Posted in January 2016

The Great War and Cardiff Parks

The Great War and Cardiff Parks

I went to a talk on this last night, and learnt a lot about how life went on when the war happened. when war was declared, everyone thought it would be over in a short time. I knew that, but I didn’t realise the initial response was an expectation of local unemployment with the loss … Continue reading

Ode to Misaddressed Warning Systems

Ode to Misaddressed Warning Systems

The latest discovery from my bookshelf is Paul Jennings’ ‘the Living Village’, a survey of scrapbooks produced to celebrate the anniversary of the Women’s Institutes. This concerns the giant golfballs that are the early warning radar system of North Yorkshire, claimed to be in Fylingdales, but are in the adjoining parish of Lockton High Moor. … Continue reading

Cholera in Silson

Cholera arrived on the south coast of England in 1831, one of the prices paid for empire. It took decades for the discovery of how it was spread – by drinking water – and so means found to control it. This is again from ‘Old Oak’. There used to be a long line of graves … Continue reading

Longevity and the Arts

I heard an great interview with Elton John the other day in which he spoke of how he feels he is at the top of his form as a musician and performer – aged a mere 68. He also is planning to cut back on his touring schedule – not because it is a struggle, … Continue reading

Fashion and Ageism

I don’t have a great deal of interest in the fashion industry per se, but like sport, it is a large part of what pays the bills in this country, so it matters. This is from an article by Alexander Fury in yesterday’s i newspaper: “Fashion has an undeserved reputation for all kinds of faults … Continue reading

The Great Migration

There is a lot of talk on levels of immigration to Britain, but this is a country that has lost a lot of people over the centuries: The Irish Potato Famine, The Highland Clearances of Scotland and a lot of the Welsh left in the 19th century. But less known are the periodic outpourings of … Continue reading

Bad Clerics

We tend to think of parsons as benign, decent sorts, but some were driven into the profession because they were not fit for anything else, which explains some of the following. But it was as much the church’s fault for the trade in livings by which favoured clerics could earn large sums for doing very … Continue reading

The Grave Digger

This is from William russ, a 61 year old grave digger in Ronald Blythe’s Akenfield. I’ve read a few reasons why people used to hang on to their dead, one of which was that they could not afford the burial, but this also makes sense: “I’ve been at the church, official-like, since 1918. I was … Continue reading

Tom Sorrell’s Ghost

Another scary story from the wonderful autobiography, ‘Old Oak’. A troublesome fellow had this Sorrell been when living, and a troublesome fellow he remained after his death. They buried suicides in those days at the cross-roads, with a stake driven through them. Sorrel had committed suicide, and possibly felt discontented with his other-world lodging. Be … Continue reading

Tiny Tim Leaves Carson Spechless

With so much discussion on gender, the ultimate crossover artist, Tiny Tim seems to have been forgotten. This is him doing Rod Stewart’s ‘Do you think I’m Sexy’ as a duet with himself. Brilliantly Bonkers.