Rambling through a churchyard in Amersham to see the grave of Arthur Machen I discover the resting place of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in the UK. A small amount of digging reveals the prosecution was led by a Buddhist, the same barrister who represented the Crown in the trials of Derek Bentley and also of Timothy Evans, both hanged, and both later declared innocent and whose unfortunate lives were told in major films: ‘Let Him Have It’ and ’10, Rillington Place’.
Suffolk is a county of clouds, and on the coast, in a holiday chalet in Kessingland, we struggle to remember codes, and are not easily calmed by the decor.
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These Weird Isles – the second of two podcasts in which I explore Japan – islands as weird as the UK . I discover a space at the centre of the Japanese belief system and reflect on how the Japanese must perceive the British.