Posts from May 2010

Treasure Underfoot

Treasure Seeker Sandals

I do like my gadgets, the more useless the better, but how about metal detector sandals? They sound great, but I usually associate lost treasure with muddy fields and rain, or am I being unfair to metal detecting societies?

At least you shouldn’t feel as nig a chump as you would roaming the countryside sporting earphones and an upended frying pan. Read more ›››

“How about the Lightning Runes then?”

It is an iconic moment in movie history. When John Mills and Co finally arrive in the bar in Alexandria and get their mitts around the ice-cold glass of lager anticipated throughout the whole of Ice Cold in Alex.

Just before Anthony Quayle gets hauled off as a PoW, rather than a spy, with the words: “All against the desert – the greater enemy.” Read more ›››

Baron von Warren

It is 70 years since the beginning of Operation Dynamo and the evacuation of Dunkirk, but 27 May 1940 was also a personal military failure for one Captain Warren of the RAF.

He and his crew took off from Dishforth in Yorkshire at 8:30pm on a mission to bomb a German airfield in Holland. As the Whitley bomber crossed the North Sea, they found themselves rocked by an electrical thunderstorm and Warren asked his navigator to plot a new course to escape the buffeting. Read more ›››

Gottle o’ Grin an’ T (Not Geer)

I wonder what will happen to Lord Charles now that his handler, Ray Alan, has passed away? It’s a serious question — the ventriloquist dies, but the characters they create can live on indefinitely potentially.

Just ask Sooty and Sweep, devised by Harry Corbett, the bequeathed to his son, Matthew, until he retired after twenty-odd years of letting his fingers do the talking, passing on the puppets to Richard Caddell. Read more ›››


We are regularly reminded of the an Gorta Mór, or the Great Hunger of 1845 caused by the Irish Potato Famine. Indeed, Tayto considered producing limited edition crisp packets to commemorate the event, although I may have just made that up. But how many people have heard of the Scottish Potato Famine?

On this day in 1846 a spell of hot weather began to suck up all the water from the normally soggy earth of north west Scotland and it became so dry that ‘men swore that they had seen salmon swimming in red dust’. Read more ›››

Chad’s Valley

Nearly 9:30pm and it is still 20°. Great weather for May. We’ve done little today, although me and Ms P took our dog, Jack, for a walk around Chadkirk which is just a few minutes drive from where we live. Above is the monk carved from an old tree outside the 14th century chapel dedicated to St Chad. Read more ›››

You’re Going to Hell, Jack Nightingale

I’ve just finished reading Nightfall by Stephen Leather. It is billed as the first in a series of Jack Nightingale Supernatural Thrillers and I honestly can’t wait for the next one.

I must admit that the first time I picked up the paperback in the bookshop, I was intrigued, but not exactly knocked out by the blurb: Jack Nightingale — ex-police negotiator turned struggling private detective inherits a mansion from a father he has never heard of. Read more ›››

First Leg at Home

I don’t know what it is about me that attracts one-legged birds. No, not her, I mean the common or garden variety. Last year we had a one-legged pigeon as a regular visitor to our small piece of green and pleasant land who we rather originally nicknamed Hopalong. He seemed to do okay, jockeying for position among his mates hoovering up the seed that had spilled from the hanging feed hoppers. (No pun intended) Read more ›››

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