A misguided attempt to record on site, an ‘outside broadcast’ which degenerates into a pub crawl. I’m joined by Caerleon resident Will O’Connell, a man whose knowledge of Caerleon you could inscribe on the little toe of the tiny toed ant. Most of this podcast takes place in the Roman fortress town in south Wales. It’s a fascinating place, but we spent most of our time in the pub. You’ll learn nothing.
A trip to East Anglia, to the Fens and to Norfolk in search of finger in the ear folk singers, Brexit country and a vision of the future when the floods come and the UK becomes a minor archipelago, its lowlands lost and forgotten under the North Sea.
The dubious story of the Neanderthal twins of Tregaron, and the all too true account of the equally reclusive Stafford Beer, who played a part in world events.
George Orwell is on the Scottish island of Jura writing 1984, smoking roll ups and trying to shake off tuberculosis.
William Hershel, professional musician, amateur astronomer, discoverer of Uranus, built a telescope in Slough so huge it remained the biggest in the world for fifty years.
Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in Bath. Jane Austen was there only a few years before. Maybe the two crossed paths.
The Cornish pastiche: Tintagel, a castle on a rocky outcrop, is this Camelot? No, it’s not.
The Omphalos, Sandycove, near Dublin, is a Martello tower and the setting of the opening chapters of James Joyce’s Ulysses. ‘Omphalos’ is the Greek for ‘navel’, the centre of the ancient world. Ulysses is a navel novel.
Reg Presley, suddenly rich from the proceeds of a hit song, devotes his money and time to uncovering the secrets of the Warminster Triangle: UFOs, crop circles and the changing shape of planet Earth. Reg is voiced by Long John Silver.
Kathleen Schlesinger, born in Holywood, Belfast, in 1862, was a music archaeologist who published a major study of the ancient Greek wind instrument, the aulos. Her fascination with tuning systems led to lifelong collaboration with Australian microtonal composer Elsie Hamilton.
Thanks to Kate Bowan for sending me a copy of her article ‘Living Between Worlds Ancient and Modern’.