Posted in January 2012

An Early Account of a Tsunami

The following is a transcription of an account of an incident in the West Country of England, and Wales of 1607. I found it in the18th century ¬†Gentleman’s Magazine who claimed it was a document found in the Bodleian library. It shows that the name may be new but the event is not. It also … Continue reading


Not Disappointing Mark Twain

There have been many accounts of astronomical events and their impact on humanity through the ages, not least the star of Bethlehem, one of the core symbols of Christianity. In 1066, Elmer recorded in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle spoke to a comet:’You’ve come, you source of tears to many mothers. You’re evil, I hate you! … Continue reading

Where Would We Be Without Moravia?

Yes, that’s right, that funny sounding place that nobody’s ever heard of, never mind can point to on a map. Well, I’ve just been reading about the Moravians, a religious group which had an impact on the world far beyond their origins. But then I looked up the place on Wiki to find out where … Continue reading

Going Underground

I cannot recall how it ws that my friend leant me ‘ The Mind in the Cave’ by David Lewis-Williams as a source of ideas for my final project, but it is utterly brilliant. I am reading it slowly as I have to keep stopping to digest the mind-boggling ideas this large book is littered … Continue reading

The Loneliest Grave

Many years ago whilst cycling in the Orkneys, I stumbled across a story that still haunts me. On a windswept saddle of land in the middle of the Island of Hoy is a single grave. It holds a young mother who died giving birth to the babe that also lies with her. The young girl … Continue reading

What is it About Wisconsin?

One of my favourite films is a bleak trawl through the archives of the state, called ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’. The small number of people who have seen this seem to be utterly fascinated by the number of strange, violent and downright bonkers people who lived there in the late 19th century. As an aside, I … Continue reading

Foundling Fabrics

I have just read ‘Threads of Feeling, The London Foundling Hospital’s Textile Tokens, 1740-1770’ which is a strange and fascinating story of one of Britain’s oldest charities, and one which from the outset attracted much celebrity support, in particular that of the painter William Hogarth. The hospital was established by a wealthy ship’s captain to … Continue reading