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

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”

Pyramid Racing – Part 2

Each year there are roughly 5,000 entrants for the race who make their way to Cairo at their own expense. They are given a thorough medical by the race organizers and those who pass have to sign an insurance waiver and provide proof they have adequate medical insurance for repatriation to their own country. IfContinue reading “Pyramid Racing – Part 2”

The Hula Hoop Games – Buenos Aires

The modern hula hoop was invented in the late 1950s but people around the world have played with hoops for centuries. Traditional materials for hoops include willow, rattan, and stiff grasses. The Hula Hoop Games in Buenos Aires were started in 1959 and now attract contestants from around the world. At these Games the emphasisContinue reading “The Hula Hoop Games – Buenos Aires”

The Hula Hoop Games – Buenos Aires – Part 2

The accuracy events involve both throwing and rolling. The basic idea is that the hoop should land over one of three 2-feet long armadillos that are placed at distances of 100, 200, and 300 feet from the thrower. Since 1963, pottery armadillos have been used instead of real ones in order to save the animalsContinue reading “The Hula Hoop Games – Buenos Aires – Part 2”

Pyramid Racing – Part 3

On June 21st the races on the Pyramid of Menkaure start at 6am, those on Khafre at 10am, and on the Great Pyramid at 2pm. All the races on Menkaure and Khafre are normal pyramid races as is the first race for each contestant on the Great Pyramid. However, in the “Race to the Stars”,Continue reading “Pyramid Racing – Part 3”

Pyramid Climbing at Giza

The Pyramids at Giza and Saqqara have long held the fascination of the world and the method of their construction has been the subject of much debate. The Pyramids are visited by thousands of tourists each year and yet none of them are allowed to climb on these architectural wonders of the world. However, onContinue reading “Pyramid Climbing at Giza”