Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

This just might be the best fiction book I read in 2022. It’s utterly brilliant and yet I can’t work out why. In a way, it doesn’t matter. It combines a heroine who has wisdom in dealing with people beyond her years together with a cast of support characters who might live quite close toContinue reading “Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons”

The Masque of Anarchy by Shelley

Well better late than never for me to discover this poem about non-violent opposition to the oppressors, a message that will be taken up in increasing numbers as governments become more and more unpopular over the next year or so. This poem of 91 stanzas was written in response to the Peterloo massacre of 1819Continue reading “The Masque of Anarchy by Shelley”

Heavy Weather by PG Wodehouse

For some reason I adore these books about Blandings Castle and yet I don’t like the Jeeves and Wooster books. I think it’s because everyone in the Blandings Castle books is so thoroughly human and has faults. Lord Emsworth only ever thinks about his pig The Empress of Blandings, his sister Connie is always tellingContinue reading “Heavy Weather by PG Wodehouse”

Goddess of the North and the Angel of the North and Blanchland

An excerpt from the book: Travels through History – North-East England The chances are that you will have heard of one of these sculptures but not the other. The Goddess of the North or The Lady of the North or Northumberlandia is a huge land sculpture in the shape of a reclining female figure, startedContinue reading “Goddess of the North and the Angel of the North and Blanchland”

Hadrian’s Wall – Corbridge, Chesters, Brocolitia, Housesteads

An excerpt from the book: Travels through History – North-East England The permanent conquest of Britain by the Romans began in 43 AD and by about 100 AD there were army units along the stretch of land between the River Tyne and the Solway Firth. Their forts were linked by a road, now known asContinue reading “Hadrian’s Wall – Corbridge, Chesters, Brocolitia, Housesteads”

Travels through History – France – Pont du Gard

Extract from the book ‘Travels through History : France” available here This famous aqueduct and bridge, visible from airplanes heading to Marseilles-Provence Airport, is between Remoulins and Vers-Pont du Gardon, 13 miles from Avignon. The Pont-du-Gard was built in just five years using 51,000 tons of stone . No mortar was used. The structure isContinue reading “Travels through History – France – Pont du Gard”

Travels through History – France – Provence

Extract from the book ‘Travels through History : France” available here Gordes looks spectacular as it tumbles down the hillside towards the Luberon Valley. The houses and hotels appear well-kept and largely unspoilt with clumps of trees and the occasional swimming pool breaking up the sporadic pattern of buildings. Gordes doesn’t immediately strike the visitorContinue reading “Travels through History – France – Provence”

Durham and St Cuthbert – The Cathedral

An excerpt from the book: Travels through History – North-East England The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham is the official name of Durham Cathedral and is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The present cathedral was founded in 1093 and was built in just 40Continue reading “Durham and St Cuthbert – The Cathedral”