Well, so that was August. It was the golden month of the year for a couple of key reasons: it is the month of my birthday, as well as the month in which I have weeks free to enjoy and to do as I please. This included much reading, drinking of coffee, and visiting of sites of interest. So, in many ways, this round-up reflects these interests over the past month (minus the coffee; although a history of coffee does actually sound enticing). This post follows on from last month’s round-up for July.
I visited quite a few locations, only a handful of which I have blogged about. Hopefully I will be able to post up more over the next month before autumn’s showers washes away the sunny optimism of August, but what I did post offers an overview. The post Dave in a Cave is a write-up of a day spent rigorously geocaching in Torbay, culminating in a trio discovering a cave and actually climbing into it to retrieve a box. I would like this to become a series, perhaps with myself meeting other Daves in which we explore many other caves, but I don’t quite think it will catch on.
I posted about castles, which has been a big topic of reading over the summer (relating to research on the earls of Cornwall). Although the ones posted were not Cornish castles they are interesting opposed to one another: one is now the centre of intense commercial activity and the other is mostly forgotten about. My post Everything has a history, even Alton Towers gives an overview of a moment of sanctuary that was found whilst visiting Cbeebies Land at the theme park. Whilst Totnes Castle is a more typical English castle, situated in a small market town, and one that has not been used for its primary purpose in centuries.
A previous article of mine was uploaded – The First Duke of Cornwall: The Black Prince – which again finds a link to research on the earls of Cornwall. This Black Prince is an intriguing character, with many local historians placing a strong association between him and Cornwall; although it appears he only have visited on a handful of occasions, and clearly had other items on his agenda (such as fighting the French). I also posted about something that has no real significance or point at all: the origin of the pronunciation of ‘arrr’. Was it from a Hollywood movie (no), or does it more than likely find its connection much further back in the past? You can decide.
A final piece of writing – to emphasise the time I had to ponder about relatively pointless things in history – was the first post on an intended longer series of the War World Cup. I remember reading about this idea in a paper many years ago and thought that I would try to put it to the test: decide each war in terms of a football result, and then compile a league table to ascertain the most successful countries. I ‘ummmed’ and ‘aahhed’ about this one for a while, due to the risk that it could be perceived in bad taste. This isn’t my intention at all, and I do believe that fresh interpretations and looking at history in different ways can help us understand the past. So, for now, I will carefully tread forwards with it to see if it actually is of any value.
September means that teaching returns, which offers great opportunities to get to know students and to start discussing/debating about history topics. I’ll be covering the Tudors, Germany in the 20th century, the Cold War, American Civil Rights, and the good old favourite of ‘What is History’. I hope to update on here the points that really get my thinking. Yes, summer has gone, and autumn is coming.