Saturday, 28 May 2022

TWO ST IVES BOYS AT LEVANT - A CHAMPION CORNISH MINE - WITH VIDEO ACCOMPANIMENT

 My title for this blogpost is borrowed from The Trevithick Society's 1992 publication: Levant: A Champion Cornish Mine by John Corin. The book has since been edited and expanded by Peter Joseph. My purchase of a 2013 edition would have happened within a year of arriving as a resident in Cornwall in January of that year. It has proved a most useful read. 


Levant Mine - a National Trust image 


I am one of those 'BOYS' in the title - which is a bit of a cheat because I am not proper Cornish. The other 'BOY' is most certainly a proper Cornish 'boy'. He is John Toman, a former chief surveyor and relief mine captain at South Crofty Mine in Camborne and the father of Belinda, one of our neighbours, up the Stennack in St Ives where we live. John is a very young 83 years and a man of God, an identity I gave him in my latest book, Dying to Know - Running through a Pandemic, published earlier this year. 

John was my guide yesterday, Tuesday 24 May 2022, when we explored the grounds of Levant Mine. Am I a fortunate boy! I can't hope to share all that I learned yesterday - I am still digesting some of the technical detail, such as the geological importance of the 'contact' between the killas and the granite for locating the lodes of tin or copper, and the need to find the 1,000 foot level - but I would like to communicate a measure of the pleasure and pride that John feels for his lifetime in mining, and his

Friday, 20 May 2022

HERE'S HOPING THAT THE LUCK OF THE DEVIL HOLDS

 Ever since the pandemic was allowed to take such a rapid hold in this country back in the first three months of 2020, I have been lamenting the failures of the neoliberal Tory government which has the responsibility for responding to the killer virus in our midst. As we edge closer and closer to the figure of 200,000 UK citizens with coronavirus identified as a cause of their death (as of 10 May 2020, the death toll stood at 193,713), I am relieved that at last the mortality statistics are showing a decline in numbers. 


Vaccination, courtesy of the NHS, saved the day for us - and the Tory government 


Over the past couple of months, the National Office of Statistics (NOS) has been changing the way it presents its figures. They are appearing less often, for a start. The government was closing down the testing stations; the message was clear: the pandemic was nearing its end. When I go shopping in the

Friday, 13 May 2022

RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE - WHAT'S GOING ON AND WRONG IN THE UK

My source for much of this blogpost is a Short Cuts piece by Maya James, an environmental consultant, in the London Review of Books on 12 May 2022. The opinions expressed, however, are mine for the most part.

  • In June 2019, legislation committing the UK to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 was added to the Climate Change Act. This move was one of Teresa May's last before resigning as prime minister and was strongly supported by the Conservative Environment Network, whose members now include half the Tory MPs on the back benches. 
These were the percentages back in 2014 - this issue commands even more public support now.


  • There is therefore a divide within the Tory party of government in the UK. Around half its MPs are not prepared to strongly support this commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 - still 28 years away. But we need nearer deadlines than this. The climate crisis tipping-point is coming closer and closer. Some scientists say we may have already passed it. Yet a significant minority of Tory MPs - the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, with at least 19 members - believe that net

Saturday, 7 May 2022

ROB DONOVAN (2022) - 'DYING TO KNOW - RUNNING THROUGH A PANDEMIC' - MORE REVIEWS AND A ROB IN THE ROUND VIDEO

 In last week's blog post, I published five reviews for my latest literary venture - 'Dying to Know - Running through a Pandemic'. Here are five more, starting with one from within the publishing house, Matador/Troubador - but first a vanity shot. I can be indulged, I hope. Taken a week ago, I had just completed my virtual London Vitality 10K in 79minutes and 25 seconds. Mo Farrah managed the real thing in 28 minutes and 44 seconds - and lost to a 28 year-old club runner, Ellis Cross, from Aldershot, by four seconds. But heh! - they're younger and full of testosterone!  


I have just completed two circuits of my local training run - 3.5 miles from my house, up the hill to Little Trevalgan and back down, so 7 miles in total - in 01:29:36. My 10K (6.2 miles) time was 01:19:25.  


These days, getting a book accepted by a mainstream publisher, whatever its quality, is very difficult if you do not have the contacts that secure a place in the loop. I, like others, have turned to self-publishing and Troubador/Matador offer a very good service for those who can afford it. I'm saving hard to ensure

Thursday, 28 April 2022

DYING TO KNOW WHY ONLY NOW HAS JOHNSON'S GOVERNMENT BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF UNLAWFUL ACTIONS IN THE PANDEMIC

Listening to the news last night was both satisfying and horrible. I was content that the High Court yesterday found the Government acted unlawfully when it ordered the discharge of patients from hospital into care homes - an act that led to the deaths of around 20,000 of our citizens in those care homes. This I knew already. And I was horrified that these men and women we have trusted with our government should be guilty of social murder on such a scale. 



Dying to Know - signed copies available in Penzance in The Edge of the World bookshop


My book - Dying to Know - Running through a Pandemic - was published at the end of February. It 

contains a historically accurate account of what happened in the first year of the Coronavirus Pandemic, 

in 2020 - and much else. It nails Johnson and Cummings as the architects of an appallingly planned 

policy that pursued the goal of achieving herd immunity. Do please read it. It only costs a tenner - and 

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

AVAAZ - POINTING THE WAY TO SAVE OURSELVES FROM EXTINCTION

 This email from Avaaz seemed important enough to save and share as a blogpost. The perspective is very powerful.

Hi! This is one of the most important moments to help end the extinction crisis the world has ever seen. No exaggeration. A new global deal to save nature could be signed in 5 months -- but as Avaaz staff get back from the latest negotiations, there’s still massive campaigning and advocacy work needed to ensure this treaty can really save nature -- and humanity. We only have 5 months to do it -- and with your support we can double our efforts.

Avaaz is 100% powered by individual donations like yours -- chip in a weekly amount below, or click here to make a one-time donation. Thank you, deeply, from all of us at Avaaz.

THE GOOD LAW PROJECT ARE BEHIND THE JOHNSONS AND SUNAK BEING FOUND GUILTY

 The Johnsons - husband and wife - and Sunak are guilty of contempt of British law and the British people. Here is the story of how they were brought to justice by the Good Law Project (Please excuse the layout problems - I don't think they get in the way of the message and I can't yet solve them).


"Dear Rob,

Lawyers aren’t great believers. We spend our lives unravelling the carefully constructed lies of others. And it makes the most terrible cynics of even the sweetest natured of us. But there are a few things we do believe in - and are prepared to fight for. And one of them is the idea that the law is just and fair.





That’s why, for so much of the legal profession, it was agonising to watch the Met ignore evidence of criminality at Number 10 and Number 11. We knew others had been fined for breaking the lockdown rules. We knew the terrible sacrifices that so many families had made - people who had watched their