Filed under food supplies

Mao the Mass Murderer

Mao Tse Tung was once seen as the hero of the left in the West;  his Red Book was recently waved by an MP in Britain’s House of Commons.  But Chinese archives are now being opened, and Frank Dikoetter in the current History Today explains the great man now appears one of the great criminals. … Continue reading

Jack London on London’s Poor

The horrors of life for the poor in London are so well documented by Charles Dickens that his surname has become synonymous with them. Together with the exhortations for change by The Times, and the work of social reformers, the Salvation Army and others, I thought things would have improved. I knew that many men … Continue reading

Golan Heights Cowboys

This is an oddity from Saturday’s i paper: With his wide-brimmed hat, Wrangler jeans and ornate belt buckle, Yehiel Alon could easily pass for one of the Montana ranchers he once worked with. But the 53-year-old is an Israeli cowboy on the Golan Heights bordering war-torn Syria, where frontier-life takes on a whole new meaning. … Continue reading

Ladies and Hawking

This is from Sports and Pastimes of England, published in 1801. It seems ladies were not only allowed to practice hawking, but some may have been rather good at it: Ladies not only accompanied the gentlemen in pursuit of this diversion, but often practiced it themselves; and, if we may believe a contemporary writer, in … Continue reading

Dr Johnson on The Falkland Islands

Dr Samuel Johnson is famous for his Dictionary of English words, but he was a well informed writer and barrister, who also published Thoughts on the Late Transactions Respecting Faulkland’s Islands. This is how he describes the first English visitors to this still disputed territory: He talks of Anson describing he islands, which inspired a … Continue reading

Glastonbury’s Heavy Metal: Reusable Cups

Some of the most wasteful items in modern life are disposable glasses/cups so it is not before time that some radical solution be found. No surprise that it has come from the Glastonbury festival organisers, and has the added bonus of saving jobs in the British steel industry which is struggling against cheap imports. Michael … Continue reading

Northsealand or Doggerland

Northsealand or Doggerland

Most of us are vaguely aware that Britain was once part of mainland Europe, and if you listen to Radio 4’s nightly Shipping Forecast, you have heard of a region called ‘Dogger’ which covers part of it. I have also come across a few accounts of North Sea Fishermen finding the remains of huge old … Continue reading

Feeding the Poor, 1795 England

I’ve been dipping into Humphrey Jennings’ wonderful collection of historical sources, Pandaemonium. It’s a huge tome and was as major inspiration to Danny Boyle and his colleagues in staging the opening for the 2012 London Olympics. I seem to be doing a similar thing here – presenting documents as images to – I hesitate to … Continue reading

Tenby Market House

Tenby Market House

Tenby is a famous Victorian seaside resort in West Wales, with narrow streets, and great architecture, with a real sandy beach. This is its market house And this is the list of tolls they used to charge.