jump to navigation
  • Self Decapitation in South East Asia November 13, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Self Decapitation in South East Asia

    A short post today as the Beachcombing family celebrates its reunion. The following text comes from the mid fourteenth century and relates to the experiences of a visitor to the court of the Sultan of Mul Jawah (Java or more likely East Sumatra). In this Sultan’s assembly I saw a man with a knife like […]

    Spitfires and Radars in 1944 November 12, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Spitfires and Radars in 1944

    Beachcombing has a terrible record of not respecting anniversaries. But today, in part to subvert all the 11.11.11 nonsense (has the meteor already gone by?) and in part to assuage his own guilt at not having a red poppy in his lapel (the price of living in Italy) he thought he would remember, through an […]

    The Great Crying November 11, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern

    Beachcombing has been troubling his unpretty little head about notable cloudbursts of tears in modern history. In the ancient world, some honest tears seem to have been acceptable: from Alexander crying at learning he would only ever conquer one world, to Aeneas shedding some big ones over women and burnt cities, to Odysseus ‘We must […]

    35 cms from Oxfordshire November 10, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    35 cms from Oxfordshire

    Beachcombing’s ordeal of single parenthood is coming quickly to a close. Mrs B.’s conference is all but over and by tomorrow morning the house will be a happier place. In the meantime 35 centimetres of soil from just off Goldbury Hill, near West Hendred in Oxfordshire; 35 centimetres that often pass through Beachcombing’s mind when […]

    Gunfire in Notre Dame November 9, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary