Carrots not Sticks for Drinkers

Victorian towns and cities often had odd combinations of buildings in close proximity in city centres, with a gin palace, or pub facing and competing with a music hall and a church. They were openly in combination for the hearts and minds of working class people. The temperance movement was not just about opposing people … Continue reading

Loneliness Kills

This is from yesterday’s i newspaper: “Loneliness weakens he immune system, according to a study that could help to explain why lonely people are 14% more likely to suffer an early death. Scientists have fount that the white blood cells of people who feel lonely are geared more towards causing inflammation than fighting infections. Researchers … Continue reading

Canal On Fire & Beautiful Smoke

The rapid and largely unregulated expansion of English towns in the 18th and 19th centuries led to some pretty horrific environmental conditions, most famously the ‘Great Stink’ of London’s Thames that led to the closure of parliament in  1858. But the great northern cities were pretty bad too. This is about the Bradford Canal, in … Continue reading

Tories of Birmingham

Birmingham, England, had an impressive track record for progressive civic behaviour, mostly by non Conformists such as the Congregationalists & Unitarians. Anglicans tended to concentrate on missionary work rather than town improvements education etc. In 1858 the Liberals celebrated the premature death of the Tories by circulating a card: “A man that is born a … Continue reading

The Lobster

This is a movie that can only make it on the indy circuit, it is so brilliantly bonkers. It stars Coin Farrell as a short sighted David, a single man sent to a hotel for a last chance to find a mate before being turned into an animal of his choice. We know the threat … Continue reading

Songs Celebrating British Democracy

This is from yesterday’s i newspaper: “A group of folk musicians is celebrating 800 years of British democracy with songs inspired by an unusual source: legislation including the 1601 Poor Lw; the 1829 Catholic Emancipation Act and the Sexual Offences Act of 1967. Musicians include BBC Folk Singer of the Yea Nancy Kerr have worked … Continue reading

Antique Music

After my post on Linda Rondstadt and Different Drum,  I started trawling youtube and found this clip of Neil Young’s After the Goldrush, sung by Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda. This is a gorgeous version of a great song, but what I want to draw your attention to is an instrument being played behind … Continue reading