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 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.
Continue reading “Snow: reflections on landscape, chronicles, and a walk to church”
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”
This post is a response to some questions on Twitter about the nature of Norman history and identity, particularly
I responded on Twitter, but it’s not a great medium for extended discussion, so I’ll do my best here.
Continue reading “Normans and identity”
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”
Last year a group of medievalists lobbied English Heritage to stop using the term ‘dark ages’ to apply to the early medieval period. We have been successful and you can my account of it on the History Matters blog hosted by University of Sheffield. Thank you to the lovely colleagues at Sheffield for hosting the post.
Originally published in September 2008 on ‘On boundaries’ (now defunct). Reivers is still my partner in all things, but now keeps his own blog under his real name somewhere on GitHub.
I haven’t mentioned Orderic Vitalis for at least a couple of months, so it is about time he had another post. Reivers and I have recently been on holiday in Normandy, causing one colleague to ask if I’d had a productive time in the archives as he couldn’t understand why I went on holiday to an area I research. I didn’t spend any time in archives, but I did visit, with Reivers in tow, many sites and museums. One of those was St-Evroult, home of Orderic.
Continue reading “In search of Orderic Vitalis”