Filed under public celebrations

Edith Walks

I have often wondered why the UK has never produced an equivalent of Kerouac, of Hunter S Thompson, the wild, crazy, drug and alcohol fuelled travellers and story tellers. Yes, I know Britain is a lot smaller. Any road trip would be a lot shorter, but here’s a film that comes close. It begins with … Continue reading

Mock Battle in Spain

Mock Battle in Spain

This is from the i paper, 29 December: Revellers dressed in mock military garb take part in the Enfarinats battle in the south eastern Spanish town of Ibi yesterday. During this 200-year-old festival participants, known as Els Enfarinats (those covered in flour) dress in military clothes and stage a mock coup d’etat using flour, eggs … Continue reading

The English Way of Grief

The English, or perhaps the British, have a reputation for being withdrawn, unemotional, but this is to underestimate the reality. It seems to me we have fewer formal rituals, but a readiness to invent stuff on the fly. This is from Grace Dent in last weekend’s i paper, inspired by the murder of a popular member … Continue reading

St Andrew’s Day in the West Country

St Andrew is mostly associated with the Scots but of course he was one of the major saints, so generally widespread. This is from WestCountry Treasury by Alan & Anthony Gibson: St Andrew’s Day, like so many other saints’ days, was a splendid opportunity for all the young women to find out about their future … Continue reading

The Plague and the Borders

This is from Highways & Byways in The Border, Away back in the evil ties when the Plague ravaged through Scotland very many its victims were buried in a common grave in Linden churchyard. But the church was demolished after the Reformation and the churchyard gradually feel out of use as a pace of burial … Continue reading

Avoiding a Wife’s Debts

In my research for wife selling I came upon several mentions that if a woman had debts, she could be freed of them by marrying in a shift. This was widely mocked, but his comes from the 1932 5 May Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail  “IN HER SHIFT ONLY” Another correspondent writes: With respect to the … Continue reading

Songs In Memory

The past few months have seen a truly horrific rollcall of deaths in the performing arts, and today Umberto Eco joined the list. Last night BBC6music again showed why they are the top digital radio station when Tom Robinson’s show asked listeners to suggest songs to remember those we have lost. The show began with … Continue reading

Cash ‘For Luck’

When researching my book on wife selling, I often found mention of the price including money returned ‘for luck’. It seemed like a nice thing to do, but it seems that, like so much about the process, it did have a sound basis in history and commerce. This is from Paul Jennings’ ‘The Living Village” … Continue reading