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Forgotten Kingdoms: The Gagauz and Identity Problems July 24, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Forgotten Kingdoms: The Gagauz and Identity Problems

Eastern Europe is full of unexpected populations. But few are as fun as the Gagauz,  a proud and ancient people, based in what is today southern Moldova. Of course, most modern westerners have never heard of Moldova – historically part of Romania – let alone that country’s tiny minority in the south. But the Gagauz […]

Weird Jobs in the 1881 UK Census July 7, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Weird Jobs in the 1881 UK Census

Spent the night and early morning looking for a much loved missing tortoise: mission accomplished at 6.42 amdist tears and recriminations. How do you punish a tortoise? This morning trying to come down from too much chocolate and coca cola. Took to racing through the 1881 census looking for unusual jobs and strange households: winding […]

Wanted Balkan King! January 26, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Wanted Balkan King!

A question. What modern European country asked a cricketer, the son of a Sultan, a German prince, a circus acrobat and a Gaelic-speaking Scot to be their monarch within ten short years? The answer is, of course, Albania. A tiny Adriatic power to the north of Greece, Albania has a history that you wouldn’t wish […]

Turkish in Medieval Cambodia? December 6, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Turkish in Medieval Cambodia?

An incredibly busy day today – exams are drawing near – and so Beach is going to put up a cheat post with apologies, using an extract sent in by a reader. This appeared a couple of weeks ago and was pasted under a previous post on Amazons. However, Beachcombing is not interested, at least […]

Oaks: Sacrificial and Otherwise June 20, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Oaks: Sacrificial and Otherwise

***This post is dedicated to Justin, who introduced Beach to the Tree that Owns Itself*** ‘From little acorns might oaks…’ blah blah blah. But, seriously, oaks have long caught the human imagination from sacrificial oaks – Beach has a ‘book’ memory of a German tribe that use to hammer one part of their victim’s guts […]

French Kisses, Guinea Pigs and the Spanish vice November 13, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
French Kisses, Guinea Pigs and the Spanish vice

Beachcombing had a terrifying dream last night. A great voice told him to find a bizarre story on turkeys, presumably one of the last shadows of his recent obsession with birds? Beachcombing has decided, however, not to do so because his subconscious has, frankly, been getting on his nerves in the last weeks. Instead, Beachombing is going to look at […]