Longitude Books: Book of the Week review

by ABCCmain on May 31, 2015

www.longitudebooks.com Book of The Week

excerpts from Longitude Books:

The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning is designed in the style of historical Antarctic publications, such as Ernest Shackleton’s handmade Aurora Australis. It’s a miscellany of packing lists and plans, menus, journals, recipes, letters and photographs that give the reader a full understanding of what it was like not only to plan and execute an expedition of 50 plus volunteers in harsh conditions – but also to feed them.

The fact that cooking and cleaning have historically been seen as a woman’s responsibility while the uncharted Antarctic was deemed a man’s domain makes for an interesting intersection of gender roles and expectations. Just as the borders between nations are easily crossed on the Antarctic continent (the women navigate between Russian, Chinese and Chilean bases), the boundaries of gender roles are also blurred, stretched and explored…

In Ursula Le Guin’s fictional story “Sur,” published in The New Yorker in 1982, eight women travel to the South Pole. Though they are the first humans to reach it, they don’t publish their journals. Though they lose their toes, they are happy to leave no footprints. And when the narrator finds the mess Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition left at base camp she declares: “Housekeeping, the art of the infinite, is no game for amateurs.”

If housekeeping is the art of the infinite, where better to practice it than in a place that embodies the infinite. And how better to protect seemingly endless stretches of landscape than to pick up trash or cook a meal? As Trusler writes, “whether we are taking care of each other or taking care of the land, small gestures matter…There is wisdom to be gleaned from sound housekeeping practices.”

Thanks Longitude Books.

depart comfort zone=brain food, adventure tales & a recipe

by ABCCmain on May 03, 2015

I recently wrote an article for Elle Canada‘s May issue on the theme of Adventure. I was pleased they wanted to know about the art and science of adventure as well as defining adventure with meaning. I include a few tips and some worthy initiatives and organizations from The Pine Project and the Consciousness Explorer’s Club to British explorer Alistair Humphrey’s Microadventures (they can be near by and cheap).

Science tells us unequivocally that doing something we fear is good for us, especially as we age. (But be self-aware because that same adventure bit of our brain, the ventral striatum -the reward centre- is also the one that likes gambling etc. Ahh polarity of life.)

Little things like taking a new route on your jog or walk, talking to a stranger at a party, adventures in your own community or or volunteering on a local board of directors is healthy. We also need nature to feed our soul, with so many of us (80% now) in North America and Europe in urban centres, so we counter a growing “nature deficit disorder.”

There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do. Freya Stark, b. 1893 British explorer and travel writer

At a recent talk with Jane Goodall, someone in the audience asked her if she has any regrets. I loved her answer, “No. There are times I could have gone this way or that, but each action is what brought me here. I’m here, aren’t I.” Her wisdom reminds us not to sweat mistakes or trip-ups as so often they’re the path: the adventure, the lessons and the experience get you to where you should be, or at least, where you are (sometimes the stones on the path may be brutally sharp but pain subsides, we heal, we grow).

Try an Edible Expedition

As Elle was doing this adventure package and as Wendy and my book is about to launch May 5 so they said lets include a recipe also in the magazine – I’m not surprised at their choice of the recipe Wendy herself adventurously collected in the Antarctic, “Sea Cabbage (Laminaria) Salad” (amongst 41 other fabulous international recipes and tips).