General Curiosity

A Short Night Walk Amongst the Living and the Dead.

An after-dark wander in the company of lost deserts, nocturnal hunters and spectral ammonites. Henry Rothwell One cold December night not so long ago, I was woken by an unearthly sound. It was a sound quite unlike any I had heard before, and as it faded while I was trying to place it, I began …

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Ravilious - Wiltshire Landscape

Shams, Shellbacks and Sons of Rest – a Tramp Terminology.

This incomplete glossary has been compiled from the works of Jim Phelan ( 1895–1966). For those who have yet to encounter him, Phelan was a tramp author  who produced a number of autobiographies, novels and film scripts during the 20th century. In his autobiographical material, he explains the meaning of a number of tramp words and …

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Caravans, by Eric Ravilous.

An Incomplete Romani Glossary.

The following glossary was taken from ‘A Time from the World’, by Rowena Farre. Though of non-Romani origin herself, she frequently joined various groups of the travelling community, including the Romani, Tinkers (itinerant tinsmiths), Mumpers (tramps who overwintered in the countryside), and often travelled solo too.  ‘A Time from the World’ was republished in 2013 by …

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'Rooks amongst Branches', Ralston Gudgeon (1910-1984), oil on canvas.

‘Wild Life in a Southern County’ by Richard Mabey.

‘Richard Mabey is among the best writers at work in Britain. I don’t mean among the best nature writers, I mean the best writers, full stop.‘ So says Tim Dee, in his review of Richard Mabey’s latest collection, ‘Turning the Boat for Home‘. I’m happy to agree, and even happier to share one of the essays …

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