Archive for 2018

An unusual will: Laurence Sterne’s ‘The fragment’

December 28, 2018 0 Comments
An unusual will: Laurence Sterne’s ‘The fragment’

As far as I know, my father produced only one publication.  Its title was Notes on making a will and it was a pamphlet of just four pages (a single leaf folded with a white card cover).  The publisher, according to the cover, was ‘Bury & Walkers, Solicitors, Barnsley, Wombwell & Leeds’ (Dad was a […]

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Architecture in Wales: a dying art?

December 21, 2018 1 Comment
Architecture in Wales: a dying art?

John B. Hilling has just published a new book, The architecture of Wales, from the first to the twenty-first century (University of Wales Press, 2018, £27.00).  It’s an updating and rewriting of a book he produced in 1976 called The historic architecture of Wales.  I bought my copy for £5.50 in Cardiff in December of […]

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Sir John Perrot: two faces of a ruffian

December 15, 2018 0 Comments
Sir John Perrot: two faces of a ruffian

One of the images included in Wales in 100 objects is a small oil painting by an unknown artist, now in Haverfordwest Town Museum, of the Elizabethan magnate Sir John Perrot.  I chose this particular portrait, painted long after Perrot’s death, because it shows its subject as a jaunty, stylish and dashing character, whereas in […]

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‘Llyfr Glas Nebo’: dystopia/wtopia

December 9, 2018 1 Comment
‘Llyfr Glas Nebo’: dystopia/wtopia

Pan ofynnodd Cymru Fyw i nifer o lenorion yn ddiweddar am enwebu’r llyfrau y bydden nhw’n eu dethol i’r hosan ’Dolig, un llyfr safodd allan: Llyfr Glas Nebo, nofel fer gan Manon Steffan Ros a enillodd y Fedal Ryddiaith eleni yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Caerdydd. Bu 2018 yn flwyddyn aur i’r nofel Gymraeg, debyg iawn. Ar […]

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Making Hay: diary of a first-time speaker

December 1, 2018 2 Comments
Making Hay: diary of a first-time speaker

1   Talk of the Devil An invisible voice apologises: Marcus Brigstocke regrets he’s unable to be with us tonight. Instead, a cloaked figure bursts on to the stage. There’s a white flash of outsize teeth and ghoulish eyes. Yes, It’s Satan, and he’s in talkative mood. By the end of the hour his biting […]

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M4+: a road to nowhere

November 25, 2018 0 Comments
M4+: a road to nowhere

Two public issues overshadow all others. That’s because doing little or nothing about them puts our own existence in danger. They are our own warming of the earth’s environment (anthropogenic climate change) and our destruction of life on earth (loss of biodiversity). Very soon Members of the National Assembly of Wales may be asked to […]

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What’s wrong with BBC news?

November 17, 2018 6 Comments
What’s wrong with BBC news?

Nowadays I seldom choose to watch or listen to ‘national’ BBC news programmes. I’m certain I’m not alone, to judge from personal enquiries and listener statistics: the Today programme lost 800,000 listeners between August 2017 and August 2018. Some of this listener loss could be down to the changing shape of media – there are […]

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Indexing Gilbert White

November 10, 2018 0 Comments
Indexing Gilbert White

Selborne, Hampshire. Why we’ve never been there before I don’t know. The village isn’t far from Winchester, familiar enough territory. It’s a bit off the beaten track, though a busy B road passes through the village, channelling noise and people through the narrow main street that would have been quiet in the mid-eighteenth century, when […]

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In Bunhill Fields

November 3, 2018 3 Comments
In Bunhill Fields

This week we paid a visit to a place that’s been on my wish list for many years: Bunhill Fields. Some might think it a perverse pilgrimage, because Bunhill Fields isn’t not a rural glade or open park, but an old burial ground – the origin of ‘Bunhill’ is thought to be ‘bone hill’ – […]

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Norman McLaren’s ‘Neighbours’

October 28, 2018 0 Comments
Norman McLaren’s ‘Neighbours’

In the year I was born, 1952, just seven years after the end of the Second World War, the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal released a remarkable political film entitled Neighbours.  Just over eight minutes long, it was the work of Norman McLaren, a Scottish director who’d settled in Canada.  It was widely […]

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