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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Square Share

A little over a year ago I travelled to Reading for a confab with my friend Felix. We’d had an idea to work on a project together with our mutual friend and colleague, Mel, and wanted to thrash things out. By the time I was heading north again, we’d come up with a plan: to…

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J Cathcart Wason, Shetland’s knitting M.P.

It’s election time here, and while we were in Shetland, our paths crossed with those of Scotland’s first minister on her campaign trail. The other day I was in the Shetland Archives and came across a fascinating campaign-trail image from over a hundred years ago. I thought you might be interested to see it. J…

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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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join the dots!

(© Leeds Postcards) Just a little pre-election cheer for those of us who will not be voting for the old Etonian and his disastrous Do-It-Yourself plans for public services. Tomorrow will be the first election that I’ve not stayed up all night to watch the votes come in for. The fatigue means I generally have…

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me news

Some of you may be interested to know that I’ve a feature in the new Rowan Magazine (no.46), which is out today. The piece is about British industrial textile history, and the past and future of two important mills — Cold Harbour, and New Lanark.* I really enjoyed writing this feature, as I’m sure you…

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walking into 2009

Grainger St, Newcastle. January 26th. 5.5 miles I am feeling rather sombre this week. I think this may be partly to do with the dark. Though my feet have covered the equivalent of a marathon in the past few days, and though I am really enjoying both the walking and the thinking about the walking,…

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unheppy

I am often struck by the liveliness and diversity of the world of contemporary domestic crafts. In very particular ways, the intermewebnet really has informally transformed the domestic into the public sphere. From their kitchens and computers, women and men all over the world are exchanging knowledge about an enormous range of practical issues and…

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