Category Archives: Natural history

Plant of the Month: July 2019

The nasturtium (occasionally nasturtian, or, if you are an A.A. Milne fan, mastershalum) is one of those plants which it is quite easy to overlook for their ubiquitous familiarity. Simple to grow (and to regrow if you save the seeds), … Continue reading

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Popinjays

I didn’t mention that at Niguliste, there is also a collection of silver objects, many of them formerly owned by the various guilds of Tallinn. By far (in my view) the most attractive of these items is a popinjay, made … Continue reading

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Sedgwick’s Boots

I begin with an appalling confession, made because of my reasonable confidence that nobody (least of all @TheMuseumOfLiz) actually reads this stuff … Here goes: although the Golden Jubilee of my arrival in Cambridge is only just below the horizon, … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: June 2019

This seems to be an amazing spring/summer for roses – even mine are looking good (or were until it just started raining), and they are by no means my most successful plants. And it’s not just locally, either. We’ve just … Continue reading

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The Blackbird

Has there ever been a spring/summer like this for blackbird song? (Except, obviously, the year in which, in late June, Edward Thomas’s train stopped unexpectedly at Adlestrop?) I’m especially fortunate in that I have two competing to outdo each other … Continue reading

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In Deepest Limehouse

I imagine that ‘Play it again, Sam’ is the most famous line from a film which was not actually spoken in the film, but ‘We don’t like strangers in these parts, Mr ‘Olmes’ may run it close among aficionados of … Continue reading

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A Life in Footnotes

I mentioned some time ago that I was going to investigate (at my usual superficial level, naturally) the life and career of the physician Francesco Travagino (sometimes Travagini), who appears to have taken advantage of a space on somebody else’s … Continue reading

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