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As if on cue…..

I mentioned the Great Pottery Throw Down the other week. As if on cue, a transmission date has finally been scheduled. The series starts on Thursday on BBC2 at 8pm, and I shall be watching avidly. I imagine that Jon the Potter, plus lots of other pottery teachers up and down the country, must be […]

Too many trips to Town

Sorry for the lack of posts – I’ve just been far too busy to find time to blog. Every week recently I’ve had an all-day meeting in London, and it’s leaving me exhausted. One upside though is that, rather than getting a hideously early train from Malvern, I’ve gone down to London the night before […]

Flatronisation (n) 

A colleague in my office came up with a really good new word this week.  Flatronisation (noun) from flatronise (verb) meaning “to flatter in a patronising manner”. It covers such a wide range of situations, both domestic and professional. I think we should start a campaign to get it adopted as a recognised word……  “Don’t […]

Enlivening the long journey home

I had a meeting in Greater London last week that involved a long and tedious (taxi and three trains, five hour) journey home. The train line through the Cotswolds to Malvern is notorious for being little more than a branch line, with slow trains that stop at pretty much every village, and very short platforms […]

Isis or Juno?

There is a women’s clothes shop in town that gained national notoriety last year due to its name – Isis. Some rather stupid trolls on social media accused the shop, and by association the owner, with having links with Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East. The idea is completely absurd – the boutique was clearly […]

Round One to English Heritage

The local planning fuss I mentioned recently about broiler sheds is rumbling on. I’ve been keeping half an eye on Herefordshire Council’s Planning website, and there have been over 600 comments from members of the public, approximately 95% of which are objecting to the development. Interestingly, one of the local big landowners wrote a letter […]

Planning permission fuss

There is a big fuss going on locally at the moment. The farmer just down the hill from me – he of the potato lorries – has put in a planning application to build four huge “broiler sheds” to intensively rear chickens. The big problem is that this is slap bang in the middle of […]

The Fibula Event Horizon

One of the weirder concepts that I came across working through the MOOC on Hadrian’s Wall is that of the “Fibula Event Horizon”. This is apparently a recognised archaeological term, referring to the sudden and dramatic increase of small brooches (fibulae) found in late iron-age contexts in Britain just before the Roman conquest. It is […]

The Potato Lorry Mystery – Solved!

It’s potato harvest season again. As I mentioned last year, every ten minutes from dawn to dusk, a tractor with a heavily loaded trailer full of potatoes goes down the hill past my house, and returns later back up the hill with a heap of potato-free soil in the trailer. This goes on daily for […]

Trying out a MOOC

For the last few weeks, I’ve been spending my evenings studying Roman history online via a MOOC, that is a Massive Online Open Course. It’s not something I’ve done before, but my brother-in-law thought I would be interested, so sent me a link to Futurelearn, which offers access to a range of free, university-level courses […]