(((Download Pdf))) ☙ Deer Island ⇮ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free
At the beginning of the 1980 s society was declared to be non existent, the rights of the individual were set to dominate As political change flowed across our country the community spirit that had been there was steadily eroded The effects of these changes were most profoundly felt at the bottom of society as the number of homeless increased steadily Neil Ansell felt moved to work for the Simon Community as a volunteer helping those sleeping rough and living in squats Living with almost nothing, avoiding bailiffs and living from day to day was pretty tough Harder still was seeing those that he came to know and some who became friends either vanish never to be seen again or pass away with health and drug issues To escape from the intensity of living in London he would head to the beautiful Isle of Jura to reset his mind and soul Whilst there he would revel in the remoteness and solitude and reconnect with the natural world Memories are the only things we truly own, and even they slip from our grasp if we don t handle them with careDeer Island is not a quite a memoir, a brief and intense recollection of life in squats and sleeping rough around London and two brief interludes in Jura Ansell has quite a beautiful way of writing, and like Deep Country, this is a delight to read It is a fitting eulogy to those that he knew briefly and an acknowledgement of the landscapes of the West Coast that help ground him again.
(((Download Pdf))) ☇ Deer Island ↶ At The Beginning Of The S Neil Ansell Chose A Life Of Voluntary Poverty Working For The Simon Community, A Charity With Radical Approaches To Helping Homeless People He Lived In Squats And Derries Across London, Becoming Part Of A Floating Community Of Volunteers And Rough Sleepers Whose Purpose Was To Offer Companionship And Support For Each Other But Around Them Britain Was Changing It Was Becoming The Decade Of The Individual Soon There Would Be No Such Thing As Society More And Young People Started Arriving In The Community, Set Adrift By Unemployment, And The City Streets And Squats Were Becoming Awash With Heroin Immersed In This Fragile World, Neil S Sense Of Self Began To Disintegrate Against The Hard Truths Of Homelessness Worst Of All Were The People He Lost, The Friends Who Died Or Disappeared To Escape He Started Taking Occasional Trips To The Isle Of Jura, Off The West Coast Of Scotland, To Seek Solace And Isolation In The Landscape Along The Way He Hoped To Find His Way Back To Himself In Spare And Beautiful Prose Neil Ansell Overlaps Two Contrasting Journeys Through The Streets Of London And The Wilds Of Jura, Building A Powerful And Moving Meditation On What It Means To Belong What Makes Us Feel Attached To A Place Or A Community What Do We Mean When We Call A Place Home Are Memories The Only Things We Can Ever Truly Own Absolutely fantastic new book by Neil Ansell, this preceeds his five year stint in the Welsh hills, and contains tales of working with homeless people in London, squatting in a building next door to a policeman s house, and travelling around the remote Scottish island of Jura on a Triumph Bonneville Neil will be in the bookshop on Monday 29th July, there are spaces still available so do get in touch.http www.toppingbooks.co.uk events I read Deep Country a few years ago and it really stuck with me, encouraged me to read a lot nature writing, and also to start my own sort of nature journal Neil Ansell for me, is an inspiration His writing is quite practical, whilst never failing to be whimsical and captivating The rural country man of Deep Country is slightly at odds with the journeying, political rough sleeper of Deer Island, and yet, his quest for isolation and appreciation of nature feeds through from start to finish I highly recommend that you read both, though in which order I am not sure Two places you probably won t know or get to an isolated island off Scotland and the squats of London in the 1980s An emotional journey. This book is way outside the classifications I generally read In fact it is probably outside classification altogether It is a sort of social issues nature memoir.Realistically, the author s life experience is way outside mine Leaving aside the two main topics of the book, in the intermission, as it were, he is riding an ancient motorbike around the far North of the UK with his Swedish girlfriend In a rough Scottish town he is told to keep his voice down as it s a rough place and if he were noticed it would be provocative He comments he had often been told this in Belfast, Harlem and Bogot How unlike the home life of our own dear Queen Or for that matter, most of us dear readers.If, like me, you find flowery descriptions of nature off putting, don t be thrown by the introduction like the Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy which famously begins Space is big Really big You just won t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is I mean you may think it s a long way down the road to the chemist s, but that s just peanuts to space after a while it settles down The main thrust of the book alternates between life pretty much down but not out in London and life in semi paradise on the Hebridean island of Jura The London segments are the gripping one working with a charity for the homeless and the other as a squatter in a building with what starts as a quite a gentle experience but goes down hill over the year the author was there I can relate slightly to the first of these it reminds me in some ways of my time as a volunteer with a rather down at heel branch of the Samaritans but the second is scarily alien.Then there is Jura, twice visited, so different in character from the city This I find much easier to relate to The author mentions hitchiking a lot elsewhere, and when his bike broke down on Jura on the first visit, he and his girlfriend had to hitch to the village I have never hitched in my life, I am far too wary But when I spent 2 weeks on the next island out from Jura, Colonsay, it was notable if ever you walked along the road, every passing car would stop and ask if you wanted a lift You didn t hitch a ride, they hitched a passenger.This is a short book if it had been fiction, it would be a novella and you can read it in afternoon It left me wanting , and having read it, I suspect I will savour it much longer. This is a memoir of a young man on the road The narrative is beautifully descriptive and it brought me into each setting, gently but firmly Author Ansell s experiences teach an important lesson Since we don t always know the exact nature of those we meet as we follow our chosen course, we should, at the very least, try to find something of value in everyone and use that as the basis for our interaction From life among those people considered outcasts of our society into a life with no human interaction at all, Ansell shoulders his pack and travels onwards His restless wandering leads him across the UK through gritty urban alleys and broad fields and woods, finally all the way North into Scotland where he finds a very unique solace on Jura Island.I m grateful that Neil Ansell s ragged journey is one we can all share Illustrator Jonny Hannah s steel etching style spot illustrations insert just the right bit of whimsey The author s prose, pared down to easy, conversational essentials shines like a beacon of pure white light A very quick read it s nonetheless a jewel destined to endure I hope it reveals something of lasting value possibly left behind, to all who read it. This is a real gem of a book, which is best described as a meditation on what it means to belong Set in the 1980s, it moves between Neil Ansell s three years spent in a life of voluntary poverty working for the Simon Community, helping homeless people, his first trip to the remote Scottish Island of Jura, his penniless return to London living in rough squats, and a return trip to Jura He describes each setting in vivid detail, moving with ease between the harshest orders of human urban existence, where fear and insecurity rule every day, and the wild beauty of an island with a small human population and unafraid wildlife.Neil Ansell has a way with saying so much in so few words, in flowing and visual prose It is a book that is an enriching experience to read, and one that I ll return to time and time again. This was one of those serendipitous discoveries for me in my local bookshop I picked it up and noticed the name of The Simon Community on the back I lived and worked there for a few months in the early nineties, so I picked up the book and paid for it It s well written and evoked the undercurrents of London life well the freedom and rootless news of a certain age and place I ve never been to Jura and couldn t quite see, to be honest, what he was getting at by linking those two places, specifically, out of all the other places he s visited In that respect, I felt like it missed the mark ever so slightly but maybe I m just thick Anyway, it s a short, crackling read, and if you ever dropped out of the world for a while and immersed yourself in travel or voluntary work you ll probably find something here that touches a chord. I confess to a slight disappointment with this book It s a slim volume, a Little, Toller volume, it s a memoir that s getting my expectations up high I enjoyed it, but it wasn t quite what I was expecting I take no issue with the experiences Ansell writes about, or the quality of the writing per se, and it certainly seems a worthwhile exercise to contrast the experience of volunteering with homeless people and living in a squat in London with his time in the Scottish Isle of Jura except that he really only made two visits to Jura to judge from the book, neither of them long and the book feels like he just sat down and wrote about various episodes in his life articles rather than actually constructing a book.