Chanel No. 5 and Sheep

This comes from a review in the Guardian newspaper of a new book, Counting Sheep: A Celebration of the Pastoral Heritage of Britain, by Phillip Wellings. I have never been impressed by British wool, finding it rough and scratchy compared to the merino wool that Australia’s industry was based on, so I assumed the only … Continue reading

English versus Italian Tourists

This is from Christopher Woodward’s book, In Ruins: “The most potent demonstration of how a resurgent but benign Nature can overcome death is the Italian city of Ninfa, destroyed and abandoned 6 centuries ago. An hour’s drive south of Rome,, it is the loveliest lost city in Europe. ‘Ninfa’ means nymph, and many still believe … Continue reading

Street Quarries

There are plenty of accounts of 18th century streets in British towns and cities being dangerous places for pedestrians, with people emptying chamber pots, with tiles falling from roofs, open cellar doors, chairmen, runaway animals, and builders’ materials. But this is an example of the huge gap between law enforcement and the lives of ordinary … Continue reading

Victim or Villain?

There are a lot of tragic stories from the past that make me realise how lucky we are not to be there, but the many instances of infanticide are perhaps the most disturbing, because this crime was seen as truly evil, so generally punished with the death sentence. But many instances, the young woman doesn’t … Continue reading