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Some cartoons of 2020

In a year where I did very little of interest, I did draw quite a lot of cartoons in 2020. I suppose I find it quite soothing. Apart from the relaxing nature of focusing on something frivolous, cartooning can sometimes be a way to trivialise things that annoy you and redirect your irritation into humour....
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A compendium of campfire cookstrips

Some years ago I used to draw campfire cookstrips for Scouting magazine. Presented in the style of Len Deighton’s famous 1960s illustrations from the Observer and the Action Cookbook, my own cookstrips featured campfire recipes submitted by endlessly inventive scout leaders. Most of them went up on this blog when they were first published and...
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A spot of time travel

It’s a few years now since I first accidentally stumbled upon the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s Wartime Weekend. Since then it’s become rather a fixture in the calendar. Thomas and Yumina have come up for the last three years, and this time Richard and Claire and my Whitby mate Simon joined us too. Handily, my...
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The Cambrian Way

‘If you make it to Conwy,’ promised a kindly publican with a tattoo of an Uzi submachine gun on her upper arm, ‘come back here and there’ll be a pint for you on the bar.’ The Cambrian Way is known as ‘the mountain connoisseur’s walk’. It’s around 300 miles long and takes about three weeks,...
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Snowshoeing in Tromsø

The last time I went winter walking in the mountains above Tromsø, I lost both my map and myself in the snow. It was 2009, and I’d left my editorial job in London and swanned off to the Norwegian Arctic in search of adventures, green as green can be. A few days doing a mountain...
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The inaugural Oak Royd Beer Festival

One of life’s great pleasures is actually doing a thing that you’ve been talking about for years. In the case of last weekend, it was holding a charity beer festival at my brother’s rambling old end-of-terrace in Hebden Bridge. What was unusual about this particular beer festival was that I made all the beer myself...
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Adventures in hatting

How quickly hobbies get out of hand. I wrote in a previous blog about how a habit of cleaning and maintaining my rather extensive hat collection had led to an experiment in restoring a battered old 1950s trilby. But things have gone a bit further since then. Having renovated an old hat, I thought it...
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The intricacies of bee etiquette

Fine news. Another edition of Ernest Journal is out. Featuring lots of grand stuff including pieces on Romanian bison, cocktail bitters, American shanty boats, death trees and paranoid French castaways. Also, there’s a bit from me about bees. It struck me a while back that not only does the humble honey bee seem to have...
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A trip to Japan

Last Friday, as most of the world was going about its more important business, I was sat in a restaurant on the outskirts of Kyoto eating candied crickets, bee larvae and bear meat stew. I’ve just got back from a couple of weeks visiting my old mate C, who moved to Japan in 2011. I’ve...
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