Last weekend Edinburgh blew my mind. I found myself on the four and a half hour train with Alan Watts murmuring merrily in my ear about how humankind is all just wavy and wiggly, tapping out some words on my thoughts about adventures and brains. Mine, specifically. Edinburgh, meanwhile, was a beautiful mix of hills and secret sea islands, hectic Fringe Festival theatre and comedy, and wonderful wandering. More on these adventures to come. There are perhaps a few more articles on philosophy and the notion of life stories below, as I attempt to give my own a bit of a jiggle.
Brilliant new things
Tiny Atlas Quarterly. What a gorgeous magazine.
The world’s most beautiful train ride in 13 photographs (the Albula line)
An interview with weirdo adventure brand Explorers Press. My friend Morgan’s brother is the guy behind it, so this article gives me extra DELIGHT to read.
Urban explorer James Creedy is on a mission to snap London’s lost buildings (one for people who like photos of deserted buildings).
“Cyclee: SUCH a clever concept, this – Cyclee isn’t real at the moment, but probably should be. It’s a prototype / design for a small projector which clips to the back of a bike seat to project an image or series of images onto the cyclists’ back, to improve visibility and to communicate with motorists. Obviously there are drawbacks, not least the increased incidences of road violence as motorists take umbrage at the inevitable flurry of cyclists presenting massive, flashing, neon middle fingers at them, but it’s at heart a really clever idea which if you were, say, Halfords or Strava or someone I might look into a bit more.”
Curious thoughts and trends
Is there such a thing as a feminine way to ride a bike? A discussion about the ‘cycle chic’ movement.
50 of the best inspirational and motivational talks for creatives
A gorgeous look at Peru and the notion of adventures become same-old-same-old, too. “The reality is the journey had simply become my life. I was just getting on with living, same as everybody else.”
Clever, useful things (that might make the world substantially better)
This project is all about aggregating bike data. The aim? To influence those in power to make cities more sustainable and bike-friendly.
“Traversing the planet on the kind of adventures that even the most hardened gonzo journalist would think twice about, Unknown Fields Division seek to bring to light the world’s untold stories. But these adventures are not simply for personal development. Each year, members of Unknown Fields Division embark on a journey to investigate the gigantic supply chains that span the earth – the often unseen meanderings of globalisation that enable many of our favourite consumer products to end up on our high streets. As they put it: “To make visible the invisible systems that shape our world.””
Beautiful things (moving pictures and sound)
My friend Alex Van Oostrum writes poetry (and also has a great surname). It is splendid poetry. He has written one about travel.
Skateboarding and wanderlust in the Scottish countryside. This is arty and pacey, gorgeous, and it’s nothing like your typical skateboarding film.
The 10 best surfing short films (London Surf Film Fesitval is coming).
The section where it all gets a bit life & philosophy (longer reads)
Another reason why you need more awe in your life by Oliver Burkeman who always says smart things
“Life stories do not simply reflect personality. They are personality, or more accurately, they are important parts of personality, along with other parts, like dispositional traits, goals, and values.”
You have a perception of the way things are, and you impose it on your memory, and in this way you think, in the same way that I think, that you are living something that is describable. When of course, what we actually live, what we actually experience—with our senses and our nerves—is a vast, absurd, beautiful, ridiculous chaos […] Fiction gives us everything. We use it to feel change and sadness and hope and love and to tell each other about ourselves.”
How your job shapes your identify. What mindsets a job breeds, what doing the job requires of your inner life, how it expands us and (crucially) limits us. Our culture usually skirts round this territory. If we asked: ‘what’s the psychological character of your work?’ the answers would look very different.
Jim Carrey on life is beautiful. Short version / Full version