Festival of Sleep

Working as a Museum Director brings many privileges, not least the surroundings and the sense of history. Each day is an occasion. Each visitor’s reactions and responses are fascinating. Museum of the Home, where I have the joy to work, is a fascinating place. Set within former almshouses, the gracious 18th c proportions are domesticContinue reading “Festival of Sleep”

The Historical Presence

Until we claim the future with positivity and hope, the past will always be our stumbling block. The story of Robert Aske, The Royal Africa Company, profits from slavery, and how they funded the Haberdashers’ Aske’s schools.

Telling history like it is

A conversation with Professor Corinne Fowler of the University of Leicester, and Director of ‘Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted’

Imagining the future

In summer 2019, I was on panels discussing Decolonising Culture (Royal Academy) and Reimagining Britain (Queen Mary, University of London/ Wasafiri Magazine’s 35th anniversary). Many themes ran across both these experiences, foremost among them: Imagination can be a revolutionary act, and revolutions never end. Imagination and revolution are about words, voices, ideas, and actions; they’reContinue reading “Imagining the future”

The History of a City is Rubbish

Really?! Yes. Look at it this way. Humankind has been throwing things into rivers for thousands of years – rubbish, talismans or coins, items which accidentally fall in or which are dramatically dumped, and we all know about the ubiquitous shopping trolleys right? River beds are a microcosm of human history and chart the developmentContinue reading “The History of a City is Rubbish”

What’s in a recipe?

Ingredients, perhaps a dash of technique too, possibly even a sprinkle of inspiration or artistry? Yes, it’s all these and more. Each of the constituents tells a story, and it’s all the stories which together ‘make’ the recipe, adding flavour and richness to what you experience when you taste it. I cook when I’m stressedContinue reading “What’s in a recipe?”

We all need nourishment

The world’s gone mad. Everyone wants a piece of you, and you have little left to give. You feel like you’re holding everything, but that if you let go no one will be bothered enough to catch anything. Some days you wish you won an Oscar for the amazing acting job you’re doing, every minuteContinue reading “We all need nourishment”