Posted in August 2012

Horse Pyjamas

One of the strangest announcements I’ve ever heard was an appeal on radio for a pair of pyjamas for a horse. Apparently the horse has developed some sort of skin allergy. Why not just try bandages? Though I suppose they would need to be very big ones. Apologies for the shortages of images – they … Continue reading

What is Radio For?

I was listening to the wonderfully laconic Tom Ravenscroft (son of the late John Peel) the other night.  People keep asking him to play stuff and his usual response is that he doesn’t have it, so someone complained that he just didn’t want to lay any requests. He denied this but refused to clarify how he could … Continue reading

Slavery & Abolition Sites: Oxfordshire

Slavery & Abolition Sites: Oxfordshire

Oxford All Soul’s Library The library was founded in 1716 by Christopher Codrington (1668-1710), whose grandfather had been a pioneer settler of Barbados.  In 1690 he was elected fellow of the college and awarded a BA in 1691; he was a friend of many Oxford wits and wrote poetry.  In 1700 he came into an … Continue reading

More Songs About Travelling

More Songs About Travelling

when I did the last post on travelling, I realised how many great songs there are on that theme. There are lots of reasons why people travel, but the 1970s seems to have been a time when lots of young people were on the move, seeking new horizons, new ways of ding things, or just … Continue reading

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes, art historian, died on August 6.  He was one of the golden generation that included Germain Greer, Clive James, Barry Humphries and many others from that far away land of Australia who came to Britain and totally changed the arenas they chose to work in. Hughes’ great achievement was to make modern art accessible … Continue reading

Slavery & Abolition Sites – Hampshire, England

Slavery & Abolition Sites – Hampshire, England

Portsmouth 13 Mile End Terrace – birthplace Charles Dickens, since 1903 Dickens Birthplace Museum Charles Dickens (1812-70) is probably the most quoted English author, and widely feted in his lifetime.  He was born the son of an assistant clerk in the navy pay office, but in 1824 the Dickens family fell upon hard times and was … Continue reading

Beastie Boy Still Fighting

Beastie Boy Adam Youch died of cancer last May aged 47 leaving  an estate worth $6.4m /£4m. His will includes restrictions on the use of his work which will prevent commercial exploitation. Rolling Stone magazine claims it states: “In no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by … Continue reading

Professional Stereotypes

I used to live with a freelance musician who, with his colleagues, were constantly plagued by the refusal by financial institutions to lend them money, get insurance etc. Apparently now things are getting tough for actors who get car insurance from the £33bn per year  British industry that their union, Actors’ Equity has started a campaign to … Continue reading

New Ancestors – Vegetarians

New Ancestors – Vegetarians

The current edition of Nature reports the discovery of three  new fossils in Kenya –  a face and two fragments of jaw boneswhich add significantly to our knowledge of our earliest ancestors. In 1972 a fossilised face was found east of Lake Turkana which has confused scientists as it had a long flat face with … Continue reading

On Writing and Doing

On Writing and Doing

Boyd Tonkin recently did a fine article on the late Gore Vidal, called ‘Thank God Gore Vidal lost that 1960 election’. He outperformed his friend Jack Kennedy, the future president but still lost to J Ernest Wharton.  Boyd’s take is that had Vidal entered politics at the time, he would never have become the great … Continue reading