By Charles Levy from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack

The Night Before War?

Evening of April 15th, 2017. It’s rather disconcerting that, as I lay down my phone before I go to sleep, after I have checked social media and various news reports, that the next time I look at it, we may

By Charles Levy from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack

The Night Before War?

Evening of April 15th, 2017. It’s rather disconcerting that, as I lay down my phone before I go to sleep, after I have checked social media and various news reports, that the next time I look at it, we may

Arnold Bennett (pic Project Gutenberg)

Things That Have Interested Me

Arnold Bennett.  I have heard his name on several occasions, guessed from the context that he was an author, but I didn’t know anything about him really. It didn’t help that when I heard the name my brain produced a

Arnold Bennett (pic Project Gutenberg)

Things That Have Interested Me

Arnold Bennett.  I have heard his name on several occasions, guessed from the context that he was an author, but I didn’t know anything about him really. It didn’t help that when I heard the name my brain produced a

Sewing machinists

The Woman on the Hill

Like many West Yorkshire and Lancashire towns, Hebden Bridge is steeped in the history of textile industry. This small town in the Calder valley specialised in producing fustian cloths, densely woven tough cotton cloths, with a pile or napped surface

Sewing machinists

The Woman on the Hill

Like many West Yorkshire and Lancashire towns, Hebden Bridge is steeped in the history of textile industry. This small town in the Calder valley specialised in producing fustian cloths, densely woven tough cotton cloths, with a pile or napped surface

Barbed

Craftivism: Changing our world one stitch at a time, Sarah Corbett

So, what on earth is Craftivism? Sarah Corbett, Founder of the London-based Craftivist Collective in 2008, tells us it’s a form of activism using craft to get the message across. Despite sounding rather benign, it is actually a clever and

Barbed

Craftivism: Changing our world one stitch at a time, Sarah Corbett

So, what on earth is Craftivism? Sarah Corbett, Founder of the London-based Craftivist Collective in 2008, tells us it’s a form of activism using craft to get the message across. Despite sounding rather benign, it is actually a clever and

Rowson haiti cartoon

Martin Rowson, Hung, Drawn And Quartered

Martin Rowson, Guardian editorial cartoonist, is a very angry man. He is angry at the injustice he sees everyday in the world, and at the powerlessness of the ordinary person. That’s why he does what he does. He calls himself

Rowson haiti cartoon

Martin Rowson, Hung, Drawn And Quartered

Martin Rowson, Guardian editorial cartoonist, is a very angry man. He is angry at the injustice he sees everyday in the world, and at the powerlessness of the ordinary person. That’s why he does what he does. He calls himself

Connections at Hay Festival

I have just come back from my first Hay on Wye Book festival after years of wanting to go.  It was made possible by a friend and her daughter, and a rather beautiful yurt on the banks of the Wye. I’m

Connections at Hay Festival

I have just come back from my first Hay on Wye Book festival after years of wanting to go.  It was made possible by a friend and her daughter, and a rather beautiful yurt on the banks of the Wye. I’m

For the Love of Words – Indie Writers’ Fest

It was my good fortune to attend the Big Bookend‘s Indie Writers’ Festival  For the Love of Words, hosted at Leeds Trinity University.  A I had already experienced one of the Big Bookend’s events, their ‘meet the agent’ session with Shelley Instone,

For the Love of Words – Indie Writers’ Fest

It was my good fortune to attend the Big Bookend‘s Indie Writers’ Festival  For the Love of Words, hosted at Leeds Trinity University.  A I had already experienced one of the Big Bookend’s events, their ‘meet the agent’ session with Shelley Instone,

Gnarly Old Goat-Dude

I met a kindred spirit today.  Because I have a fairly misanthropic aspect it doesn’t happen very often, but I was fortunate to spend several pleasant hours with a complete stranger who was my friend for that time. A neighbour

Gnarly Old Goat-Dude

I met a kindred spirit today.  Because I have a fairly misanthropic aspect it doesn’t happen very often, but I was fortunate to spend several pleasant hours with a complete stranger who was my friend for that time. A neighbour

Blackcap: Agustín Povedano

Old Mother Blackcap

I’m not really a bird watcher, birder, twitcher, or whatever the term is, but we really enjoy watching the host of song birds that visit our garden. We are lucky enough to have a back garden which takes in a lot

Blackcap: Agustín Povedano

Old Mother Blackcap

I’m not really a bird watcher, birder, twitcher, or whatever the term is, but we really enjoy watching the host of song birds that visit our garden. We are lucky enough to have a back garden which takes in a lot

The Christmas Catalogue – Who dreams these things up?

Ah, early November and already ’tis the season of good cheer, and to be merry, and … to part with money. We’ve had a rash of unsolicited catalogues encouraging us to dispense Christmassy cheer via our pockets.  Given that it

The Christmas Catalogue – Who dreams these things up?

Ah, early November and already ’tis the season of good cheer, and to be merry, and … to part with money. We’ve had a rash of unsolicited catalogues encouraging us to dispense Christmassy cheer via our pockets.  Given that it

Lynn Barber In Conversation – Ilkley LitFest

Lynn Barber’s reputation precedes her; there is a noticeable excitement in the room, the expectation of shocking tales and revelations.  We are gripped even before she comes in. After nearly 50 years in the business of interviewing hundreds of celebrities,

Lynn Barber In Conversation – Ilkley LitFest

Lynn Barber’s reputation precedes her; there is a noticeable excitement in the room, the expectation of shocking tales and revelations.  We are gripped even before she comes in. After nearly 50 years in the business of interviewing hundreds of celebrities,

Bonnie Greer: Parallel Lives – Ilkley LitFest

Poet Rommi Smith gives Bonnie Greer a breathtaking introduction.  This tiny giant of a woman has a list of credentials to rival any great.  Author, playwright, actor, even OBE we know, but also writer of Opera and Musical, Chancellor of

Bonnie Greer: Parallel Lives – Ilkley LitFest

Poet Rommi Smith gives Bonnie Greer a breathtaking introduction.  This tiny giant of a woman has a list of credentials to rival any great.  Author, playwright, actor, even OBE we know, but also writer of Opera and Musical, Chancellor of

Ian Mortimer: Centuries of Change – Ilkley LitFest

At the end of 1999,  when someone who might have been Fiona Bruce said the new millennium marked the end of the century of greatest change, Ian Mortimer pricked up his ears. Was it the century of greatest change? How

Ian Mortimer: Centuries of Change – Ilkley LitFest

At the end of 1999,  when someone who might have been Fiona Bruce said the new millennium marked the end of the century of greatest change, Ian Mortimer pricked up his ears. Was it the century of greatest change? How

Modernity Britain: A Shake of the Dice by David Kynaston – Ilkley LitFest

“Whose book was Tony Hancock struggling to read in the Hancock episode Bedsitter in 1961*?” asks David Kynaston in a surprise quiz of obscure facts from the era of his book. This capacity crowd of 50-60-70- somethings has no trouble

Modernity Britain: A Shake of the Dice by David Kynaston – Ilkley LitFest

“Whose book was Tony Hancock struggling to read in the Hancock episode Bedsitter in 1961*?” asks David Kynaston in a surprise quiz of obscure facts from the era of his book. This capacity crowd of 50-60-70- somethings has no trouble

Lynne Segal: Out of Time, The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing – Ilkley LitFest

“How old am I? Don’t ask, don’t tell. The question frightens me.”  The opening of Lynne Segal’s latest book, Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing, read to a predominantly, but not exclusively, female crowd, resonated with many

Lynne Segal: Out of Time, The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing – Ilkley LitFest

“How old am I? Don’t ask, don’t tell. The question frightens me.”  The opening of Lynne Segal’s latest book, Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing, read to a predominantly, but not exclusively, female crowd, resonated with many

Will Self: Shark – Ilkley LitFest

The promise of an hour’s talk on how hoteliers try to distract their guests from the revolting thought of previous, nefarious use of the bed they are sleeping in, was not, I would hazard,  what the audience was expecting.  Will Self

Will Self: Shark – Ilkley LitFest

The promise of an hour’s talk on how hoteliers try to distract their guests from the revolting thought of previous, nefarious use of the bed they are sleeping in, was not, I would hazard,  what the audience was expecting.  Will Self

Hilary and Steven Rose: Molecularisation of Biology and Commodification of Us – Ilkley LitFest

The playhouse is packed, the audience are full of tea and cake, and Hilary and Steven Rose enter to enthusiastic applause. Hilary Rose, feminist sociologist of science and social policy, and her husband Steven, neuroscientist, are here to discuss their

Hilary and Steven Rose: Molecularisation of Biology and Commodification of Us – Ilkley LitFest

The playhouse is packed, the audience are full of tea and cake, and Hilary and Steven Rose enter to enthusiastic applause. Hilary Rose, feminist sociologist of science and social policy, and her husband Steven, neuroscientist, are here to discuss their

The Poetry Army – Heathcote Williams – Square Chapel

Poetry Army, by Heathcote Williams Square Chapel, Halifax As seats are taken at the Square Chapel in Halifax for the performance of Heathcote Williams’ Poetry Army, no-one is quite sure what to expect.  The stage is bare, save for a

The Poetry Army – Heathcote Williams – Square Chapel

Poetry Army, by Heathcote Williams Square Chapel, Halifax As seats are taken at the Square Chapel in Halifax for the performance of Heathcote Williams’ Poetry Army, no-one is quite sure what to expect.  The stage is bare, save for a

Buttering the Spoons

Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not one of those vintage-orientated domestic Goddesses who pop up all over the place – I don’t iron and I can’t bear the noise of the hoover –  but I do like a wooden spoon.

Buttering the Spoons

Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not one of those vintage-orientated domestic Goddesses who pop up all over the place – I don’t iron and I can’t bear the noise of the hoover –  but I do like a wooden spoon.

Love

“Alright love, can I talk to you about …”.    He has spotted me at 10 metres, has broken away from a huddle with his colleagues, and is striding determinedly across the paving towards me. “Don’t call me ‘Love’, thanks”, I

Love

“Alright love, can I talk to you about …”.    He has spotted me at 10 metres, has broken away from a huddle with his colleagues, and is striding determinedly across the paving towards me. “Don’t call me ‘Love’, thanks”, I

Suffragette

Today is Emmeline Pankhurst’s birthday.  She was born Emmeline Goulden on 15 July 1858, and is one of the most famous women in British history. There is plenty that has been written about Mrs Pankhurst and her deeds, so I write here

Suffragette

Today is Emmeline Pankhurst’s birthday.  She was born Emmeline Goulden on 15 July 1858, and is one of the most famous women in British history. There is plenty that has been written about Mrs Pankhurst and her deeds, so I write here

Ramones

All Revved up and Ready To Go

I never intended to write blog posts about dead people, but this one couldn’t go without comment either. Tommy Ramone, the final remaining original member of the Ramones, has died. You could be forgiven for thinking that Rock n Roll

Ramones

All Revved up and Ready To Go

I never intended to write blog posts about dead people, but this one couldn’t go without comment either. Tommy Ramone, the final remaining original member of the Ramones, has died. You could be forgiven for thinking that Rock n Roll

World Record Bunting!

I mentioned a few weeks back that I been a tiny bit involved in a world record attempt at creating the world’s longest bunting, in this post.  I had helped to make some bunting with the WI in Hebden Bridge

World Record Bunting!

I mentioned a few weeks back that I been a tiny bit involved in a world record attempt at creating the world’s longest bunting, in this post.  I had helped to make some bunting with the WI in Hebden Bridge

I Can Smell the Storm Coming!

We have had several days of very warm, sunny, dry weather, but today there are a few dark clouds about. Just now, as I let the cat out, the smell of ozone hit me full-on.  I know the smell of

I Can Smell the Storm Coming!

We have had several days of very warm, sunny, dry weather, but today there are a few dark clouds about. Just now, as I let the cat out, the smell of ozone hit me full-on.  I know the smell of

Gerry Goffin

So the world wakes this morning to the sad news of the death of Gerry Goffin.  Along with song-writing partners, this guy was responsible for some of the most memorable records of the last 50 years. Most famously, he collaborated

Gerry Goffin

So the world wakes this morning to the sad news of the death of Gerry Goffin.  Along with song-writing partners, this guy was responsible for some of the most memorable records of the last 50 years. Most famously, he collaborated

Solar Roadways

This video has been doing the rounds lately.  If it’s true, and it seems so, then this has the potential to be very exciting, especially if you think about extended possibilities.  There are a few naysayers of course, but even

Solar Roadways

This video has been doing the rounds lately.  If it’s true, and it seems so, then this has the potential to be very exciting, especially if you think about extended possibilities.  There are a few naysayers of course, but even