For the last three years we have yomped up to the top of Hartshead Pike in Ashton on Midsummer’s Day, the idea being to watch the sunset on the longest day, and for three years old Sol Invictus has been victa by the clouds. This year started promisingly with the sun beaming on the Pike as we approached up the hill, as you can see from the photo, but even as I steadied my camera, Mrs P was telling me that I had about three minutes before the clouds would block out the sunlight.… Read more ›››
James Wyld was an eminent Victorian geographer and map maker, Member of Parliament and businessman who also turned the world inside out with his ‘Great Globe’.
Wyld was born in 1812 and named after his father, the geographer royal James Wyld who had introduced the art of lithography to England... Read more about James Wyld ›››
Eugène François Vidocq was the 18th century duellist, thief, forger, soldier and womaniser who is regarded as the father of modern criminology and an inspiration for the likes of Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas and for the world's first detective story.
Vidocq was born in 1775 in Arras in northern France, the third child of the wealthy baker and corn dealer Nicolas Joseph François Vidocq. Read more ›››
The long awaited summer weather has brought one or two unwanted nocturnal visitors. As you can see from the photo on the left, something has been digging shallow holes in our lawn. They started to appear down one side of the garden a few days ago and are either being excavated at night or during the couple of hours of sunlight before we get up. We’re pretty sure that the culprit is a badger or a family of them since we’ve known that they use the bottom of our garden as part of their regular run for some years.… Read more ›››
There is a popular notion that elephants and other creatures get themselves drunk by eating the fermented fruit of the marula tree, but it is a complete myth created by the South African film maker, Jamie Uys.
Uys was born in Boksburg, SA, in 1921 and began his career as a mathematics teacher in his hometown... Read more about Jamie Uys ›››
The weather finally seems to have taken a turn for the better after the best part of a year of miserable greyness and what I’m told has been the coldest Spring since 1962. It still isn’t exactly wall to wall sunshine, but at least I haven’t been forced back into a sweater or a waterproof to venture outside. And it is also time to get the barbecue out again and brush off all the cobwebs and dust that have gathered upon it, so long has it been unused, just in time to celebrate Master P’s twenty-second birthday.… Read more ›››
John Gray over at Going Gently was making a point about light pollution yesterday, prompted by his nocturnal navigational arrangements to get himself from bed to the loo and back again. I had assumed that as he lives in the small Welsh village of Trelawnyd that light pollution wouldn’t be high on his list of gripes, but not so – he would quite like the street lights to be switched off from midnight till 6am.… Read more ›››