I couldn’t let the centenary of the start of World War One go by without devoting an ABC post or two to some of those who took part, starting with John Norton-Griffiths.
We all know about the horrors of the stalemate that stretched for 400 miles from the French coast to the Swiss border, but less well-known is the war that took place below the trenches… Read more ›››
One of the essential elements of a successful hoax, apart from a credulous public, is to create a story that just might be true.
In 1894, the Russian journalist Nicolas Notovitch published La vie inconnue de Jesus Christ which purported to reveal that Jesus has spent many years as both teacher and scholar at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Read more ›››
John Newton led what you might consider an interesting life. He was a sailor, a slaver, a clergyman and author of arguably the most popular hymn of all time.
Born in 1725 in Wapping, London, Newton grew up at a time of religious turmoil. His father was ostensibly a Catholic, but had Protestant sympathies while his mother was a devout independent Anglican. Read more ›››
Although I generally plan my ABC Wednesday posts well in advance, sometimes there is a certain synchonisity or timely coincidence to them.
I had decided to write about Tenzing Norgay some time ago, but it coincides with the publication tomorrow of Everest 1953: The Epic Story of the First Ascent that sheds new light on exactly who was first to the summit – Edmund Hillary or Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Read more ›››
Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson is a great national naval hero, at least in the UK, probably less so in France, but famous though he is, many of the things we think we know about him are wrong.
Where to begin? Well, he didn’t hold a telescope to his blind eye at the Battle of Copenhagen and say: ‘I see no ships’ as is often quoted. What he actually said was: ‘I really do not see the signal’ when he chose to ignore the recall signal issued by Admiral Parker. Read more ›››
One of the things I promised myself before we arrived in Cape Town was to watch a cricket match at Newlands, the test match venue that was a short drive from where we were staying.
It is said to be one of the most beautiful cricket grounds, standing as it does in the shadow of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, but as you can see from the photo, we didn’t pick the right day to appreciate it. Read more ›››
Not the bloke who invented gravitas when he had an apple shot off his head while composing the theme tune for the Lone Ranger. This N is for Newton, a place not far from where I live.
There are quite a lot of Newtons in the world as you can see from this list on Wikipedia, or this even longer one at A Vision of Britain. Read more ›››
A simple gallery of some of my nature photos. Click for larger images. Read more ›››