dressing up . . . 1970s style

I’ve been suffering with a migraine, and am still feeling very ropey, so thought I’d just follow on from yesterday’s post about masks and performance, with a few images (and words) about my childhood – in which costume and dressing up played a significant role – and which Pilar is now drawing on in the…

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over again

When do you read something over again? There are crime novels to which I frequently return (those of Josephine Tey and Marjorie Allingham are particular favourites) and, when I’m ill or low, I often pick up books enjoyed in childhood (Paul Gallico, Giovanni Guareschi). My main reading for pleasure now tends to be non-fiction, and…

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remembering Walter Crane

Walter Crane, The Triumph of Labour (1891) ©The Trustees of the British Museum It was May Day a couple of days ago, an occasion that puts me immediately in mind of this wonderful image . . . Walter Crane, A Garland for May Day (1895) ©The Trustees of the British Museum . . . which…

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In search of Miss Lenton

(1. Suffragette, chained to railings.) What a feast of images and words today! As you know, I’m a writer with a background in archival research and women’s history, and today I’ve persuaded fellow writer, and friend of KDD, Michelle Payne, to share some of her own historical research about the British women’s suffrage movement. I’m…

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12 months

We are about to take our short festive break, and have all been looking back over the past 12 months. 2019 has certainly been a very significant year for us as a publisher. With our Glasgow printers, Bell & Bain, we’ve completed work on four new titles, and printed around 18,000 books (the largest number…

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The McCune Smith cafe

Hello, it’s Tom here. In today’s People Make Glasgow post I’d like to introduce the McCune Smith Cafe and Dr. James McCune Smith, the important 19th Century African-American abolitionist, physician, educator and intellectual, after whom the cafe is named. Glasgow’s remarkable nineteenth-century growth was due to imperial trade. That Glasgow was built on tobacco and…

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pink fish

Last year, energetic and inspiring Dorothy Widmann kindly invited me to attend a wonderful event she’d organised in her home town of Cordova, Alaska. Like Scotland, Alaska is one of those places where the activities of fishing and knitting are interestingly intertwined, and Dotty’s Cordova Gansey Project provided occasion for exploring those important connections. The…

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Þingvellir

About 30 miles North East of Reykjavik is Þingvellir National Park. Here there are many visible signs of volcanic activity within the past two millenia. The park crosses a rift valley separating the Continental plates of Europe and America. These tectonic plates are now steadily pulling apart, at a rate of about an inch a…

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Leningrad

On Friday evening, Tom and I went to see Neeme Järvi conducting the RSNO in Shostakovitch’s 7th. I don’t think I have ever seen the Usher Hall so full – there wasn’t a spare seat to be seen – with many emotional Russians among the audience. Personally, I think it is very hard not to…

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sprung

Surely one of the most satisfying things about any kind of journal keeping is the Gilbert White-like sense it can convey of seasonal continuity or change. At dusk yesterday, Jesus’s plum tree burst into bloom. I note that last year, after a particularly long and evil Winter, it had just started to flower on April…

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limbo

Now, I don’t want to moan, but this space is somewhere where I like to be honest about my experience of recovery, so, to be frank, things are a bit rubbish at the moment. 1. We’d planned a short break this week on Barra and Harris, but one of Calmac’s ferries broke down; they cancelled…

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