A good friend, Brendon McConnell, shared The Rapha Continental films with me this morning. We’d been chatting about a small adventure I went on this weekend with Seb (my son) to go hill rolling beside the Uffington White Horse. 110 metres long and around 3000 years old, it’s a great place to roll down ancient hills and to top it off, the landscape itself is called ‘rolling downland’. It was actually a confused conversation because Brendon was thinking about the Westbury White Horse in Wiltshire (a baby in comparison at just over 200 years old) that features in this film by Rapha, who make clothing for cyclists.
There is a whole series of poetic and beautifully made videos that manage to record and represent different senses of places. This film of the Icknield Way, including the Westbury White Horse, contrasts country with urban life so strongly that I actually felt a physical reaction when I watched it. These videos are such great examples of the importance of place(s) in our lives, and how exploration can deepen our understanding and enjoyment of them.
I’ve not been blogging as much as I would like to, either here or on The Geography Collective’s blog. We are currently in the final stages of developing Discover Explore, a project for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad that is part of a strand called Discovering Places. The purpose of the project is to help young people and families discover, explore and learn from new places in new ways.
The Discover Explore pilot focusses along the Great Glen in Scotland. The Glen stretches down a geological fault between Fort William and Inverness. It is here where you will find Britain’s oldest rocks and what is left of a mountain range that used to be as high as the Himalayas. Discover Explore covers and bridges some of the inseparable natural and human heritage of the area including pre-historic hunters, Picts, Clans, Jacobites, myths and legends including a number of different Loch Ness Monsters.
Parts of Discover Explore are about exploring to discover specific places.. find which street a photograph was taken on and you can win points. Others are far more subjective challenges that only the explorer will know how well their mission has been done. They can still win honesty points though.
Some of the missions are text based, others include pictures and some include listening to sounds. You can listen to two different interviews that are used in Discover Explore here. One is of a full time and professional Loch Ness Monster hunter.
Discover Explore is young and will grow over coming weeks and months. May you be a family visiting the Great Glen or a teacher anywhere in the world looking for some activity ideas, I hope you enjoy it when it goes live.
To be one of the first to learn when it goes live visit the holding page here.