Book Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

This is the first fantasy novel of acclaimed Japanese writer Kazuo Ishiguro. Previously, I have read The Remains of the Day, an incredible book that was turned into a successful film of the same name. Although creating a fantasy novel is a huge departure from his usual setting. In many ways, this book contains theContinue reading “Book Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro”

Book Review: Weatherland by Andrea Harris

Weatherland by Alexandra Harris is a sweeping panorama and magic carpet ride through the history of England using a quirky weathervane to measure the changing culture – the weather. Author Alexandra Harris’ debut book won The Guardian’s Book of the Year. It’s no surprise either because this is a far-reaching, expansive book written in anContinue reading “Book Review: Weatherland by Andrea Harris”

Unusual augurs of thunder in medieval England

In times of yore ( yore occurring around 1389) the appearance of thunder was a mixed bag. Thunder during January augured bumper crops, along with war when it crackled over the sky. However, thunder in December heralded abundant fruit trees, provisions and harmony among people. Harry the Hayward’s Thunder Prognostication Chart (1389) Sources: The BodlieanContinue reading “Unusual augurs of thunder in medieval England”

Omnia tempus habent: a delightful medieval rhyming calendar

Omnia tempus habent – All things have their season. Ecclesiastes Here is a medieval rhyming calendar depicting the labours of the months in the fields, designing in rhyming couplets dating from 14th century England. And yes the mis-spelling of the words is intentional. This is how it was spelt in Old English of medieval times.Continue reading “Omnia tempus habent: a delightful medieval rhyming calendar”

Book Review: Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace by Kate Summerscale

The author of the award-winning historical mystery novel The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Kate Summerscale is back with another novel,this time based on a real life infamous divorce court case of 1858. The first registered divorce in English history. Back in the era when divorce was well and truly a dirty word. The chief exhibitContinue reading “Book Review: Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace by Kate Summerscale”

Strange Victorian Journeys Into the Fourth Dimension

The last gasp of Victorian spirituality infused cutting-edge science with old-school mysticism. Theosophy was all the rage; Many weird and and wonderful ideas being developed at the turn of the century around death, ghosts, the fourth dimension filled the Victorians with a palpable sense of possibility.

Album Review: Robohands ‘Green’

In case you have been living under a rock, Robohands is a UK jazz musician whose real name is Andy Baxter. His debut album Green which came out in mid-2018 is superb. With almost zero effort to promote the album, Robohands has grown in underground popularity getting over a million views on his album andContinue reading “Album Review: Robohands ‘Green’”

Ancient word of the day: Bóithrín

The word bóithrín comes from small (ín) Cow (bó) path. This is a path can either be man-made or created by cow meandering. Bóthar for road and botharín for small road – in the diminutive form. This became boreen or bohereen in Hiberno-English.

Ancient word of the day: Hedgehog

The ancient word for today is hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus. In the Middle Ages, writers didn’t make reference to hedgehogs, but to urchins. A term still favoured in some English dialects. It’s also associated with the sea urchin, which is literally a sea hedgehog. The word urchin came over to England with the Norman invasion andContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Hedgehog”