Possibly Poirot


Last Friday evening I completed the final leg of my usual commute home from work by steam, on the Severn Valley Railway. It was, without question, an unalloyed, unqualified pleasure. During the week, from Monday to Thursday, I don’t make it back in time for the last SVR train to Bewdley. On Fridays however, I finish work an hour earlier and (saving any delays en route) I reach Kidderminster station with about five minutes to spare.

It’s not something I’d really considered doing before, thinking – as I did – that a) I wouldn’t make the connection in time, and b) it was somehow a little too extravagant. Continue reading “Possibly Poirot”

The closeness of history

King John's tomb

To paraphrase Doctor Emmett Brown, it could be that the fifteenth year of each new century inherently contains some sort of cosmic significance. Well… perhaps not. There are certainly, however, a number of noteworthy centennial anniversaries this year.

One thousand years ago, in the late summer of 1015 the Viking invasion of England began, under Cnut the Great – or King Canute if you will. A little obscure maybe, but I’m sure everyone remembers the story of King Canute and the waves. I think it was Miss Parker, in class 5J, who recounted to me and my classmates the (possibly) apocryphal tale of Canute failing to hold back the tide. Ah, Miss Parker… how we all went weak at the knees over your long, golden tresses of bouncy blonde hair and your exotic Liverpudlian accent! It mattered not that we were but eleven years old.

Continue reading “The closeness of history”