Entries by Penelope J. Corfield

MONTHLY BLOG 136, A YEAR OF GEORGIAN CELEBRATIONS – 4: ENJOYING THE ANNUAL DUCK FEAST

This BLOG resumes the theme of links between the Georgian era and the present. To do that, it takes one remarkable case-history, that of the Wiltshire poet, Stephen Duck (c.1705-56). [Yes, that was his real name] He was the son of an impoverished agricultural labourer. It’s likely that both his parents were illiterate. Yet Stephen Duck not only grew to gain poetic fame during his relatively short life but has been honoured ever since by an annual Duck Feast, held in his home village of …

MONTHLY BLOG 135, A YEAR OF GEORGIAN CELEBRATIONS – 3: THE SCOTTISH MUSIC OF NIEL GOW

At a time of international crisis over Ukraine, it seems heartless to continue normal life. And, in particular, it could seem inappropriate to be writing about something as jolly and convivial as the music of eighteenth-century Scotland’s legendary fiddler, Niel Gow (1727-1807). But it helps to stick to routines, which in this case means posting my monthly BLOG.

Music, moreover, is a mighty medium for expressing the full range of human emotions. Niel Gow, born in Strathbaan, Perthshire, came from a modest background to become feted as a composer and fiddler. And, among his output, are some famous laments. Indeed, in the long eras before the advent of the radio, musicians had to be ready to switch quickly in style from sad to jolly, from slow to brisk, from simple to intricate, as occasion required. They provided their listeners with a soundtrack for both daily life and special events…

MONTHLY BLOG 132, IS TEACHING SEXY?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2021) Fig.1 Symbol for Infinity, referencing the infinite unknown … Image from Wikimedia Commons (2021) It’s the author and playwright Alan Bennett who says that teaching is sexy. And, before the massed ranks of educationalists protest instead that their work is exhausting and under-paid, let’s […]

MONTHLY BLOG 131, REMEMBERING ADRIAN AGAIN

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2021) Adrian Corfield, on the South Coast seafront, not long before his death from lymphoma at the age of forty-four. Thinking about ‘Being Penelope’ (BLOG/130 October 2021) got me remembering – again – my next brother Adrian (1946-90). We were the oldest two of a […]

MONTHLY BLOG 130, MEANINGS OF BEING PENELOPE

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2021) Fig.1 A swatch of weaving, illustrating the metaphor for History as ‘Penelope’s Web’ being constantly woven and unwoven by Penelope in Greek myth. It’s a great name, Penelope. English. Greek. And very international. Recognised everywhere. Can be used in long majestic form. Or abbreviated […]

MONTHLY BLOG 128, Appreciating Northumberland and seeking the best adjective to describe its scenic beauties.

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2021) Fig. 128.1 Silhouette Hedgehog © https://flyclipart.com (2021) A wonderful short trip to Northumberland yielded five great pleasures, headed by a night-sighting of a live hedgehog. Something that I personally have not witnessed for very many decades. Reassuringly, the hedgehog looked exactly as I expected […]