Miss Murray

Miss Murray

This painting by the brilliant but largely neglected painter Sir Thomas Lawrence is the epitome of chocolate box art, but is, like all Lawrence’s images, dull of life and character. Gorgeous!

Abney Park

This was the first of the big London cemeteries to be entirely for non conformist, so open to all non Anglicans, with the ground not consecrated, though there is a big ruined Gothic chapel in the centre. This is lovely, includes a sundial, just in case. This one is full of water, topped with broken … Continue reading

Don’t Mess With Her

Don’t Mess With Her

Many 19th century graves have angels in various forms on them, or women in classical garb grieving over urns, but this woman in Abney Park stands out. She looks like she’s about to thump someone. Maybe a grave robber.

Still Robbing Graves?

Still Robbing Graves?

Here’s an oddity. After the Anatomy Act was passed in 1832 allowing for the legal dissection of corpses, body snatching should have ceased. But few people willed their bodies to science, so the shortage of bodies to train surgeons continued. This is a very overgrown grave in Abbey Park cemetery, with what seems to be … Continue reading

Learning From Herring Gulls

Learning From Herring Gulls

I really hate these creatures, or at least I hate what pur overfishing has made them. A while back I did a post on an injured one in Penzance. A few days back I had a strange encounter. Of was late and I was watering my plants when a noisy group of gulls swept in … Continue reading

A Pilgrimage

A Pilgrimage

I don’t do religion, but am in awe of the many who change the world for the better, and that often includes believers. One of my all-time heroes is John Wesley, founder with his brother Charles, of Methodism, widely considered to have prevented a French style revolution in these isles. John was the greatest traveller … Continue reading

Key To Happiness

Two recent surveys have come up with some interesting pointers. People with Danish genes are the happiest. It seems the closer peoples genes are to the Danes, the happier they are, so they are followed by other North Europeans Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland & Sweden. All of whom seem to have good economies. No link … Continue reading

Real Food Fights Back

In the endless march of supermarket domination of our food supplies, here’s a rare ray of light. The UK’s Food Standards Agency has decided consumers in England, Wales & Northern Ireland should be given “wider access” to raw drinking milk following a public consultation which showed widespread support for relaxing the present rules. At present … Continue reading