Posted in November 2012

Walking to the Fair

In the past, animals were driven vast distances to be sold at the annual fair, many of whom specialised in a particular beast, but many were destined to feed the swarming masses of London, from as far afield as Scotland and Wales. They had to avoid the main routes, especially from the 1730s when turnpikes … Continue reading

Kings of the High Cross

An earlier post described the High Cross of Bristol, yet another tale of arguments and incompetence. Fortunately, the original figures were saved and are now on display in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Few people in Bristol know this; they think the criss is at Stourhead, so don’t tell them. They might want it back. … Continue reading

Punishment for Suicide

I always thought putting as take through someone’s heart ws from the realms of fiction, but I have found a few incidents when it happened, and in fairly modern times. I found this item saved on my old computer, no idea where I found it, but worth sharing: “The Admiralty Court met for the trial … Continue reading

Mid Life Crises

We are not alone! To all those humans of a certain age who are in the u shaped curve where the optimism of youth has evaporated and you are yet to experience the euphoria of old age – or is that just senility, this is not unique to humans. Our closest relatives, the Orang Utang, … Continue reading

Maroon Taxation

Duke Vin was a pioneer of sound systems in the UK, and seems to have played an important role in Jamaican culture, with fans including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones which is not something I would normally be interested in, but it seems he was a very clever guy. But his obituary by Chris … Continue reading

The Speed of Water

We in the UK are becoming used to water. It rains, and often we get floods. It’s usually that simple. But that is only (?) surface water. When I was researching the history of the City of Bath, I read that nobody knew where their water comes from, which I find rather odd, as there … Continue reading

More Than Words

“Friday┬áhe’s too tired, Saturday too drunk, And Sunday, he’s too far away.” The last line was the title of an Australian film, but the whole comes from ‘The Shearer’s Wife’s Lament’. It is an intriguing piece of prose, and rather beautuful. I love it because it is so compact, so precise – more like Latin … Continue reading

Really Punk Punks

The English Punk scene was full of angry young people with no future, but they were largely left alone by the authorities, a far cry from their fellow radicals in what was then East Germany. This is from a small article in the i newspaper: Frank Willman was a fan of the Sex Pistols from … Continue reading


It’s not the shark bite that hurts, that tears your flesh and bones and sinews. It’s not the thrashing and gnashing the air sucked out of your lungs as you sink ever deeper down. It’s the fact that they were watching, standing on the shore. They saw it all, and yet did nothing. Nothing at … Continue reading