Posted in October 2013

Behaving Like A Sailor – Or Not

Last night I went to see one of my favourite musicians – Eliza Carthy, daughter of Martin Carthy and Norma Waterstone, the British equivalent of the Cash family. she is a brilliant singer, strong and pure and fiddle player and was joined by her good friend, American Tim Erikson. I’d never thought of how the … Continue reading


On Mercy and Children

Another snippet from ”The Faithful Executioner’, in which about 1/4 of his executions were of children, which seems truly barbaric by today’s standards. the official law was that children should be shown mercy, but that there was leeway when their crimes showed they were ‘mature in evil’ The executions in Nuremberg were all for theft, … Continue reading



Yesterday the sun was shinoing brightly, lots of people were out walking dogs and children, then rain started like fairy mist. It wasn’t worth getting out my raincoat. Then I saw it – a double rainbow. It ended in the trees on either side of the playing field.  I saw a woman walking towards me … Continue reading

A Sweet History

The County of Yorkshire is famous for lots of things, but its claim to be the centre of sweet making is generally overlooked. It is a country with a rich agricultural tradition, and in monastic times, locally grown mint and liquorice were distilled for elixers and cordials for apothecaries, so were easily adapted to commercial … Continue reading

Money Really Does Grow on Trees

Well, almost. Scientists in outback Australia have made a discovery that  could revolutionise how gold is mined – they have found traces of the metal in the leaves and branches of eucalyptus trees in the remote Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia. But before you pack your swag and head for the bush, the gold is … Continue reading

Still Walking on the Wild Side

When I heard earlier this year that Lou Reed had had a liver transplant, I realised his time was probably limited, but his death yesterday is one to be deeply grieved. He was not just a giant of popular music, but also of art and performance. The announcement was made during 6 music’s Now Playing, … Continue reading

Bela Tarr on Film

I recently re-watched the Hungarian film, The Werckmeister Harmonies, one of the strangest films I have ever seen, even by Central European standards. At the end of it was a short interview with the filmmaker, Bela Tarr, who is about as far from Hollywood’s machinery as it is possible to be. The following was scribbled … Continue reading

The Queen of Wrinkle-Free Cotton

Here’s another story about a pioneering female scientist, the chemist, Ruth Benerito who died recently. Like most women who excel in traditionally male fields, she had a family that encouraged all the girls to get a good education. Born in New Orleans, where few girls went on to higher education, her father was a civil … Continue reading