Culture Corner: Episode Four

Welcome to the fourth instalment in our new series, Culture Corner, sharing ideas for cultural activities during these challenging times; from great reads to gripping TV, binge-worthy boxed-sets to stream and ideas for listening (from music you might know to music you might not and some Slow Radio), aiming to keep you engaged, entertained and maybe even amused whether you’re isolating, in lockdown, or looking for ways to keep occupied.

Front cover depicting a large, creepy=looking mansion seen through a wrought-iron gate
This might cast a spell over you…

Recent Reads: a thumping good read for fans of the epic fantasy genre, Peter Brett’s The Painted Man is the first in a mighty sequence of novels charting the rise of one man from humble villager to be a being of awesome power in mankind’s battle against demonkind. If you enjoy the usual tropes of the genre, you’ll find them all here in this eminently-readable series, in which, each nightfall, demons rise from the earth to plague humanity, and Arlen Bales discovers a lost means of combating this enduring threat.

Winning Watchables: there’s a lovely, gentle atmosphere to Winter Walks, a series of rambles through scenic routes in Yorkshire and Cumbria by well-known faces including Reverend Richard Coles, Selina Scott, Lemn Sissay and Simon Armitage. Armed with only a self-operated selfie-stick and a determination to explore, each episode takes the viewer on a walk through some epic landscapes, accompanied by the presenter’s amiable monologue along the way. Simon Armitage’s walk from Ravenscar to Robin Hood’s Bay is an especial treat, with dramatic coastal views, crumbling cliffs, and jigsaw-puzzle views of the hotch-potch jumble of the town of Robin Hood’s Bay winding and clinging its way down the cliffside. Available to watch on iPlayer here.

Our new Lockdown Listening recommendation is something slightly different, and a welcome respite from the hectic demands of our current lives. The Slow Radio series on BBC Radio 3 offers an opportunity to escape into a variety of sonic landscapes, and the Sounds of the Earth selections gives us the chance to listen to birdsong, rivers and streams and other sounds of the natural world – all without leaving the comfort of your home. Wildlife sound recorder Chris Watson’s recordings capture the seasons, different landscapes and more in a wonderful treasure-trove for the ears. Explore the archive online here.

Epic fantasy; scenic rambles; sounds of the natural world; hope you’ve found something new this week…

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