Seven black and white photos

At some stage last year Dominic Waßenhoven (@domwasz) challenged me to do the seven black and white photos over seven days with no explanation thing. I didn’t have time in term and promised I’d blog them, so here they are.

If anyone wants to put explanations in the comments, then feel free.

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‘I’d rather see my daughter with a Ph.D. than a husband’: to use Dr or not?

The quotation heading this post is from my mother. A young woman in the congregation was getting married and one of the church ladies unwisely said to my mother, ‘It’ll be your two next.’ My mother responded with what can only be described as a hard stare and the aforementioned quotation. Now my parents have been married for 48 years, so this was not a comment on matrimony per se, but more on the limited views some people in a country parish had regarding women’s opportunities.

So why am I reminded of something that happened 18 years ago?

Continue reading “‘I’d rather see my daughter with a Ph.D. than a husband’: to use Dr or not?”

Snow: reflections on landscape, chronicles, and a walk to church

Snow is more than transformative; it is transformation itself.*

Last weekend, just shy of the vernal equinox, we had the second significant snowfall of winter. I love snow. I love listening to it and can gaze out of the window for hours making myself dizzy watching it fall in clumps or blow round the streets in incredible arching swirls. Above all I love walking in it and the sensory experiences such activity induces, particularly the excitement of fresh snowfall rendering the familiar unfamiliar.

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Politically and historically conflicted: thoughts on the Macron, May, and the Bayeux Tapestry

As everyone knows by now President Macron has agreed to loan the Bayeux Tapestry to the UK, possibly in 2022 and definitely subject to conservation decisions.* Since the announcement, I’ve been engaged in lively conversations on social media about the politics of the decision, matters of conservation and whether the Tapestry should be moved at all, as well as doing my bit to promote research and scholarship at my place of work by writing pithy comments and being interviewed by a local news channel. Such is the lot of the medievalist when their work becomes unexpectedly topical.

I am, however, genuinely conflicted about this announcement.

Continue reading “Politically and historically conflicted: thoughts on the Macron, May, and the Bayeux Tapestry”

Normans and identity

This post is a response to some questions on Twitter about the nature of Norman history and identity, particularly

and

I responded on Twitter, but it’s not a great medium for extended discussion, so I’ll do my best here.

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Woman in sensible swimming costume performs minor acts of environmentalism

The title of this post would not be out of place in ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’s‘ newspaper headline round.* While I would not dare to place my comic talent, such as it is, on a par with Barry Cryer et al., the echo is deliberate. This is a post inspired by Victoria Whitworth’s book Swimming with Seals and Gary Budden’s ‘Landscape Punk’. It’s a little story about a little swim on a little beach in a small part of Cornwall. Continue reading “Woman in sensible swimming costume performs minor acts of environmentalism”