Folkmoor: Phantom Black Dogs
May02

Folkmoor: Phantom Black Dogs

Folklore researcher and author Mark Norman profiles the phenomenon of ghostly apparitions of Black Dogs which inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write his most well-loved Sherlock Holmes novel. When asking people about the ‘Black Dog’, the first thing brought to mind is either the metaphor for depression popularised by statesman Sir Winston Churchill, or the Sherlock Holmes story “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. However, apparitions...

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Gardening with Michael Pell: Spring
May02

Gardening with Michael Pell: Spring

Spring, time of reawakening in the gardening year, though if, like us you garden on heavy clay, spring has been a long time coming. The ground here at Lewis Cottage is only just drying out, so I’m thankful that I managed to get ahead during the winter months, clearing the herbaceous borders, though I tend to leave the woodland well alone so that there are plenty of areas for the local wildlife to hibernate. That’s not to say that...

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View from the Whitehouse
Apr18

View from the Whitehouse

It’s time to admit once and for all that I am an Old Fart. Once you’ve realised that every single pocket contains Polo mints, dog kibble or chicken feed there really aren’t any other options. All I can aim for now is becoming a magnificent Old Fart. Horsey people are probably the best at that; farmers are pretty good and dog-owners a close third. Cat people are, of course in their own category of bonkers but a previously...

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View from the Whitehouse – Chickens
Mar22

View from the Whitehouse – Chickens

I may have a few talents but I’m definitely not a chicken whisperer. Last year, I purchased three bantams at point of lay. I thought that, being smaller, they’d be less destructive than the Marans we’d had before. Pardon me while I laugh bitterly at the wreck that once was the rockery… What I really hadn’t counted on was a) the lightness and b) the flat-out awkwardness of these mini-chickens as they conspired to get through,...

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View from the Whitehouse
Feb23

View from the Whitehouse

One of the oddest things about being a professional comedian is not that you live in a twilight world of madness and stupidity; you get used to that. I’m also dyslexic and frequently wonder why life keeps giving me melons… The strangest thing is that folk will keep asking you to perform for free. In my case, being a vicar as well, they probably assume that God will pay but while God may be love and compassion, He’s a bit like...

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DIGITALK: The fall of the last guardian – Net Neutrality
Dec29

DIGITALK: The fall of the last guardian – Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality has been in the news a lot in the last couple weeks and a lot of you might be wondering what it is and how the absence of it will affect us. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. What the removal of this...

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