Posted in February 2013

The Best Murmuration

The swarming of starlings before they roost for the night has become a common sight in adverts over the past years. In 2011 I was fortunate enough to see them come in over the Somerset Levels, but this clip is … well, just watch it.


Beck Does Bowie

Is this the biggest big band ever? Beck does ‘sound and Vicion with a 157 piece band including alpen horn, yodeling, gamelan, a classical and a gospel choir, classical orchestra and a lot o percussion all conducted by his dad. It could have been a vacuous vanity project, but it is wonderful, and the faces … Continue reading

Don’t Try

This, beyond the name and dates, is all that is on the tombstone of Charles Bukowski. It seems a cry of despair, or else makes no sense at all, but this is the great Bukowski. It makes complete and wonderful sense. In a letter to his friend William Packard, he wrote: “We work too hard. … Continue reading

Slavery & Abolition Sites – Gloucestershire

Gloucester Cathedral Monument to William Warburton (1698-1779) Bishop of Gloucester, buried there. Warburton was one of the best known and controversial figures of the 18th century, his ‘Divine Legation of Moses’, a defence of Pope, was widely read.  He was an enemy to Methodism, a friend and literary executor to Pope, whose work he defended, … Continue reading

I know it’s Big, but…

Much has been made – especially up North – about the fact that Yorkshire produced so many medals at the olympics that it beat Japan, Australia and lots of other proper countries. But on Liz Kershaw’s radio programme this morning she had a phone in to nominate the best Yorkshire bands, and I was utterly … Continue reading

Hazlitt Goes Boxing

Hazlitt Goes Boxing

Have just been dipping into William Hazlitt’s Essays and Characters, a wonderful sampling of life in early 19th century London. In the wake of the – aaaargh- Olympics, he describes the training regime for a prize boxer. “The whole art of training conists in two things, exercise and abstinence, abstinence and exercise, repeated alternately without … Continue reading

A Dedicated Doctor

I recently met an anaesthetist who told me he was really unhappy in his job because when he went to see a patient before an operation, he could almost always predict the outcome, based purely on the patient’s outlook. If the patient thought they would survive then they more or less would, whereas people who … Continue reading