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Ponts de Cé to Champtoceaux

A day for integrated travel! 70km from Ponts de Cé to Ancenis, and then 10km by kayak, our bikes carried to the downstream dock in a van, then…

Saumur to Ponts de Cé

The next leg of our cycle trip along the Loire took us from Saumur to Ponts de Cé, a town a little south of Angers. Again the river…

Cher-Loire confluence to Saumur

The one night we decided to sleep with out a tent and it rained. Only a few spots at around 5am, but enough to wake me and wonder…

Amboise to the Cher Loire confluence

We left Amboise, climbed the out of the valley of the Loire and over into the Cher, which runs parallel to the Loire and would be what we…

Muides sur Loire – Blois – Amboise

The second day of cycling along the Loire. A relatively flat 70km that would get steadily heavier going as the day heated up. The cycle path along the…

Paris – Orleans – Muides-sur-Loire

Today our trip shifted gear, away from the city and on the road again. We left paris from the Gare Austerlitz, which feels like it has been under…

Provins – Tour de Femmes stage 2

From stage one of the Tour de Femmes in Paris to a very different stage two finish in Provins. The stage in Paris was of ceremonial importance, but…

Women and men’s Tour de France

One of the anchor points for our trip this summer is to catch the start of the Tour de Femmes, which coincides with the end of the Tour…

Paris – towers, boats and beaches

Today we had a proper tourist day in Paris. We’ve been numerous times with our daughter but now she’s old enough to remember we decided to take in…

Ouistreham to Paris

The port of Ouistreham is about 15km from the city of Caen. Journey today began with a cycle along the canal de Caen à la Mer. The canal…

Caen to Santander

Today we begin our summer #surfacetravel continental adventure: from Caen in Normandy to Santander in Northern Spain. We are travelling via mixture of bicycle and train. The adventure…

If you want to save the planet… have dancing lessons

Serendipitously, as I was preparing for my first dance teaching workshop this morning at the Idler Festival, I spotted a quote in one of my other open browser…

A shout out to the dancing crowd at the Idler Festival

This post is a message to all the lovely people who joined one my dancing lessons at the Idler Festival. You were such a lovely crowd. I had…

Self-learning in systems, hair engineering + Idler Festival Day 1

A day of two halves: book writing this morning and then swing dance teaching at the Idler festival this evening, with some hair engineering in the middle. Enabling…

I was looking for a swing dancer but I found an engineer

On the programme at the Idler Festival, by workshops are simply listed as ‘Dance Teaching with Oliver Broadbent’. One participant came up to me at the end and,…

Regenerative Design, Net-Zero Design Error-Free Design and Swing Dancing

Sometimes when I write on this blog I like to distill my thoughts around one topic. But when there’s lots going on I prefer to write in more…

Ponts de Cé – Ancenis – Champsaucau

A multimodal stage on our journey through France, with 70km by bike, 7km by kayak and another 2km uphill to finish the day. We crossed the Maine river…

Customer lift

I followed this sign expecting some sort of encouragement or affirmation.

Notes from RESTORE report Sustainability, Restorative to Regenerative

Here are my notes from reading the RESTORE report ‘ (REthinking Sustainability TOwards a Regenerative Economy) Sustainability, Restorative to Regenerative – edited by Martin Brown and Edeltraud Haselsteiner…

Engineering of the commons

If we want to think really regeneratively about engineering and the creation of buildings, then maybe we should consider building materials as a common resource. I realise that…

Exploring regenerative practice for engineers

As James and I start to delve into the writing for our book on regenerative design for structural engineers, I am gathering my thoughts on what regenerative practice…

Notes on building local

This month I am writing an article on that explores what if we restricted construction material use to those from a local catchment. Rather than a global supply…

Following abundance versus desire

At our local allotments, permaculture teacher Mike Fiengold re-distributes food waste in the community. Even after he has sent food to various local charities there is lots left…

Coming from Bristol, London is a pleasure to cycle through

After a two-year break I am back on my bike in London. This morning a short hop from Paddington to Kings Cross. Having moved to Bristol almost four…

Take the meat out of meetings

Please, take the meat out of meetings. Then you can say, no animal died in the making of this decision. Some meetings are pointless. Don’t add to this…

Restorative versus regenerative design

Restorative and regenerative are two words I am hearing used interchangeably. Both are relevant to engineering and design. Both are approaches to design that are valuable. But they…

Too many emails – the Eiffel Over guide

I am a connoisseur of email-reduction strategies, so I share this for friends and colleagues of mine who I know are struggling with this at the moment. The…

Making the Regenerative Design Lab a Regenerative System

In today’s planning session for the Regenerative Design Lab with my co-facilitator Ellie Osborne, we asked what if we made the lab itself a regenerative system? Based on…

Why close the train doors 40 seconds before departure?

This announcement always irks me. “To ensure a timely departure, train doors will shut 40 seconds before departure.” It reminds me of what a senior Network Rail manager…

Recognise the desert to return it to life

When renewable systems are over exploited they fall into a desertlike state. In this state the system population is too low to support regrowth and the system structures…