Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Shivers Down the Spine

I’ve noticed an unusual trend doing walking tours over the last few weeks.

People seem incredibly susceptible to the cold. Okay, we’re just coming out of winter. Okay, it’s certainly not been balmy. But people seem to literally shiver in temperatures between 4C and 7C; hardly arctic. I make sure I have layers on but in these sort of temperatures don’t even need a scarf or gloves.

I did think that some people just don’t dress for the conditions (and they certainly don’t; fashion seems more important than practicality for many) but one client did suggest that the majority of people now are simply cosseted all day in warm offices and travel by car and simply aren’t used to being outside for long periods.

It’s a worrying trend for me. I have visions of only being able to do walks between June and September.

I’ll have to start wintering in the Southern Hemisphere…….

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Michael Foot 1913 -2010

Sad to hear of the demise of Michael Foot, although a full life lived to the age of 96 is no mean achievement. He was a champion of Parliament and was motivated by a desire to make things better for people. I hope I leave one tenth the legacy of having "done something" that he did.

However, being committed, passionate, principled and honest is tempered somewhat by being, er, wrong, about so many things. Britain would not have been better served by unilaterally disarming. The British people had no appetite for centralised state control on the scale he espoused. And they are also for the most part not republican in their sympathies.

So he was always on something of a hiding to nothing and the electoral defeat of 1983 certainly involved the use of the word "hiding".

Above all, though, it is difficult to know who provided the biggest boost to Mrs Thatcher's fortunes in the early 1980s: General Galtieri or Michael Foot.

Still Here!

I seem to have been missing from the Blog for ages. Sorry.

The simple reason for this is that I’m bereft of much free time at the moment.

Spring it evidently springing and there’s been a sudden clutch of bookings for new tours and similar work lately. Good. I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time hosting study days (one of the Jelf sidelines!) which means I keep visiting Manchester! (I’m not complaining about that. As I’ve said before it’s actually a rather splendid city and I was able to see some of its new trams the other day.)

I’m also in the final stages now of studying for some exams I’m taking in March and April, so it feels a bit as though it’s the early 1980s again. (Exams, Argentina sabre-rattling in the South Atlantic, terrorist attacks in Northern Ireland and a recession.)

So, before this afternoon’s job (in Birmingham) I suppose I’d better get back to my notes on Cornish Tin Mining mineralogy (as you do)…….