British journalist Dorothy Hartley


This video from Britain says about itself:

BBC Four documentary on Dorothy Hartley at Ermysted’s Grammar School – 2012

Food in England: The Lost World of Dorothy Hartley. Lucy Worsley journeys across England and Wales in search of Dorothy Hartley, the writer of what is now considered to be a masterpiece of food writing, Food in England.

First broadcast: 6 November 2012 Dorothy was the daughter of Ermysted’s headmaster, Edward Hartley and was born at the school in Skipton. Historian Lucy Worsley came to EGS in 2012 to film with former Head of History Doug Grant as well as some of the current boys.

The copyright in this recording is held by the BBC; this short extract from the programme is shared here for historical/educational purposes. All rights reserved.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

My fond memories of Dorothy Hartley

PETER FROST on one of his journalistic heroes, a woman who inspired his own Ramblings

Dorothy Rosaman Hartley wrote some of the best books on traditional English food, country crafts, rural traditions and much else beside. As well as books, many of which became definitive masterpieces, she also wrote a weekly column for the Daily Sketch between 1933 and 1936.

The Sketch may have been a low Tory paper but Hartley’s columns could be relied on to speak with the voice of the working women and men who were deeply engaged in the day to day feeding, farming and the many crafts of the countryside.

Now there is a chance to read many of her original Sketch columns in a book.

Hartley was born on October 4 1893 at the grammar school, Skipton, Yorkshire, where her father the Reverend Edward Tomson Hartley was owner and headmaster.

His wife, Amy Lucy Eddy, came from Froncysylltau, near Llangollen in north Wales, where her well-to-do family owned quarries. Amy it seems actually did most of the running of the school as well as teaching and catering.

Dorothy went to a convent school in Skipton until 1904, when her father retired through failing sight and became a country rector at Rempstone on the Nottinghamshire Leicestershire borders.

She then went to Loughborough High School and afterwards to Nottingham Art School until her education was interrupted by the first world war.

Like thousands of other women she went to working in the munitions factories.

When peace came she entered the Regent Street Polytechnic in London where she was a prize pupil, then taught at Nottingham Art School between 1920-22 and then in London.

It was at this time she took up writing and published a number of works on medieval life.

She wrote and illustrated her six-volume Life and Work of the Peoples of England and the Old Book, a medieval compilation.

Medieval Costume and Life not only recreated the clothes of peasants depicted in old manuscripts, but used photographs of herself wearing the garments.

In 1931 Hartley set off to travel by car across Africa — from Cairo to the Congo — and the photographs which she took on her journey were exhibited in London.

Between 1932 and 1936 Hartley toured the British Isles by bicycle and car, with pen, pencil and camera, writing weekly articles for the Daily Sketch on country people and their trades.

The articles covered such diverse subjects as horse-ploughing, crab fishing, thatching, bread making, and clog making. Many of the columns referred back to the 16th-century agricultural writer and poet Thomas Tusser with whom she would develop a lifetime fascination.

Till the end of her life if interrupted by an unwanted phone call she would answer “Go away, I’m in the 14th century.”

Medieval culture always held a particular fascination for her and she toured Ireland in the footsteps of the 12th-century prelate Gerald of Wales. This led to her 1938 book An Irish Holiday.

In 1933 Hartley made her home in a cottage at Froncysylltau and this remained her base for the rest of her life. Despite the long residence in Wales — and apart from one book on her Irish trip — she dealt almost exclusively with life in England.

During the second world war she wrote for publications of the United Nations and began work on her best book Food in England.

First published in 1954 it has has never been out of print. The detail of text and her charming illustrations made it accessible to a wide public.

In the post-war years she also taught at University College and Goldsmiths’ College in London, performed on television with Philip Harben and advised on the BBC Archers programmes.

Hartley died at Fron House, Froncysylltau in 1985. I still have most of her books on my shelf and refer to them more often than any other author. She never married but does occasionally mention the love of her life, a man she met in Africa.

In 2011 BBC4 broadcast a wonderful documentary presented by Lucy Worsley which is now easily available on Youtube. Now many of her original Daily Sketch articles have been collected and published recently in a book, Lost World, (Prospect Books). They are still worth reading.

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Vegan carrot cake recipe, video


This video from England says about itself:

Cooking with [Labour MP] Chris Williamson – Vegan Carrot Cake

12 April 2018

This month marks the 60th anniversary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. To celebrate, I learnt how to bake a carrot cake with the help of some trendy vegan bakers in London.

Great spotted woodpecker discovers peanut butter


This 15 March 2018 video shows a female great spotted woodpecker which has discovered the peanut butter in a garden in the Netherlands.

See also here.

It is special peanut butter for birds, as salty peanut butter for humans is not good for birds; too much salt.

‘Saudi famine warfare in Yemen’


This video from the USA says about itself:

Saudi Arabia Threatens Famine, Genocide in Yemen

13 November 2017

To achieve its goals and defeat the Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia is pushing Yemen into what the UN warns could be the worst famine in decades. We speak to scholar Asher Orkaby of Harvard University.

Translated from Mare weekly of Leiden university in the Netherlands, 22 February 2018:

Famine as a military strategy is back, according to the British professor and Africa expert Alex de Waal. ‘This is not a natural disaster, but the result of human intervention.’

By Vincent Bongers

“Do not be fooled by pictures of emaciated children in a dusty desert in Yemen”, says Alex de Waal. “That those children have nothing to eat has nothing to do with extreme drought. This hunger is a direct consequence of the actions of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Food shortage is their main weapon in Yemen. They strangle the land. The Saudis want to defeat the Houthi rebels. That, as a result, a million people may starve; well, too bad. That abhorrent strategy has been revived recently.”

De Waal is director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University in the United States and recently published the book Mass Starvation. …

The starving of the Yemenis happens in a very cunning way, he explains. ‘Yemen imports eighty percent of its food. A large part of this arrives in the port city of al-Hudaida. Naval vessels of the United States and Great Britain block that port at the request of the Saudis … In principle, food is allowed to go through, but due to the extensive controls this is very slow. The Saudis have bombed the container port, so unloading is also very slow. …

The result is that there is a threat of famine for seven million Yemenis. And the West makes this possible.”

If someone dies of hunger, you can assume that someone else wants it to happen. That famine makes a comeback is due to human intervention. …

In 2011, drought in Somalia also claimed many victims. ‘That was partly due to the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism law of the American government. This stipulates that any form of cooperation with terrorist groups is punishable. That was also the case for the Muslim extremist movement Al Shabaab in Somalia. Even if Al Shabaab would steal one food truck, the Red Cross could already be prosecuted. The aid then stalled. Only after nine months a solution came. Then 260,000 Somalis had already succumbed. The war on terror policy was more important than offering help. That is unethical. Governments must take far more into account the global consequences of their policies.”…

What does he think should happen? “We must prosecute perpetrators. That is difficult. But a prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague must find it attractive to be the first person to indict a suspect of death by famine.”

Humans living on Mars, where?


This 26 Febuary 2018 video, from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, says about itself:

Suitable landing sites on Mars to start a colony, if you asked a plant

Selecting the perfect landing site for the establishment of a Mars colony will be essential for its success. Growing crops to feed the astronauts will be one of the key tasks on Mars.

Scientists of Wageningen University & Research have been working on how to grow crops on Mars for five years now. For the growth of plant species, even if it is going to be indoors, there are more and less favourable places.

Using as much as possible of the available resources on Mars including regolith and ice seems wise. Wieger Wamelink and student Line Schug therefore developed an optimal Mars wide landing map, seen from a plant’s perspective. Some of the ideal landing places coincide with past and planned landing sites, however some do not.