Northern Ireland and Scotland

My new book is called: Travels through History – Northern Ireland and Scotland  Belfast and the Causeway Coast has been rated best region in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet praised its “timeless beauty and high-grade distractions – golf, whiskey and some of the world’s most famous rocks. The region mayContinue reading “Northern Ireland and Scotland”

Best travel book of the year: Kapka Kassabova’s Border wins Stanford’s award

A timely account of a fraught part of Europe has won Stanford’s book of the year. Here, one of the judges heralds a master storyteller and gives an overview of the nominees

A whale of a time: a Moby-Dick marathon in Massachusetts

Fans gather in a non-stop reading of Herman Melville’s entire masterpiece at an annual winter festival in New Bedford, where the idea for the novel was born

Turtle Rinsing in London

It’s a little known fact that every turtle that swims up the River Thames past Tower Bridge into the Pool of London becomes the property and responsibility of the monarch. This rule is part of the Common Law of England and dates back to the time of Queen Matilda in the 12th Century. The RoyalContinue reading “Turtle Rinsing in London”

Skipping around the windmill

The concept of the Village Idiot is a long-held tradition that was refined to its highest degree in rural Somerset in the 1300s. At that time the position of Village Idiot was an official job title and had a salary, though it was paid in acorns. Both men and women could apply for the roleContinue reading “Skipping around the windmill”

Walking the Weasel

According to the Lindisfarne Chronicles, “Walking the Ways All” was an annual tradition in all Anglo-Saxon towns. The third Thursday in July was set aside for the townsfolk to walk along the common pathways and re-establish their right to frequent these paths. According to the English Common Law, if this annual reclamation wasn’t performed theseContinue reading “Walking the Weasel”

Sports the Olympics Forgot – Donkey Jousting

This is an excerpt from the Donkey Jousting story in the book, Sports the Olympics Forgot The sport of Donkey Jousting has taken place under the walls of Caernarvon Castle in North-West Wales since 1300 when King Edward I was building the castle that’s seen today by thousands of visitors. The original jousters were Welsh soldiers who wereContinue reading “Sports the Olympics Forgot – Donkey Jousting”

Mad Paddling from Hobart, Australia

This excerpt is from Sports the Olympics Forgot Hobart on the island of Tasmania is home to the greatest paddling sports event in the world. Kayakers, canoeists, and rowers from all over the world descend on Hobart in the last week of January to celebrate the sea and all those who seek to skim acrossContinue reading “Mad Paddling from Hobart, Australia”

Sports the Olympics Forgot – Snowshoe Snowball

The biggest event of the sports calendar in Revelstoke is the Snowshoe Snowball Contest held on Valentine’s Day since 1872. This event combines the stamina required to snowshoe 10 kilometers over hilly terrain with the accuracy of a marksman. During the snowshoe, the participants have to knock over 10 bottles of Kootenay beer with 10 snowballs that they makeContinue reading “Sports the Olympics Forgot – Snowshoe Snowball”

The Manton Rempville Murders – Chapter 1

Detective Sergeant Rod Barnes surveyed the remains of Manton Rempville monastery with a certain amount of incredulity. He’d heard that 100,000 pounds had been spent on preserving the ruins and he couldn’t understand why anyone would do such a thing. Ruins were ruins for a reason and that reason was because the natural order ofContinue reading “The Manton Rempville Murders – Chapter 1”