Welcome, and thanks for coming along to this special 100th anniversary edition!
Your Digest is Sh*te!
It came a few months after I'd first set up the Genius Loci Digest. When I opened the email, my eyes immediately focused on those words, and my confidence just drained away.
The email turned out to be a spam marketing ploy from a dubious newsletter designer, but the damage had been done, and the future of the digest hung in the balance.
During my lowest moments, I always seek counsel from friends and family and I was reminded of a quotation that I carry with me all the time:
"What each of us must do is cleave to what we find most beautiful in our human heritage - and pass it on… And to pass these precious fragments on is our mission." - Michael Ventura, The Age of Endarkenment.
"Roll up all that beauty, the insights, the people and the places into your digest and just pass it on, as if it were a baton, to others."
The simplicity of that task is a balm for my doubting self.
And now, we have reached 100 digests and I'd like to say thank you for your support and patience.
Patience in allowing for my journey with words, my tendency to jam in the photos, and the vagaries of my mental health. I know it isn't perfect, but I work hard at trying to pass on the spirit of what I see and experience.
When I first pitched the idea of the Digest to a friend, he said:
'Hang on - you want to write about yourself? A bloke that travels around in a camper van taking snaps of old buildings? Nah!'
I do ache over every detail: from designing the front page to writing up the Observations; and in processing the right photographs for the Hotspots. But the cadence of the digest - week in and week out - has been a boon to my mental health.
Many are aware of the anxiety that I had when I set up the Membership tiers. Once again I took advice from friends and family and they told me to be honest about how I felt and about the difficulties I'd experienced post-covid.
The Membership has provided, not only financial support, but also a caring community that regularly keeps in touch with me.
I've thoroughly enjoyed building up a resource (currently consisting of over 450 posts) of Member benefits including the serialisation of my book, the videos, virtual reality, the Comperandum, the Treasure Hoard Gazetteer, and most recently the Cast Room.
The biggest reward, for me, has been from the Member Powered Photography - where I'm able to provide my professional services for free to places that are better able to spend the savings elsewhere.
A few facts from the last 100 digests:
Top 10 Countries that visit the Digest:
UK, USA, Canada, Netherlands, Ireland, Australia, Germany, France, Austria, Spain.
Over 150,000 words used
Over 7000 images used
Over 58,000 miles in Woody
My favourite quotes:
“I have always longed to be part of the outward life, to be out there at the edge of things, to let the human taint wash away in emptiness and silence as the fox sloughs his smell into the cold unworldliness of water; to return to town a stranger. Wandering flushes a glory that fades with arrival.” J A Baker: The Peregrine.
“…for what I wanted was every last thing, every layer of speech and thought, stroke of light on bark or walls, every smell, pothole, pane, crack, delusion, held still and held together, radiant, everlasting." Alice Munro: The Lives of Girls and Women
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour." William Blake: Auguries of Innocence
"Let no one says the past is dead. The past is all about us and within" Oodgeroo Noonuccal, The Past
"There is no moment too small in the world. Nothing should be lost. Everything has a purpose, and everything is in need of care. This is my creed. Let us embrace it." Suzanne Simard: Finding The Mother Tree.
"I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. Recording the man shaving at the window opposite and the woman in the kimono washing her hair. Some day, all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed. " Christopher Isherwood
"I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind." Emily Bronte
“There are places, just as there are people and objects and works of art, whose relationship of parts creates a mystery, an enchantment, which cannot be analysed.” Paul Nash
The Romney Marsh
My Favourite Stopovers
Stowe House, Buckinghamshire
The Black Mountains, Wales
Llanfair Kilgeddin, Wales
Long Crichel, Dorset
Porth Cwyfan, Wales
Pennant Melangell, Wales
My favourite book of all time:
A postcard print for every new member until 22nd December 2023
Plus a chance to win my Green Man Lincoln BossHere's how..
I put my heart and soul into the Genius Loci Digest and it takes a day a week to produce. With your support, I’m able to keep this digest free and public facing. 📸🏛🚐
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Photographs and words by Andy Marshall (unless otherwise stated). Most photographs are taken with Iphone 14 Pro and DJI Mini 3 Pro.