Posted in June 2016

Wild Birds Stealing Underwear

I love this. For centuries red kites were hunted to near extinction by farmers.Now they’re nicking knickers from bathers in Scotland:


Ghost Soldiers

Yet another Berkshire tale. The idea of ghosts sticking to old building designs seems fairly common, and intriguing. Not sure if the present inhabitants would have known of the additions, so unclear if such ideas were included for veracity. I wonder if the soldiers felt pain. Also has parallels with the teleporter etc of science … Continue reading

Sheep Stealers

Here’s another item from Tales of Old Berkshire. Sheep stealing was a big deal in the past – they were a good size, often left in open fields, but still moveable. But from the early 18th century theft risked a rope necklace. The first one is of the commmon sort, often put about to keep … Continue reading

A Woman Much Feared

Another snippet from Tales of Old Berkshire. This seems to be cobbled together from several different tales. Maybe there were more than one Maria Hales, or the beer in the region may have been of the strong variety: Maria Hale, a woman who lived at Aldermaston Village, some 120 years ago, was very much feared. … Continue reading

The Witch and a Fallen Bell

This is from Tales of Old Berkshire. It is one of the more confusing stories. I doubt if the river was very deep, so why was this such a disaster to the village? After a terrible storm, long, long ago, the church tower of Kintbury fell, throwing the great bell into the river. A  wizard … Continue reading

A Witch Discovered

This was told by an old Berkshire woman at the start of the 20th century. This has many of the elements of a classic witch tale, the wise local overcoming the witch who was hurting his friend, but leaves us wondering what happened next. This is from Tales of Old Berkshire by Cecilia Millson: Two … Continue reading

Brexit – is it all over?

It’s not just the young and inexperienced who regret voting Brexit. The Sun was prominent in the campaign to leave. Yesterday’s i ran this: Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of The Sun and current columnist on the paper, who offered readers “10 reasons why we must vote Brexit” has now said he regrets his decision. … Continue reading

11 Million have Somme Ancestor

This is a headline from yesterday’s i paper: The Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles of he First World War, resulted in more than a million casualties over 141 days. On the first day alone, 19,240 British soldiers lost their lives – the worst day in the history of the British Army. … Continue reading

Rituals of War

This is from the brilliant new book Tribe – On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger. I have heard a lot of stories about the problems of well meaning westerners going to poor countries to ‘do good’ but this is the most disturbing and damning of their attempts to force western behaviour onto others, and … Continue reading