The Meaning of Geese: A Thousand Miles in Search of Home

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The Meaning of Geese: A Thousand Miles in Search of Home

The Meaning of Geese: A Thousand Miles in Search of Home

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Twenty years on, Welsh’s auctioneer sleuth Rilke has another mystery to solve – his old mate washes up dead after tipping him off about a house clearance – but this time in a city pockmarked by Grindr, gentrification and a pandemic. I emerged from the book with insights about the author, his wonderful home county, and - of course - of geese, but also a sense of calm and a reflection on my own priorities and self. The pandemic gave Acheson fallow time to mount his rickety bike and scope Norfolk for the “thousands of lives brought here by wind, genes, instinct and the planet’s axial tilt”. To honour the geese’s great athletic migrations, Nick kept a diary of his sightings as well as the stories he discovered through the community of people, past and present, who loved them, too.

The Covid-19 lockdowns spawned a number of nature books in the UK and, although the pandemic is not a major element here, one does get a sense of how Acheson struggled with isolation as well as the normal winter blues and found comfort and purpose in birdwatching. He was a wildlife guide in South America and Africa for more than a decade before, waking up to the enormity of the climate crisis, he vowed never to fly again. Over the last 20 years or so, we have visited North Norfolk in winter to satisfy our birding needs, alas during the last 3/4 years due to Covid and other factors we have only visited in the spring. I loved this book from the opening pages despite knowing nothing about Norfolk, and not being particularly into geese before reading it. He is never happier than when reading Shakespeare or listening to Bach in his garden, embraced by the happy hum of wool carder bees and Willughby's leafcutters.While mainly fact and information focused there are some beautifully written lines throughout this and it’s a book that’s easy to read through in just a couple of sittings. The Meaning of Geese is a book of thrilling encounters with wildlife, of tired legs, punctured tyres and inhospitable weather. He is best known in East Anglia where he makes regular appearances on ITV Anglia, BBC Look East and BBC Radio Norfolk, and presents films for Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Green Light Trust and Pensthorpe. To honor the geese's great athletic migrations, Nick kept a diary of his sightings as well as the stories he discovered through the community of people, past and present, who loved them too.

He then explains how during COVID he decided to follow Norfolk’s geese on his bike over the 2020-2021 winter. Born and raised in Norfolk, Nick has a life-long love for wildlife and particularly the wild geese that arrive there in their thousands every year. Having worked in the wild landscapes and seascapes of every continent, Nick has huge experience of their biodiversity.As two Sherpas ponder what to do next, their predicament triggers Daniell’s brilliantly tangential excursions into their state of mind, personal histories and aspirations. The meaning of migration, it turns out, is more complex and downright epic than our group over-confidently supposed. His beloved pinks soon budge up and make room for other members of the two goose types classified in Latin as Anser and Branta. The community includes some who watch the birds for recreation and others for whom this is a professional (ecological) relationship; then there are the landowners and tenant farmers who host the vast flocks, and the wildfowlers who take sport from them. Next time I'm birdwatching in Norfolk, I'll be looking a little more closely at the various species of geese, and wondering where they've been, and where they're going.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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