Entries tagged "book"
I have recently returned from an expedition to the heart of Borneo. There were three stages: 3 flights and 8 days in small boats to reach the interior of Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).
7 days trekking with the Dayak across remote jungle , all the time studying their every navigational move.
1 boat journey, one motorbike/hike, one three-day delay as the Indonesian military refused to let me on board their aircraft, one missionary flight, one more boat journey, one more domestic flight, to get from the centre of Borneo to the coast.
It is a measure of…
The Wall Street Journal has recently reviewed The Natural Navigator book.
Here is a taster:
"...as the title of his deeply poetic book—"The Natural Navigator"—suggests, there is life after the compass, maps and even GPS. Or, to put it more accurately, there was life before them, and that way of life—in which we orient ourselves by examining the types of clouds in the sky above us or the strength of sea currents beneath our feet or the marks that winds leave in the snow—is worth studying and defending...."
The full review can be read…
In these four pictures we are looking at the same beech tree. See if you can work out which way you are looking in each picture. If you hover your mouse over each picture it should give you the answer.
If it has been a bit quiet on the blog recently, it's because it has been a very busy time for the last…
A great review of The Natural Explorer came out on Friday, which capped a pretty good week.
“The Natural Explorer takes us on a multi-sensory, literary journey intent on heightening awareness of our surroundings. An ambitious combination of Gooley’s own insights and those of countless other writers, explorers and philosophers, this is serious armchair adventuring.” Prospect Magazine
I spent Thursday morning at the sparkling new headquarters of Ordnance Survey in Southampton. I was fortunate enough to be given a tour of the work they are very busy doing…
Happy New Year!
I do not share everything in this blog, you will be pleased to know. Most matters familial and ablutionary are kept from these pages.
So too are exact locations from time to time. It is not usually necessary to pinpoint the precise spot where a natural navigation technique revealed itself, or to give a 16 figure grid reference of the perch from which a photograph was taken.
Sometimes, I must confess that I deliberately fail, as unostentatiously as possible, to reveal even a general location if I am keen not to encourage visitors…
Sceptre, the publisher of my upcoming book, is celebrating its 25th birthday this year. To mark the occasion, Sceptre invited their writers to pen something on the theme of 25. The following formed my birthday offering.
Anyone who finds their mid-twenties easy is open to accusations of being a dullard. I wanted to be many things when I was twenty-five, but a dullard was not one of them. Fortunately, it proved to be a most irksome age.
Almost every molecule in my twenty-five year old body was urging…
Here's a sneak preview of the cover to my new book, The Natural Explorer. It is being published in March by Sceptre.What do you reckon? Let me know on Twitter (@naturalnav) or by email.
It has been quite a restless few days.
Last Saturday I spent the morning in London as a guest on BBC Radio 4's Excess Baggage. In the evening I led a group on a night walk. The conditions were perfect. We watched as blue turned to orange. Then as the orange faded to dark blue and black we were treated as Arcturus, Deneb, Altair, Vega, Capella and others began to appear. Lurking luminously between the silhouetted branches of a two hawthorns there was a bright white…
Welcome to those of you who have found your way here, on the trail from BBC1's Country Tracks. (For those of you who haven't, a programme has just gone out on BBC1 in which I gave the presenter Miriam Cooke some natural navigation tips in a forest by the Arch, near Devil's Bridge, in Ceredigion, Wales. There's a short clip here.)
However you found your way, now that you are here have a bit of an explore and get as lost in this website as you like.
If you've enjoyed watching some natural navigation on TV,…
The Natural Navigator Pocket Guide is out now!
Who is this book for? How does it differ from the original book? How big is it? So many questions!
First the jacket blurb, then my take on the book:
'Starting with a simple question – ‘Which way am I looking?’ – Tristan Gooley blends natural science, myth, folklore and the history of travel to introduce you to the rare and ancient art of finding your way using nature’s own sign-posts, from the feel of a rock to the look of the moon.
The National Trust is asking people to vote for their favourite outdoors book, published in hardback or paperback in the UK, since January 2010.
It only takes 5 seconds to vote:
This could be lichened to an X-Factor for outdoors books and I thought it would be nice to sea if I could get the word out there. Of course it would be tree-mendous and I'd be over the moon, it really would be a very sunny day to see The Natural Navigator star in such a way, but I must be on another planet to…
Full marks to Radio 4's Today programme for allowing even a few minutes' discussion of the role of technology in our appreciation and understanding of nature.
Mike Saunders, Kew Garden's Digital head, and I exchanged ideas and perspectives yesterday in a glancing and enjoyable way. 'Today' is prime radio real estate and they could not have been expected to indulge us for much longer.
Of course there were many points that I would have like to have made, but could not, the effect being a rather truncated view, which appears to many to be fairly blunt.…
"This in-depth book gives us the tools to re-engage with our natural world in a clear and understandable way. I love it!"Bear GryllsMassive thanks Bear!
My thanks to all the GQ readers who came to my natural navigation talk at Molton House in the West End last night. Thanks also to Monkey Shoulder whisky for hosting the night.I am fortunate, my work takes me to all sorts of places: deserts, mountains, universities, bookshops, islands, offices, clubs, societies... but never before had I been invited to a venue that describes itself as, 'a sybaritic haven'.If talking about the natural world in such a quintessentially urban venue was to some extent a clash of cultures, then it did not seem to phase readers…
Last night we got back from a family camping trip to a site near the Hay Festival in Herefordshire. It was my first visit to the Festival and it was a really great family trip.The campsite was the best I have ever been to: small, sheltered, great facilities, lovely owners, amazing views... Not even a day of heavy rain could wash away the fun we had chez tent.We had too much fun at the best circus in the world, Giffords, which, following a health and safety warning, totally shuns modernity.Hay-on-Wye was everything a writer and rampant bibliophile could…
I really enjoyed giving a talk to a wonderful audience at the Daphne du Maurier Festival this morning, in the beautiful coastal town of Fowey.I'm very grateful to everyone who bought tickets and came - so wonderful to be greeted by a packed out theatre at 10am on a wet and misty Wednesday morning in deepest Cornwall.A huge thanks too to all those who bought a copy of the book. Waterstones thought they had things covered with 35 copies, but they all flew off the shelf and so apologies to those that left empty-handed.Another big thanks to Jonathan,…
Thanks to everyone who came to hear my talks and buy the book at the Outdoors Show yesterday. I will be giving the talks again today and on Sunday at the following times on the stage at the Wilderness Camp:
1.15: The Wonderful World of Natural Navigation. A quick peek at a couple of the journeys that led to my passion for the subject, including the transatlantics, and then a whirlwind tour of lots of techniques that you can use yourself.
4.00: Navigating Using the Night Sky. The ways we can use the stars, moon and planets…
Sorry if you are trying to buy a copy of 'The Natural Navigator' - Amazon have sold out again!After selling out, restocking and two reprints in the past three weeks, the book is now temporarily out of stock again on Amazon. Another massive thanks to everyone who has bought a copy so far.You can still order it from Amazon. Or there are still quite a few bookshops that have a copy (worth phoning before), or online while stocks last at these places:The Book DepositoryWaterstonesFoylesThe photo above is of the hill to the east of my home,…
A beautiful six day old moon is hanging high in the sky at the moment. There are some weird, wonderful and slightly complex ways of using it to find direction. There is also a really easy one that takes less than five seconds. The method is on page 147 of the book, with an illustration on page 148.Are those cries of, 'You tease!', I hear echoing around the blogosphere?
Welcome Radio 4 listeners! You have found your way to the home of natural navigation on the Internet. (A podcast of my walk with Evan Davies for the Today programme can be found here. The short article that I wrote to go with the interview and the video that accompanied the broadcast can be found here.)The book reviews are starting to come in:'In a sat-nav dominated world, where GPS and a host of other acronyms designed to get us from A to B have overtaken paper maps, it is refreshing to meet someone who understands technology, but prefers…
... but it is temporarily out of stock of my book. They sold out in less than 48 hours which is great news in many ways, but less good if you are trying to get your hands on a copy quickly. They are re-stocking and a reprint is also underway. You can still order it at a fantastic discount and they will deliver as soon as more copies come in, hopefully only a few days.The book is still currently available from Waterstones and Foyles have a few copies left. It will hopefully be in your local independent…
I was at the Royal Geographical Society for the Travellers' Tales Festival yesterday, to give a talk about my book. Less than a fortnight until it hits the shops!I arrived early to listen to some of the other speakers, including the National Geographic photographer, Frans Lanting. The speakers' notes are very explicit about not running over your alotted time, but Frans was on a serious roll. That guy is not short of slides. It was enjoyable but as it shot past it's slot, and then on some, enjoyable though it was I had to nip out. I'd inspected…
My book is on the printing presses - this is very exciting and an excuse for a quick plug in my blog!In the book I emphasise the importance of using our senses in natural navigation. I cover examples from the sound of birdsong to the smell of trampled fruit in London.I stumbled across a kindred spirit on the Internet this morning in Sachin Somanna, the author of this article about Gayathri Tiffin Room. It certainly smells from here like one of the joys of the Indian city of Mysore:"We do not need any directions to reach Gayathri Tiffin…
Regular blog readers will know that I am a bit of a fan of Robert Pirsig's book, 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'. I'm just about to finish the sequel, 'Lila', which is also a bit of a positive mind-bender (that is if you have some alternative views, and possibly a negative one if you consider yourself a conformist. Come to think of it, a conformist wouldn't buy the book, and if they stumbled across it would be unlikely to start it and if they did start it, would be extremely unlikely to finish it.)Pirsig takes on…
Nice article on the Beeb website about the Saturn equinox. A succinct definiton of 'equinox' in the article too:'Equinox is the moment when the Sun crosses a planet's equator, making day and night the same length.'I forgot to mention that I delivered the manuscript of my book to my publishers, Virgin Books, three weeks ago. It is an exciting moment, a good line in the sand, but far from a terminal one. Work will continue on it until about November probably.
I have just received an email telling me that I have been 'specially recommended in Rough Guides’ new book – Clean Breaks: 500 New Ways to See the World - published in August 2009.' It goes on,'In writing this book, the authors have highlighted 500 fantastic places across the globe which will inspire people to see the world in a new light, selecting unusual holidays and alternative ways to travel which make a real difference to the lives of local people and the planet.Only a few companies qualify for a special recommendation of this…
I got back late last night after a very full day in the Yorkshire Dales. I was doing a shoot with the Escape to the Country team which finished at 6 o' clock and then it was a six hour drive, Diet Coke and dark chocolate all the way, to get back home in time to get the first draft of my book to Virgin Books for the deadline.Had a great, albeit quite short, time in the Dales. The production team and house-hunting couple were really fun to work with and it is hard not to enjoy a day in…
Last night I went for a run through some beech woodland. The perfect tonic after twelve hours straight on the book.
Possibly the worst blog post title that I have yet come up with, and there have been a few...Our cat, Murphy, can be seen reflecting the direction of the last of the suns rays here.The tree shadows in the distance have broken free from the woodland in the background too for the first time this year at sunset.In the spirit of randomness to which this posting has succumbed I thought you might like this puzzle, set by a friend and former NN alumni.Do not be alarmed if my postings continue to be sporadic, poorly constructed, lacking in theme, good…