Location, Location, Location

I hadn’t intended to write another blog about the Carmarthenshire Archives situation for a while, but I’ve been overtaken by ‘events, dear boy, events’… First, the good news: apparently Carmarthenshire county council intends to provide a page about the archives problem on its website, finally acknowledging the facts that [a] it actually holds such things […]

The Power of the Internet

A very quick update, particularly for anybody who follows this blog but isn’t on Facebook. We’re just coming up to the one week anniversary of the ‘Save Carmarthenshire Archives’ campaign going live online, and we’ve just chalked up a remarkable milestone – 1,000 ‘likes’ on the Facebook page! This, and the hugely supportive comments both […]

The Photocopier of Doom

In the near future, I promise to start blogging again about matters other than the situation at Carmarthenshire Archives, the subject of my last two posts and of a remarkable and gratifying response from individuals and online communities around the world. But while I’m waiting for responses to the letters I’ve sent to the Keeper […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: An Update

In my previous post, I presented the situation at the archives as I understood it, and noted that I had not received any reply to the email that I sent to Carmarthenshire County Council a fortnight earlier. Perhaps coincidentally, I received a detailed email from Jane Davies, Senior Cultural Services Manager, some six hours after […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: Farce or Greek Tragedy?

A warning: if you’re in search of a short and cheerful read, I suggest you leave this post now and click on something like Buzzfeed instead. On the other hand, if you have a few minutes to spare to read a woeful tale of institutional failure, threatening access to – and the very existence of […]

The Turn of the Cards

You know the scene. Perhaps it’s in a 1930s cop movie, or maybe it’s a 1970s Cold War thriller. In either case, there might well be a moment where a bespectacled drone leads our hero into a huge, dark basement. The lights flicker on, illuminating the cobwebs in the corners. Rats scurry across the floor. […]

Arfur Minute

A confession: I very nearly became an Arthurian. Before you all run off into the hills, screaming hysterically, bear with me for a few minutes. Remember that I originally come from Carmarthenshire – Caer Myrddin, the fort of Merlin, right? So the Arthurian myths and legends were all around me from pretty much as far back as […]

Labels in History, or Why Historians don’t Complete Arguments with ‘QED’

When this post goes ‘live’, I’ll be heading north to spend a week shut away on my own, brainstorming the plot of ‘Quinton 6’. (The first draft of book 5, The Battle of All The Ages, is currently out with its critical readers, and after I’ve made the inevitable revisions and redrafts, it should be on […]

Mr Stark and Mr Staring

Just when you’re starting to think ‘what shall I blog about this week?’, along comes good old David Starkey and solves the problem. (Actually, in true London bus fashion his intellectual soulmate Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Eton – sorry, Education – then came along too, but more of him anon.) For those […]

Endless Poetry

‘…this damned war: the mud, the noise, the endless poetry.’  (Lord Flashheart, Blackadder Goes Forth) There are very, very few similarities between the First World War and the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-7). One of them, arguably, is that both wars generated a substantial amount of memorable poetry, albeit of very different kinds. Having known and loved […]