Filed under environment

Kittiwakes

Kittiwakes

When I saw these birds nesting in Newcastle my reaction was my usual anoyance at the ubiquitous urban gulls. But these are pretty little creatures who spend most of their time at sea. Also they are in decline, so great to see them breeding in the summer at the Gateshead Gallery on Tyneside Advertisements

Forth Bridge and Britain’s Decline

Forth Bridge and Britain’s Decline

This is from a piece by Ian Jack who remembered the opening of its predecessor 53 years ago. What has been lost? Odd little things: a quiet pice of shoreline a view, a further erosion of Fife’s separateness – which could be argued is for the good. The argument against the car is a bigger … Continue reading

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

This is one of the most important, but least known historical and archaeological sites in Britain. Gunpowder has played a huge role in modernisation; without it we would not have city states, mining, wars, hunting, and spectacular fireworks. This is from historian Brenda Buchannan: Gunpowder and the explosives and propellants which followed it provided a … Continue reading

America Defying Trump

America Defying Trump

In the gloom that has descended since last Saturday, here’s a ray of hope for us all.  This is an article from last Sunday’s Observer, written by Mark Ruffalo and Rahwa Ghirmatzion Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the historic Paris climate agreement and turn his back on the other 194 nations … Continue reading

Women’s Work- 19th Century Britain

Women’s Work- 19th Century Britain

I recently found this wonderful book by Rohana Darlington, Irish Knitting. She graduated from the Central School of Art and Design and in 1984 she received a travelling fellowship to study hand knitting in Norway and Ireland; from the latter came this book, a mix of Irish history focusing on fine art and textiles, but … Continue reading

William Henry Hunt Watercolour painter

William Henry Hunt Watercolour painter

Hunt is an artist I’d not heard of, so his show at the Courtauld Institute was an eye opener. Born near Covent Garden in 1790, he was disabled, so unable to do physical work, but fortunately he showed a talent for art so was apprenticed at the age of 14 to John Varley who shared … Continue reading

Perfume: A Sensory Journey

Perfume: A Sensory Journey

This is a fascinating exhibition at London’s Somerset House, which encourages participants to re-think how they engage with perfumes and scents. The display is made up of 10 rooms, each with different scents,presented in displays from bowling balls in black sand to a colourful chaise loungue draped in scented fabric. We are given a card … Continue reading

Nourishment for our Brains

Nourishment for our Brains

This is from the i paper, an obituary for Marian Diamond Neuroscientist 11/11/1926 – 25/7/2017. Her work has huge implications for how our society is changing: Marian Diamond, a neuroscientist who studied Albert Einstein’s brain and was the first to show that the brain’s anatomy can change with experience, has died aged 90. … Her … Continue reading

Pheasants for Food Banks

Pheasants for Food Banks

This is from the i paper Sir Ian Botham is hoping to hit food poverty for a 6 by donating pheasants and partridges from his shooting estates to those most in need. The former England cricket captain will team up with wealthy land-owners and shooting enthusiasts to provide 500,000 free meals each year by donating … Continue reading