‘Where?’ is a new book-length memoir that explores life, death, history, landscape and nature in the South Shropshire hills. It combines comics, writing, drawing, photos and more. I am serialising it in my zine Minor Leagues.
I’ve long had an interest in the relationship between place, space, memory, time, nature and history (I’m a geographer by trade), and this book seeks to explore all these things, in reference to two specific places. The first is Titterstone Clee, a great big hill in Shropshire, and the second is Caynham, the village I grew up which sits at the foot of Titterstone.
There’ll be stories about growing up in nature, being bullied, being chased by dogs; cooking with my Dad, messing around with my brother, exploring forests and learning about life and death; being an adult faced with an ill father; history and folklore of the Clee Hills; there’ll be tales about history and experience, about nature and what it is to be anything at all; tales of antiquarian vicars, enthusiastic but misguided historians, nineteenth century high-society scandals, prejudice and fear; plane crashes, industrial decline and automation; hill forts and missing castles; haunted cliff faces; working on a radar station; of being a kid, of hospitals, of growing old, of the seasons passing, of my family, of my Dad and his kindnesses; of how I became whatever it is I am, and how this big hill was a backdrop to so much of it … and a whole lot more that I don’t even know yet.