Thursday Thought: Our Gang and Other Warfare

I am currently giving my lecture series “CORNWALL: History, Mystery, Mansions, Mines and Modernity” to OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Cincinnati).

They are fascinated with what it was like growing up in England during the Blitz in World War II. You can read my “Memoirs While Memory Lasts”  of a little boy in Cornwall getting through this troublesome time here. My story is titled “Our Gang and Other Warfare”.  Read more here.

Barrage Balloons

Barrage Balloons


Thursday Thought: Nadelik Lowen Ha Bledhen Nowyth Da!

“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” Now that is a very useful phrase, if not in everyday life at least at this festive time of year.
I had fun describing Christmas traditions in The Miner & the Viscount, and the insatiable curiosity of the miner’s young son Jemmy.
“Why do us put ‘olly in the ‘ouse at Christmastide, Mum?”
“Us be rememberin’ the birth of the baby Jesus,” explained Lizzie, “an’ people saythe red berries be ‘is drops of blood when ‘e were crucified.”
“But why do us put up stuff loike the crucifixion on ‘is birthday?” Jemmy asked.”Don’t make sense. Wouldn’t put a coffin on my birthday table.”
“That’s just what people say,” said Lizzie.
“What people?” pressed Jemmy.
“Well, I ‘spect it says so in the Bible,” Lizzie tried.
“Where in the Bible?” Jemmy persisted.
“You’ll ‘ave to ask Reverend Perry when you see ‘im down chapel; he’ll know for sure,” parried Lizzie.
Read more of Chapter 37 here.

Thursday Thought: Wimbledon

Dick Savitt Wimbledon champion 1951

Dick Savitt
Wimbledon champion 1951

Another great Wimbledon championship and for me extraordinary personal memories. In another Memoir While Memory Lasts I recall the time I brushed shoulders with tennis greats sitting in the competitors gallery right on the baseline opposite the royal box on Centre Court.

I was not a competitive tennis player myself. How on earth did this come about? Here is the end of the story:

Nowadays whenever I watch Wimbledon on television I feel nostalgic for the much more vivid and intimate view I once had in the competitors’ box. But whatever the venue, an unmistakable tickle of gin and tonic tantalizes my nostrils.


For the story behind the story go to http://wp.me/P4LySx-6I