election Day 2015, and I’m feeling oddly hopeful that something,

Specifics: Thoughts on birds and birdwatching

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LOCATION: Kent WORDS: Gary Budden  The sky is moody and grey. We park up in a windy carpark by Reculver towers, see two sand martins dart by towards the sandstone cliffs. They’re specific to this place and newly back for the

Five Things I Learned on Cricklewood Broadway

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LOCATION: London WORDS: Gary Budden  One Saturday morning, maybe half nine, wake to a hubbub outside the bedroom window. Down on the street the sound of a crowd, murmurings, overlapping conversations. Something going on. Blearily peer through slatted blinds. Women in

Firepit Collective’s To the Lost: folk songs and landscape punks

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WORDS: Gary Budden  “Delving into traditional folk is on the one hand like hearing the voices of people whose names are long forgotten, their stories, their creativity, dreams, hopes and struggles, and on the other is just a natural expression

Staples Corner, and How We Can Know It

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LOCATION: London WORDS: Gary Budden ONE – On why you are at Staples Corner In the weak and watery November light of a Monday afternoon, you sit with your nose pressed against the cold glass of the 266 bus. You