Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Zooming into pubs and more

Well it seems a while since I’ve blogged and a lot has happened on the covid front where there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel for the UK at least. I am amazed at the rate of roll out of vaccinations. By the way I find the word covid quite inappropriate for this scourge that has invaded our world, it has a warmth to it that conveys the wrong impression entirely whereas syphilis, pneumonia, pox (big or small), SARS and the black death are all names that seem redolent of their effect.

And now there are signs of spring in the garden. Margaret has all sorts of flowers popping up and my broad beans are peaking through. Meanwhile the chickens are looking more sprightly. I’ve got them working over my vegetable garden prior to seeding and they are doing a grand job. They’re laying plenty of eggs too. I’ve never known such productivity – hybrid vigour I suppose. Other creatures are also sensing the coming of spring. From my office window I can see the little lambs leaping about in the field next to ours: so white, so tiny, so lively. And this morning I witnessed a male wood pigeon trying to make out with a female.

Meanwhile I’m getting on with stuff. Did my first commercial Zoom talk the other day on a subject which is near to my heart: Pubs of Oxford. It went well I think, though I certainly miss the immediate feedback of a live audience. Whilst developing that talk I’ve also made two videos on the same topic. The first, which is an introduction, was great fun to make. I asked a number of people what their favourite pub was and they provided short video answers which I’ve linked together. It’s great fun, have a look.

I’ve also made one on what may soon become a lost pub. It’s the Lamb and Flag, now threatened with closure. On the lighter side that video relates one of my favourite pub jokes (more of those to come). See it here.

I’m also doing a Zoom talk based on my book: The Battle FOR Stow.  That book traced the march made by the Royalist forces in their attempt to reach Oxford and save King Charles I. The march ended in the Battle of Stow and marked the end of the first phase of that crucial 17th century civil war. My book was all about the march (which I repeated 363 years later) together with the battles that take place in Stow-on-the-Wold in the 21st Century. I’ve also just finished reading a fascinating book on the Glorious Revolution which followed the death of Charles I’s son, also Charles and the escape to France by Charles II's brother and successor James II. In a way that revolution was a follow through of the civil war and probably launched Britain on its path towards genuine democracy, empire and the industrial revolution.

 

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