About Simon Perks

Writer, trail runner, hill walker, astronomer, kayaker, paddleboarder, nerd, tea drinker, lover of the sea, labrador wrangler

Being a good ancestor (A book review)

When we make decisions, we’re pretty good at thinking about what they’ll mean for us in the immediate future. But when it comes to the longer-term impact of our decisions, whether taken individually or as a society, we struggle to think further than the next decade or so. Anything beyond that is, as we tend to see it, someone else’s problem.

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A quick catch-up on the reading front

As you know, I usually try to write a quick review of books I’ve enjoyed. On the grounds that, if you like reading my blog, you may well like to read the sort of things that I like to read, too. And also because people who write books (usually) put a lot of effort into what they do, so it seems only nice, if I’ve enjoyed their work, to tell other people about it. I’ve built up a bit of a backlog of books to review, though, so in an effort to clear the decks a little, here are some of the things that I’ve read recently. I really think you’d enjoy reading them, too.

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The land under our feet (A book review)

There’s a bit in the film Crocodile Dundee when Paul Hogan says of the aboriginal peoples of Australia ‘they don’t own the land; they belong to it’. Uncomfortable colonialist thinking aside, there’s a strong moral argument than none of us can really own the land under our feet. It’s not even something that we can own collectively. Because it’s not really ours to own at all. Unfortunately, though, nobody told the economists.

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What we’ve learned from 2020

Even without the global pandemic, 2020 has been a tumultuous year. In the UK, we’ve stumbled our way out of the European Union. The worldwide Black Lives Matter movement has challenged the way we think about race and about our own colonial history. And we’ve become ever more aware of (although, sadly, not necessarily more inclined to do anything about) the damage that we’re inflicting on the world around us.

So as the year comes to a close, it seems timely to reflect on what we’ve learned from the last twelve months. It’s tempting, of course, to simply put our heads down and get the hell out of 2020 as quickly as possible. But it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to draw back the curtains tomorrow on a new world of pandemic-free sunlit uplands. And so we need to learn what we can, in the hope that it will help us better to deal with the year ahead.

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Switching to winter mode

Now the clocks have gone back and it’s dark by half past five (and going to be dark by half four before long), we’ve had to make a few changes around here. Gone is the whole ‘finish work, head out with the dogs’ thing. Because if you work for yourself and get to set your own hours, you might as well acknowledge the changing seasons and adapt accordingly. Yup, it’s time to switch to winter mode.

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